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National League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: CF Chris Young underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage to his right quadriceps. He aggravated the injury in the first inning Tuesday and left the game, which was his first start since he was hurt Sept. 3. He was available off the bench Wednesday. ... OF A.J. Pollock and 1B Mike Jacobs were added to the roster after playing for Class AAA Reno on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship Game in Durham, N.C. Pollock doubled and tripled and was selected the MVP of Reno's 10-3 win over Pawtucket (R.I.).

Atlanta: SS Andrelton Simmons sat out his second consecutive start due to shoulder soreness. Martin Prado again filled in at shortstop. Simmons is day-to-day. ... IF Paul Janish left Tuesday's game in the bottom of the ninth after dislocating his left shoulder diving for a ball. He might miss the remainder of the regular season, manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Chicago: 3B Luis Valbuena started for the fourth consecutive game, as rookie Josh Vitters has seen his playing time diminish while the Cubs work with him on his fielding. Vitters probably will play at Colorado and Arizona next week, manager Dale Sveum said. ... RHP Justin Germano has lost each of his past six starts, though he had a chance to end that streak Tuesday. He pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning, when he walked the bases loaded and watched RH reliever Manny Corpas give up a three-run double in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati: LH closer Aroldis Chapman emerged encouraged after throwing 25 pitches in the bullpen, but he'll likely need to work on the side a few more times before returning to action. He hasn't pitched since Sept. 10 due to shoulder fatigue. ... Manager Dusty Baker went to a Chicago-area hospital before the game to seek chest X-rays regarding a possible case of pneumonia. Bench coach Chris Speier led the team with Baker away.

Colorado: C Wilin Rosario hit his 25th homer of the season Tuesday, matching the Rockies' rookie record set by Todd Helton in 1998. Rosario also pushed his RBI total to 66, a single-season high by a Colorado catcher. Chris Iannetta had 65 RBI in 2008. ... LHP Jeff Francis pitched five innings Tuesday, giving him 100 innings for the season. He is the first Rockies pitcher to reach that modest milestone, not surprising due to the per-game limit of roughly 75 pitches the team implemented in mid-June.

Houston: IF Marwin Gonzalez is back healthy from his ankle injury, and he will be used to ease the load on SS Jed Lowrie, who is coming back from his own leg injury. "I know Jed is doing the best he can, but that knee is a little cranky, and his range is below average right now," manager Tony DeFrancesco said. ... LHP Fernando Abad had his longest start as a major-leaguer Tuesday in his fifth try. He went five innings and allowed three runs while striking out six. "He was excellent," DeFrancesco said.

Los Angeles: C A.J. Ellis went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in the first game of the doubleheader, extending his hitless streak to 20 consecutive at-bats dating back to Sept. 11. Ellis had seen his average drop from .283 to .268 in that span. ... RH reliever Jamey Wright threw a scoreless inning in the doubleheader opener, extending his shutout streak to 11 1/3 innings over 12 appearances. He'd allowed six hits and no walks while striking out seven during the streak.

Miami: RHP Nathan Eovaldi tossed eight scoreless innings Tuesday, hitting 97 mph with his fastball in the eighth inning. "He was outstanding, (throwing) 98, 97 after 110 pitches. There's not too many people in baseball who can do that," manager Ozzie Guillen said. ... Guillen, on the Marlins' season: "Did I take the blame for this? Yes, 100 percent. If we win the World Series, who holds the trophy? Me. We finish in last place, I take the responsibility."

Milwaukee: By throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday in Pittsburgh, RHP Yovani Gallardo turned in his big-league-leading 25th quality start of the season. During one stretch, he retired 14 consecutive hitters. Over his past 10 outings, Gallardo is 8-0 with a 2.69 ERA. ... The Brewers had gone 85 consecutive games with an extra-base hit before all 13 of their hits were singles Tuesday. It was the second-longest such streak in franchise history.

New York: RH closer Frank Francisco was unavailable due to right elbow tendinitis, which manager Terry Collins said Francisco had been experiencing for the past three days. Francisco had converted 23 of 26 save opportunities with a 5.53 ERA. ... 3B David Wright entered Wednesday's game six hits shy of matching Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418. "I hope I get there," said Wright, who was battling a 1-for-13 funk. "It's been a grind lately."

Philadelphia: RHP Tyler Cloyd, who was originally scheduled to pitch Tuesday before the game was postponed due to a pending storm, will start Thursday's makeup game against the Mets. He is 1-1 with a 4.95 ERA in four starts, but he's allowed seven runs in seven innings in his past two outings. ... 1B Ryan Howard was 11-for-61 (.180) with no homers in September entering Wednesday's game. "I know it's there," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Pittsburgh: 2B Neil Walker was not in the lineup for the second time in three days because of lower back pain. Walker missed 15 games in a row from Aug. 27-Sept. 12 because of the back issue, and manager Clint Hurdle said the switch hitter's availability will be determined daily for the remainder of the season. ... RF Travis Snider made just his second start in 13 games. He has been slowed by a strained right hamstring, but Hurdle said the Pirates are optimistic that Snider is close to 100 percent recovered.

St. Louis: RHP Kyle Lohse (15-3) had the highest winning percentage (.833) in the major leagues through Tuesday, and his 2.71 ERA ranked third in the NL. "If we would have been able to hold some of the leads that he had, there's no question he'd be right at the top of that (Cy Young Award) mix," manager Mike Matheny said. ... RHP Chris Carpenter's first start of the season, after nearly a year-long struggle with a nerve condition that affected his right shoulder and necessitated surgery, will be Friday in Wrigley Field.

San Diego: LHP Eric Stults lost Tuesday for the first time since he joined the rotation Aug. 6. Before allowing three runs in six innings at Arizona, Stults had gone 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his previous seven starts. ... LF Carlos Quentin (right knee) and RH closer Huston Street (left calf) are both closer to returning to action. Manager Bud Black said Quentin was available as a pinch hitter Tuesday, while Street "could be an activation situation in the near future."

San Francisco: Commissioner Bud Selig told the YES Network that Major League Baseball is not inclined to strip OF Melky Cabrera of the NL batting title should he win it. Cabrera was hitting .346 when suspended for the remainder of the season Aug. 15 after a positive drug test. ... By throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings Tuesday to beat the Rockies, RHP Tim Lincecum lowered his second-half ERA to 3.06. He's allowed more than three runs in only two of 13 starts since the All-Star break. Before the break, Lincecum had a 6.42 ERA, and he allowed more than three runs in 12 of 18 starts.

Washington: Danny Espinosa's troublesome left shoulder held up fine in the first game of the doubleheader, when the second baseman made two sharp defensive plays and went 2-for-4. Espinosa got a cortisone shot in the shoulder Monday. ... LHP Zach Duke, RHP Chien-Ming Wang and RHP Craig Stammen are among those who will be considered to start Sunday's game against the Brewers. Tuesday's rainout pushed the rotation back one day, and manager Davey Johnson doesn't want anyone going on three days' rest.
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