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National League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, August 23, 2012

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Arizona: RHP Josh Collmenter (bleeding ulcers) is scheduled to throw three innings in the rookie Arizona League on Sunday. He is eligible to return from the disabled list that day, but it appears that the D-backs may wait until rosters expand on Sept. 1 to activate him. ... Ryan Wheeler and Chris Johnson have started platooning at third base. After getting off to a hot start with the D-backs, Johnson is 2 for his last 24.

Atlanta: RHP Kris Medlen has a streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings. That's the longest by a Braves pitcher this season. The Braves have won the last 16 games Medlen has started, going back to 2010. That breaks the club record of 15, set by John Smoltz. ... 2B Dan Uggla and C Brian McCann, both mired in slumps, were back in the lineup. Uggla went into Thursday hitting .144 in his last 65 games.

Chicago: 1B Anthony Rizzo went 6-for-25 on the just concluded road trip and has not homered since Aug. 5. "He's fallen into a little bit of the pitch selection and the caught-in-betweens and, 'Do I take? Do I see pitches? Do I swing at the first pitch?' " manager Dale Sveum said. ... RH reliever Miguel Socolovich was claimed off waivers from Baltimore and optioned to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated minor league C Blake Lalli for assignment. Socolovich has spent most of this season at Class AAA Norfolk (Va.), going 4-0 with two saves and a 1.90 ERA.

Cincinnati: C Devin Mesoraco, who had just completed his two-game suspension for bumping an umpire, was optioned to Class AAA Louisville, and RH reliever J.J. Hoover was called up. Mesoraco, the Reds' No. 1 prospect coming into the year, was hitting .210 with five home runs and 14 RBI. ... Before his victory Wednesday, RHP Bronson Arroyo was 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA at Philadelphia and overall was 1-7 with a 7.28 ERA against the Phillies. His only other victory over them was on July 22, 2000, when he was a rookie with the Pirates.

Colorado: C Wilin Rosario is just the seventh catcher in major league history to hit at least 20 homers in his rookie season. Mike Piazza is first with 35 homers, followed by Earl Williams (33), Matt Nokes (32), J.P. Arencibia and Geovanny Soto (23 each) and Carlton Fisk with 22. ... SS Josh Rutledge's tight left quadriceps kept him from starting for the fourth straight game. But Rutledge came up as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and singled.

Houston: OF Fernando Martinez had two doubles after getting only a pair of two-base hits in his first 40 at-bats. "There's power in his bat," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. ... RH reliever Hector Ambriz made his Astros debut and allowed an infield single, a bases-clearing double and a run-scoring single. It was his first big-league appearance since 2010 while with Cleveland.

Los Angeles: RF Andre Ethier has a ruptured blister on his right hand that likely will affect him for the remainder of the season, and he is hitting .239 with three home runs since June 1. During that span he has hit .138 against left-handed pitchers. Manager Don Mattingly said he would pinch hit for Ethier more often if he had better bench options. ... LHP Chris Capuano has lost four consecutive starts at Dodger Stadium, allowing 17 runs in 24 2/3 innings during that span. Capuano began the season 5-1 in his first eight home starts and allowed just 12 total runs.

Miami: Manager Ozzie Guillen said RHP Lucas Turner will remain in the rotation the rest of the year. That means the Marlins could go with six-man rotation or move one starter, likely LHP Wade LeBlanc, to the bullpen. LeBlanc was a reliever before he replaced struggling starter Carlos Zambrano at the start of the month. ... With CF Emilio Bonifacio back on the disabled list, Gorkys Hernandez is one option to play center field. But Hernandez is batting .160 and was 2-for-12 in the Arizona series.

Milwaukee: RHP Shaun Marcum is scheduled to return to the rotation Saturday after a two-month absence while recovering from an elbow issue. ... RH closer John Axford said he went to manager Ron Roenicke last week and told he was ready to return to closing games, and Roenicke agreed. Axford then converted both of his save chances in the sweep of the Cubs. "Maybe that was the kind of the confirmation that I needed," Axford said.

New York: SS Ruben Tejada batted seventh, the first time he has hit lower than first or second in the lineup since May 6. He is 4 for his last 11 but before that was in a 1-for-16 slump. ... OF Jordany Valdespin batted leadoff because manager Terry Collins wanted to shake up his stagnant offense. Valdespin, who came into the game with a .276 on-base percentage, walked and stole a base in his first plate appearance and singled in his second trip to the plate but then was caught stealing second. He finished the game 1-for-3.

Philadelphia: OF Nate Schierholtz (fractured right big toe) ran and took batting practice and said he'll be ready to return by Tuesday. He still is feeling some pain but said he can deal with it. He originally was expected to be out until mid-September. ... LH reliever Jeremy Horst was reinstated from the paternity leave list, and RH reliever Michael Schwimer was optioned to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.).

Pittsburgh: CF Andrew McCutchen has lost 24 points off his batting average since it rose to .373 on Aug. 3. He has hit .234 with just four extra-base hits and 20 strikeouts in his last 19 games and admits he has expanded his strike zone in recent weeks. ... RH reliever Juan Cruz was released three days after he was designated for assignment. Cruz, 33, was 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA and three saves in 43 relief appearances.

St. Louis: LF Matt Holliday's four RBI marked the first time he had driven in a run since Aug. 14. He had been 2-for-30 but said, "I never really felt that far off." ... 1B Lance Berkman (sore knees) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment today at Class AAA Memphis. ... Thursday's paid attendance of 30,343 was the lowest at new Busch Stadium since it opened in 2006.

San Diego: RHP Jason Marquis (fractured left wrist) was placed on the disabled list, and RHP Brad Boxberger, who had just been sent down, was recalled from Class AAA Tucson. Marquis was struck by a line drive Tuesday but stayed in the game and threw 66 more pitches. ... IF Jason Barlett cleared waivers and was released. ... RHP Thad Weber was claimed on waivers from Detroit and optioned to Tucson, and RHP Neil Wagner was designated for assignment.

San Francisco: C Buster Posey was out of the lineup for the second straight game because of a tight right hamstring. The injury isn't considered serious. ... OF Justin Christian was placed on the disabled list because of a sprained left wrist, sustained when he made a diving catch Wednesday. OF Francisco Peguero was called up from Class AAA Fresno, where he was hitting .272 but had a 22-game hitting streak that ended Wednesday.

Washington: SS Ian Desmond scared himself Wednesday when he pulled up lame running down the line in the eighth inning, but he stayed in the game. "My first reaction was to jump off of it before something bad happened," he said. "Once that happened, I ran down the line, it felt fine and I was able to stay in the game." ... X-rays were negative on C Kurt Suzuki's right hand after it was hit by a foul ball. "It's swollen, but it's just a little sore, just the normal stuff after getting hit," he said.
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