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National League team-by-team notebook -- Monday, July 30, 2012

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Arizona: 1B Lyle Overbay was designated for assignment to create a roster spot for 3B Chris Johnson, acquired from Houston on Sunday, even though Overbay is hitting .292 this year after finishing 2011 with a .286 average. But he was only 2 for his last 25. ... The D-backs began a stretch Monday in which they will play 16 of 19 games on the road, interrupted by a three-game home series against NL East leader Washington on Aug. 10-12.

Atlanta: RHP Kris Medlen is scheduled to make his first start since Aug. 4, 2010 tonight. He went 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts in 2010, and the Braves won 13 of those starts. "I'm excited," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I finally get my opportunity again. I think I made the most of it the first time around." ... 2B Dan Uggla told manager Fredi Gonzalez that he's still feeling confident, and so long as that is the case, Gonzalez says he will stick with him in the lineup. Uggla ended a hitless streak of 21 at-bats Sunday.

Chicago: RHP Matt Garza (right triceps cramping) threw a bullpen session, and manager Dale Sveum said the session went "extremely well." The Cubs hope Garza can pitch sometime this weekend in Los Angeles. ... LHP Paul Maholm is the first left-handed starting pitcher in modern Cubs history to have six consecutive starts in which he went at least six innings and gave up one run or fewer. He said he was aware of it for one reason. "Not until you guys bring it up," he said to reporters.

Cincinnati: Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman's signature white locks will disappear as a result of the Reds' 10-game winning streak. During a conversation with bench coach Chris Speier a few weeks ago, Brennaman said he would shave his head if the Reds won 10 in row. "I'm a man of my word," Brennaman said. "I'll do it." ... 1B Joey Votto continues to progress from July 17 surgery on his left knee, but he isn't predicting a return date and said he's still dealing with some pain. "If it was pain-free, I'd be playing right now," he said.

Colorado: RF/1B Tyler Colvin is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, a drought that has dropped his average to .274, the lowest it has been since June 5 (.265). Colvin is 5-for-39 (.128) since the All-Star break with 16 strikeouts and a .154 slugging percentage. ... The Rockies are 7-16 in July and must win their final game of the month to avoid tying the fewest number of victories they have had in the month. They went 7-22 in July 2000 and 7-19 in July 2001.

Houston: Nine players on the Astros' 25-man roster were either claimed off waivers or acquired as Rule 5 picks. The club is piling up unwanted players before the prospects from this rebuilding project come to the surface. ... RHP Armando Galarraga, he of the now infamous perfect game that wasn't in 2010, is thrilled to be back in the majors. "(The Astros) gave me an opportunity by signing me when I got released from Baltimore, and now I just need to show I can pitch again and contribute," Galarraga said.

Los Angeles: LHP Ted Lilly (shoulder) threw two scoreless innings Sunday and RH reliever Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery) threw three scoreless Sunday in a rehab game with high-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.). It was De La Rosa's first game action since July 31, 2011; Lilly hadn't pitched since May 23. ... Class AAA Albuquerque OF/1B Jerry Sands on Sunday became just the fifth player in Pacific Coast League history to hit two grand slams in one game. Sands, who hit .200 (4-for-20) in eight games for the Dodgers earlier this season, went 4-for-7 with 10 RBI in a doubleheader.

Miami: RHP Carlos Zambrano, 1-6 with a 7.62 ERA in his last nine starts, was moved to the bullpen, and LHP Wade LeBlanc will take his start Wednesday. However, manager Ozzie Guillen said Zambrano still might start one of the games in the doubleheader Friday. ... Guillen likes what he sees of RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who earned the win in his first start for the Marlins after being acquired from the Dodgers in the Hanley Ramirez deal. "You can see he's still a baby, he's still getting polished," Guillen said. "But I love the arm. I love his presence on the mound. ... He's not scared to throw any pitch in any count."

Milwaukee: Bullpen coach Stan Kyles was fired, and minor league pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell was promoted to that role. The bullpen led the majors in losses (26) and blown saves (20) going into Monday. "While Stan is not solely responsible, I felt that this change was the first step and was necessary," GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. ... LF Ryan Braun was out of the lineup because of blisters on his left hand that worsened in recent games. Manager Ron Roenicke said he hoped Braun would have to miss only one game. ... RH reliever Mike McClendon was called up from Class AAA Nashville for the fourth time this season, and RHP Tyler Thornburg was returned to Nashville to take regular turns in the rotation.

New York: OF Mike Baxter (displaced right collarbone) was activated from the disabled list, and OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to Class AAA Buffalo. One of the club's top performers in April, Nieuwenhuis had recently lost most of his playing time to OF Jordany Valdespin. ... LF Jason Bay was in the lineup against Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner even though he was in an 0-for-22 slump entering the game. The Mets want Bay to keep playing, especially against lefty starters.

Philadelphia: RHP Roy Halladay, who is 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA in three starts since returning from the disabled list, said he's still adjusting to his mechanics after his seven-week rehab from a lat injury. "It's going to take some getting used to," he said. ... C Carlos Ruiz is battling a left ankle injury but says it's nothing he can't play through. Before and after the All-Star Game, a game he participated in, Ruiz had started 17 straight games for the Phillies and caught 154 of the team's 155 innings in that span.

Pittsburgh: RHP Kevin Correia asked the Pirates to trade him after he was dropped from the rotation to make room for LHP Wandy Rodriguez, acquired in a trade with Houston. GM Neal Huntington said the Pirates are "open" to trading Correia, who can become a free agent after the season, but would prefer to keep him in order to have more starting pitching depth. ... RH reliever Juan Cruz (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session Tuesday. If that goes well, he will be sent on a rehab assignment and will likely pitch at four times in the minor leagues before being activated.

St. Louis: RHP Kyle Lohse, scheduled to start tonight's game, has worked at least seven innings in eight of his last nine outings. In the other one, he lasted six innings, and now he will have an extra day of rest. ... SS Rafael Furcal, who missed the final two games of the weekend series in Chicago because of back spasms, might be able to return to the lineup tonight. "I want to stay off the (disabled) list," he said.

San Diego: RH closer Huston Street is thrilled with his two-year, $14 million contract extension, which includes a club option for 2015 for a third straight $7 million season. "I think both sides can be happy about this contract," he said. "Some will say it is a team-friendly contract. But I'm happy." ... LHP Clayton Richard set a career high with his sixth RBI of the season with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly Sunday. It was the 16th RBI by a Padres pitcher this season.

San Francisco: 3B Marco Scutaro batted leadoff for the first time since joining the Giants. RFs Nate Schierholtz, who had been hitting leadoff recently, was moved to sixth in the lineup. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong gave up two runs (one earned) in six innings Sunday, his 16th straight quality start (six innings or more, three earned runs or fewer) and 18th on the season. Vogelsong has a 2.22 ERA, lowest in the majors through Sunday.

Washington: OF Bryce Harper, hitting just .182 in the second half, tried going without batting gloves for one at-bat Sunday but still struck out. "Just something different," he told The Washington Post. He didn't wear gloves as an amateur but has worn them in the majors. ... After RH reliever Ryan Mattheus allowed four runs and three homers in 1 2/3 innings Sunday, manager Davey Johnson said, "Sometimes Mattheus is his own worst enemy. He has got good stuff and he gets geared up and makes bad pitches. He had a great sinker, but he gets to thinking he is going to overpower somebody and it doesn't happen."
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