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National League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, August 30, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: SS Willie Bloomquist (back) doubled in three at-bats in a rookie-level Arizona League game Wednesday and appeared ready to be activated Saturday when roster limits expand. RHP Josh Collementer (bleeding ulcers) and RHP Takashi Saito (left hamstring) also are candidates to be added. ... The D-backs' 2-8 homestand was their worst since the 2004 team went 0-11 against Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Colorado. That team finished 51-111.

Atlanta: IF/OF Martin Prado (17 stolen bases), RF Jason Heyward (19) and CF Michael Bourn (37) are the Braves' first trio to have 15 or more stolen bases since the 2000 Braves had four players with 15 or more: Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Andrew Jones and Reggie Sanders all had at least 21. ... 1B Ernesto Meija of Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.) has been named the International League's rookie of the year, the third straight year a G-Braves player has earned the honor, following RHP Julio Teheran (2011) and 1B Freddie Freeman (2010).

Chicago: LHP Brooks Raley made his fifth and final start for the Cubs. Raley has pitched 155 innings split among Class AA, AAA and the Cubs, and manager Dale Sveum said that's enough. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits in four innings Thursday. ... Sveum said IF Luis Valbuena will get most of the playing time at third base the rest of the season. 3B Josh Vitters, one of the Cubs' top prospects, is 5-for-54 (.093) with two walks and 19 strikeouts.

Cincinnati: 1B Joey Votto (left knee surgery) went 1-for-2 Wednesday in the second start of his rehab assignment at low-A Dayton (Ohio). "I was holding back," he said. "I've still got a bit to go, but I feel like I've made progress today." ... 1B/3B Todd Frazier doubled and scored a run Wednesday against Arizona LHP Wade Miley, likely Frazier's main competition for NL Rookie of the Year. Frazier has reached base in 22 straight games.

Colorado: LF Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-5 on Wednesday for his first multi-hit game since Aug. 15. He missed four games shortly after that date while on bereavement leave, returning to Venezuela after the death of his grandfather. He then went 1-for-20 before being given Tuesday off to relax. ... OF-1B Tyler Colvin has set career highs in hits (93) and RBI (58). His previous highs, set in 2010, were 91 hits and 56 RBI.

Houston: LHP Dallas Keuchel, pitching through an ear infection that has had him sick for more than a week, didn't use that as an excuse for his four-run first inning Wednesday. "I just wasn't locating well in the first inning and made a few bad mistakes," Keuchel said. He later retired 14 straight batters. ... RHP Bud Norris (blister) is expected to make his next start as planned. "He knows how to handle it. ... In three or four days, he'll be fine," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said.

Los Angeles: RH closer Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) met with team physicians and is out indefinitely. Jansen, who was hospitalized Tuesday in Denver, spent 28 days on the disabled list in 2011 because of cardiac arrhythmia and also missed a few days during spring training this year when he had the same condition. ... CF Matt Kemp (right knee) was held out of the lineup for the second straight day because he still was sore from crashing into the wall Tuesday in Denver. "It's day by day," Kemp said. ... CEO Stan Kasten told the Los Angeles Times that he's concerned that pitcher Chad Billingsley (elbow) won't return this season. Kasten told the paper that his worry isn't "based on medical evidence."

Miami: RH reliever Heath Bell wants another chance to close before the end of the season, but he hasn't given manager Ozzie Guillen any indication he's ready. Bell has a 5.79 ERA and .333 opponents' batting average in 11 August appearances. ... RH reliever Carlos Zambrano isn't happy about being in the bullpen. But he has done well in that role -- 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA in nine appearances since losing his rotation spot at the beginning of June.

Milwaukee: The Brewers will unveil a statue of longtime broadcaster Bob Uecker tonight at Miller Park's Home Run Plaza. Bob Costas will be the emcee, and Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and commissioner Bud Selig also are expected to be at the ceremony. ... The Brewers' string of games with at least 10 strikeouts from their pitching staff ended Wednesday at eight. It was the longest streak since 1900.

New York: IF Justin Turner was hit in the helmet by a fastball thrown by Phillies RH closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning. Turner spent several moments on the ground before running to first base, at which point he was replaced by a pinch-runner. But he insisted that was fine and did not require any treatment. ... Manager Terry Collins said he will be careful to monitor rookie LH reliever Josh Edgin's workload down the stretch. Edgin already has appeared in 65 games split between the majors and minors this season, 16 more than he did all last year.

Philadelphia: SS Jimmy Rollins was taken out of the game by manager Charlie Manuel after he popped up in the sixth inning and then slowly jogged to first base. The ball was dropped, but Rollins had to stay at first. Rollins refused to talk to reporters after the game. ... LHP Cole Hamels, skipped from his start Wednesday because of stomach flu, is tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday. The club's official pitching rotation has Sunday's game as a TBA, but it would likely depend on how Hamels feels today.

Pittsburgh: 3B Pedro Alvarez is 19 for 47 (.404) in his last 13 games, raising his average to .249. Alvarez's average hasn't been this high since he was at .253 on May 5. His 26 home runs are the most by a Pirates third baseman since Aramis Ramirez hit a club-record 34 in 2001. ... RH reliever Jason Grilli has been scored on just once in his last 16 relief appearances, dating to July 18, and has a scoreless streak of 8 1/3 innings.

St. Louis: C Yadier Molina was back in the lineup for the first time since his collision with Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison on Tuesday. ... Hitting coach Mark McGwire was upset after the Cardinals were shut out in consecutive games by the Pirates. "This offense should never be shut out," he said. "I'm all for tipping the hat if the pitcher is dealing. But these last two nights, (the pitchers) were very hittable."

San Diego: C Nick Hundley (meniscus tear in right knee) and 3B-OF James Darnell (left shoulder) both had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday. Darnell had his second arthroscopic procedure in as many seasons to repair the capsule in his left shoulder. ... LH reliever Tommy Layne has retired 26 of the 29 hitters he has faced and has yet to allow a run in 8 1/3 innings over his first 10 major league appearances.

San Francisco: Manager Bruce Bochy said he has spoken to IF Joaquin Arias, who went into Thursday hitting .426 in August, about the possibility of playing left field but called it a "longshot." Arias played the position briefly in 2007 and sustained a shoulder injury that required surgery. ... RH reliever Guillermo Mota on Wednesday made his first appearance following his 100-game drug suspension and faced four batters, retiring two. He gave up a single and issued a walk.

Washington: RHP Stephen Strasburg has been told he has just a few starts left, The Washington Post reported. Strasburg is at 150 1/3 innings. ... CF Bryce Harper was ejected from Wednesday's game for throwing his helmet after grounding into a double play, and manager Davey Johnson said afterward that the 19-year-old is going to have to do a better job of controlling his temper. It was Harper's first ejection.
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