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National League team-by-team notebook -- Monday, August 6, 2012

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Arizona: C Henry Blanco (left thumb) was placed on the disabled list one day after he was injured on a play at the plate, and C Wil Nieves was signed to fill Blanco's roster spot. Nieves, a free agent after rejecting an outright assignment by Colorado last weekend, hit .298 with one home run and five RBI in 16 games with the Rockies this season. ... CF Chris Young played in his 850th game with the D-backs on Sunday, breaking a tie with CF Steve Finley for the second most games played in franchise history. LF Luis Gonzalez is the leader with 1,194.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones was not in the lineup because he stayed in Atlanta on Sunday night to deal with family matters. Another reason: He had played five straight days and rarely plays in more than that consecutively because of his ailing knees. ... RH closer Craig Kimbrel went into Monday's game having gotten 108 outs this season, and 65 had come on strikeouts.

Chicago: LHP Brooks Raley, 24, will come up from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa to start tonight's game in place of injured RHP Matt Garza (triceps). Raley was 4-8 with a 3.62 ERA at Iowa but was named the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the month for July. ... 3B Josh Vitters, called up from Iowa on Sunday, was in the lineup for his first major league start Monday. Vitters made his debut Sunday as a pinch hitter.

Cincinnati: 2B Brandon Phillips (left calf) was back in the lineup after missing five games. Phillips, who had lobbied to play over the weekend, politely refused to speak with reporters. "I don't want to say the wrong thing," he said. ... RHP Homer Bailey has allowed 10 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings (10.80 ERA) over his last two starts after going 4-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his previous five starts. He lasted 4 2/3 innings Sunday, his fifth start this season in which he failed to reach five innings.

Colorado: 1B Todd Helton is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday to have a labrum tear in his right hip repaired and was placed on the disabled list. Recovery time is about six months, and Helton, who turns 39 on Aug. 20, opted for the surgery at this point to be ready for spring training and the final season on his contract. IF Chris Nelson was activated after missing 17 games while on the disabled list because of an irregular heartbeat. ... RH reliever Josh Roenicke had pitched 66 1/3 innings, the most of any reliever in the majors, through Sunday and had made 15 appearances of at least two innings. In those 15 games, Roenicke was 1-0 with an 0.97 ERA.

Houston: OF Justin Maxwell had hit six of his 12 homers through Sunday during starts by RHP Lucas Harrell. "Maybe he thinks I should pitch more often," Harrell quipped. ... RHP Bud Norris allowed four runs Sunday, three of them with two outs in his last inning, the sixth. "I feel like I haven't been getting out of jams the whole year," he said.

Los Angeles: OF Tony Gwynn Jr. was designated for assignment, and 1B/OF Jerry Sands was recalled from Class AAA Albuquerque for his second stint with the Dodgers this season. Gwynn's opportunities for playing time decreased with the acquisition of Shane Victorino to play left field. ... IF Luis Cruz went into Monday with 18 RBI in just 27 games this season. That was more RBI than opening-day starters SS Dee Gordon (17 in 78 games) and 3B Juan Uribe (17 in 55 games).

Miami: RF Giancarlo Stanton (right knee surgery) is expected to come off the disabled list and join the Marlins today. In five rehab games with high-A Jupiter (Fla.), Stanton went 5-for-16 (.313) with two home runs and five RBI. ... 1B Carlos Lee has an 11-game hitting streak in which he is 18-for-38 (.474), raising his batting average from .270 to .292. "Carlos is a professional hitter," manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Milwaukee: SS Jean Segura was called up from Class AA Huntsville (Ala.) to take the roster spot of SS Cesar Izturis, who was traded to Washington. Segura, 22, is one of three minor league prospects obtained from the Angels in the trade for RHP Zack Greinke. In eight games at Huntsville, he batted .433 with four RBI and four stolen bases. ... RHP Shaun Marcum (elbow) is scheduled to make a rehab start for low-A (Grand Chute) Wisconsin on Thursday.

New York: OF Jason Bay has just three hits, all singles, in his last 13 games and could begin losing playing time to OFs Mike Baxter and Jordany Valdespin. Bay is batting .154 for the season. ... OF Mike Baxter has not had a hit since July 30, his first day back from a nine-week stay on the disabled list, but has reached base seven times in his last nine plate appearances, with six walks and a hit by pitch. Baxter set a franchise record with five walks in five plate appearances Saturday.

Philadelphia: LHP Cliff Lee has allowed seven home runs in his last three starts and 18 in 19 starts overall this season. In 2011, he allowed 18 home runs in 32 starts. "I have to do a better job of keeping the ball down and in the ballpark (Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia), especially when it's hot here because the ball travels really good," he said. ... LH reliever Raul Valdes (right hip) was activated from the disabled list, and IF Hector Luna was sent to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.).

Pittsburgh: RHP A.J. Burnett can become the Pirates' first 15-game winner since Todd Ritchie in 1999 if he can beat the Dodgers on Friday night. Burnett (14-3) has won 13 of his last 14 decisions. "I've never had an ace before. I've never had a pitcher with the experience he has," manager Clint Hurdle said. ... RHP Jeff Karstens puts his four-game winning streak on the line tonight. Karstens has allowed just 11 runs in his last 39 innings (2.54 ERA).

St. Louis: SS Rafael Furcal (lower back) was in the lineup for only the third time in the last nine games but hit eighth instead of his usual leadoff spot. 2B Daniel Descalso hit first instead. ... RHP Chris Carpenter will travel with the team the rest of the season even though he is out for the year after shoulder surgery. "As much as I enjoy staying home with my wife and kids and spending time with them, this is my job," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You miss being part of the clubhouse and part of the team."

San Diego: 3B Chase Headley, the subject of trade speculation at the non-waiver deadline last week, was 7 for his first 22 with three homers and nine RBI in six games after the deadline passed. He had a career-high 15 homers through Sunday. ... The Padres' first six hits Sunday were all for extra bases, the first time the Padres have opened a game with six straight extra-base hits since June 28, 2004. Nine of the Padres' 11 hits Sunday went for extra bases -- five doubles, a triple and three home runs.

San Francisco: LH reliever Jose Mijares was claimed on waivers from Kansas City, and manager Bruce Bochy said part of the reason the Giants got him was to allow LH reliever Jeremy Affeldt to be used as the closer more. RH Santiago Casilla, who had been the full-time closer, has a blister that gets worse when he pitches more often. ... RF Hunter Pence went 2-for-17 with two RBI in his first four games with the Giants before going 2-for-5 with three RBI on Sunday. "The at-bats I've had, baserunners are everywhere," Pence said.

Washington: SS Cesar Izturis was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee, IF/OF Mark DeRosa (left abdominal strain) was placed on the disabled list and LH reliever Atahualpa Severino was designated for assignment. The Nationals' regular shortstop, Ian Desmond, is recovering from a strained muscle in his left side. ... CF Jayson Werth had at least one hit in six straight games through Sunday and, more important, did not feel any lingering pain from his fractured left wrist. "Everything happened so fast. I went from not being able to swing to being here in 10 days," he said.
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