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National League team-by-team notebook -- Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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Arizona: 3B Ryan Roberts was designated for assignment when SS John McDonald (strained left side) was activated from the disabled list. Roberts and D-backs general manager Kevin Towers both said a trade for Roberts "is on the 1-yard line." 3B Ryan Wheeler and IF Willie Bloomquist are expected to get the starts at third base, manager Kirk Gibson said, but it will not be a strict platoon. ... RHP Ian Kennedy went eight innings for the second consecutive game Monday and said he is feeling much better about his command. "It felt good to go out and pound the zone like that," said Kennedy, 8-8 with a 4.20 ERA.

Atlanta: 2B Dan Uggla is mired in a long slump for the second consecutive season. He went into Tuesday 3 for his last 26 (all three hits came in the same game), and his .215 average was third worst in the league. The Braves gave Uggla a five-year, $62 million extension after they acquired him from the Marlins before last season. ... The Braves are 0-12 on Mondays and have scored just 18 runs in those games.

Chicago: RHP Ryan Dempster, the subject of trade speculation, said he plans on making his start for the Cubs today at Pittsburgh. "I want to look everything over first before I make any decisions, and I have time to do that," said Dempster, who can veto any trade. ... RHP Matt Garza returned to Chicago to be with his wife, who is due to give birth. Garza likely won't start until Monday. He had to leave Saturday's start in St. Louis because of right triceps cramping and will be re-evaluated Friday.

Cincinnati: RHP Mat Latos, who left Monday's game after five innings because of a sprained left ankle, said he's fine. "There's no swelling, just a little discoloration," he said. Latos expects to be able to throw his bullpen between starts and start as scheduled on Sunday. ... RH reliever Jose Arredondo, hit by a line drive on the throwing arm Saturday, pitched a scoreless inning Monday. "He's not as sore," manager Dusty Baker said.

Colorado: 1B Jason Giambi was placed on the disabled list because of a viral infection, and LHP Edwar Cabrera was recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs. Giambi said he had been feeling rundown for three weeks. ... LF Carlos Gonzalez hit five homers in a stretch of 21 at-bats in five games through Monday after going 94 at-bats without a home run. That drought began after he homered June 15 and ended when he finally went deep July 18.

Houston: C Jason Castro's right knee has been feeling better since he had it drained last week. The Astros will decide in the next couple of days what's next in his rehab, but he'll likely need a rehab assignment. ... OF Ben Francisco, a platoon player used against left-handed pitchers much of his career, got a start against a right-hander Monday and went 2-for-4. "I want to try to stay away from labeling this guy as just playing against lefties," manager Brad Mills said.

Los Angeles: C A.J. Ellis was out of the lineup for the third time in five games. Ellis, who ranked fifth in the major leagues through Monday with 75 starts behind the plate, missed Saturday's game with left knee soreness, but MRI results were negative. ... RH closer Kenley Jansen picked up his 19th save Monday and had 14 scoreless outings in his last 15 appearances dating to June 15. He had 21 strikeouts and had allowed just 11 baserunners during that span.

Miami: LHP Dan Jennings and OF Bryan Petersen were called up from Class AAA New Orleans to take the roster spots of RHP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante, who were traded Monday. ... 3B Hanley Ramirez was back in the lineup after missing four games because of a right hand infection. ... RF Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice outside Monday for the first time since his right knee surgery July 8. Stanton said it went well, and his bigger challenge is running.

Milwaukee: Before RH closer Francisco Rodriguez blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning Monday, RH reliever John Axford -- normally the closer -- extended his streak of scoreless innings to 3 1/3 innings since Rodriguez replaced him. But manager Ron Roenicke said he wants to give Axford more time before he puts him back in the closer role. ... 1B/RF Corey Hart was the only player in the majors through Monday to start at least 40 games at first base this season without committing an error. Hart began the season as the starter in right field but moved to first after 1B Mat Gamel was lost because of a knee injury.

New York: RHP Matt Harvey and RH reliever Manny Acosta were called up from Class AAA Buffalo, and OF Lucas Duda and RH reliever Pedro Beato were sent down. Duda, the team's everyday right fielder since late last July, was hitting .138 with one home run in his last 77 plate appearances. Harvey will make his debut Thursday. ... OF Mike Baxter (displaced right collarbone) moved his rehabilitation to Buffalo and went 2-for-5 Monday. Baxter could join the Mets as soon as this weekend.

Philadelphia: CF Shane Victorino was back in the lineup one day after he was hit by a pitch on the right elbow and had to leave the game, but 3B Placido Polanco (back) didn't start for the third time in the last four games. ... RHP Trevor May, considered the Phillies' top pitching prospect, gave up four home runs in five innings Monday in a start for Class AA Reading (Pa.). He had a 2.40 ERA in his first five starts this season but has a 6.39 ERA since.

Pittsburgh: RHP Kevin Correia will try to extend his career-high five-game winning streak today. Correia is 6-1 with a 4.15 ERA in his last 10 starts since losing five straight starts from April 29 to May 20. ... LHP Erik Bedard has had three shoulder operations since 2007 and has failed to pitch more than 140 innings in a season since then. However, he reached 100 innings Monday and turned in his second consecutive quality start since the All-Star break after losing his last four decisions in the first half.

St. Louis: 1B Lance Berkman has started just six of 10 games since coming off his knee surgery. He says that he doesn't really deserve to play in front of hot-hitting 1B Allen Craig, but manager Mike Matheny said, "The only way we're going to get (Berkman) back into his timing is by playing him." ... RHP Chris Carpenter visited Busch Stadium for the first time since his shoulder surgery Thursday. He said he stayed in Dallas, where the surgery was performed, an extra day because of pain.

San Diego: RH closer Huston Street, who can be a free agent after the season, said he'd like to remain with the Padres. "I'm always willing to work out a fair deal if it makes sense to both sides," he said. ... LHP Clayton Richard allowed seven runs on nine hits in five innings Monday, his worst outing since April 18. Richard had gone 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA over his last eight starts before then.

San Francisco: Pablo Sandoval, normally a third baseman, was back at first base one day after making his first start of the season and 54th of his career there, replacing slump-ridden 1B Brandon Belt. Manager Bruce Bochy said he didn't want to change the lineup after Monday's victory. ... C Buster Posey's home run Monday was the 14th by a right-handed Giants hitter over the brick wall in right field at AT&T Park, which opened in 2000. Posey said he doesn't even do that in batting practice.

Washington: RF Jayson Werth (broken left wrist) and 1B Chad Tracy (right groin) both could be activated within a week, manager Davey Johnson said. Tracy went 1-for-3 and Werth went 0-for-3 Monday in a rehab game for Class AAA Syracuse. ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann has gone at least six innings in every start this season but rarely more than seven innings. He was limited to six innings Monday. Johnson said there is a reason for this but wouldn't say what it is.
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