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National League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, September 6, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: C Miguel Montero has hit safely in 12 consecutive road games and has RBI in three of his four last games on the current 10-game road trip. He is expected to start all three games against San Diego over the weekend. "We made a pact," manager Kirk Gibson. "If he sat out (Aug. 29), he could play all the games on the trip." Montero has played the first seven. ... 1B Paul Goldschmidt led all first basemen in the majors with 15 stolen bases through Wednesday. Goldschmidt, who does extensive film work in studying opposing pitchers, has been thrown out twice.

Atlanta: IF/OF Martin Prado was 2-for-4 for his team-leading 51st multi-hit game. That total ranks second in the NL behind only suspended Giants OF Melky Cabrera's 52. ... RHP Ben Sheets has just begun long-tossing, and manager Fredi Gonzalez says that with three off days in the schedule and five starters pitching well or reasonably well, there's no reason to rush Sheets back.

Chicago: LF Alfonso Soriano is one of six players in major league history to reach at least 350 home runs, 400 doubles, 250 stolen bases, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 runs scored, joining Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, Gary Sheffield, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. ... Manager Dale Sveum was ejected from a game for the fourth time this year Wednesday. He was tossed by home-plate umpire Larry Vanover after apparently yelling out toward Vanover over some ball-and-strike calls. "I just don't think that's right when you're looking at our dugout for no apparent reason at all," Sveum said, referring to the umpire.

Cincinnati: RF Jay Bruce is hitting .476 with five home runs and 12 RBI in his last six games and is third in the league in home runs (32) and RBI (93). "I don't think anyone's expectation of me outdo my expectations," he said. "I think I'm capable of so much more." ... RH reliever Sam LeCure pitched two perfect innings Wednesday. He was not allowed a run in five straight appearances over six innings.

Colorado: 1B Jordan Pacheco went 0-for-2 with two walks, ending his career-high hitting streak at 14 games. It was the longest hitting streak by a Rockies player this season and the second longest by a rookie this season. Milwaukee's Norichika Aoki had a 15-game hitting streak from June 23 to July 8. ... Troy Tulowitzki (left groin surgery) played five innings at shortstop Wednesday for Class AA Tulsa in a playoff game. He went 1-for-3 and started a double play. He was scheduled to play seven innings Thursday and pinch hit today. Where he plays after that will depend on whether the Rockies have an affiliate(s) in the playoffs.

Houston: LHP Fernando Abad will remain a member of the rotation despite giving up 12 runs in 12 1/3 innings over his three starts. "We're going to go with a six-man rotation, and he's going to stay in the rotation," manager Tony DeFrancesco said. ... 3B Brandon Laird received the baseball and the lineup card from Wednesday's game after he connected on his first major league home run. "Luckily it flew into our bullpen, so I got it," Laird said of the souvenir baseball.

Los Angeles: RH reliever Scott Elbert (elbow) threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since getting placed on the disabled list, and he is scheduled to throw again today. Barring any setbacks, he could return as soon as Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to be activated. ... RH reliever Jamey Wright retired all 17 batters he faced (over 5 2/3 innings) during the seven-game homestand. Wright is 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 24 appearances at Dodger Stadium.

Miami: RH reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo underwent successful Tommy John surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews. He is a free agent at the end of the season but likely will not pitch again until 2014. ... C John Buck has been making the most of his at-bats lately even though he is losing playing time to rookie C Rob Brantly. Buck is batting just .201 on the season, but he goes into tonight hitting .323 (21 for 65) since August.

Milwaukee: 3B Aramis Ramirez (back) was out of the lineup. He exited the game Wednesday in the ninth inning with that issue and wasn't any better on short rest. IF Jeff Bianchi started in his place. ... IF Taylor Green, not among the original group of September call-ups from the minors, was told to join the team today. The Brewers were thin at third base with Ramirez out.

New York: RHP R.A. Dickey signed a three-book deal to write children's books with the same parent company that published his memoir this year, according to Publishers Weekly. ... LH reliever Tim Byrdak announced via Twitter that his two surgeries went well. Byrdak underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder Wednesday and also had a procedure to fix torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee.

Philadelphia: RH closer Jonathan Papelbon leads all major league pitchers with 52 games finished but also has allowed seven home runs, tying his career high set in 2010. ... CF John Mayberry Jr. hit safely in five of six games (.391, 9-for-23, two home runs) on the Phillies' just completed road trip. Mayberry is hitting .308 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 33 games since the Phils traded OFs Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence.

Pittsburgh: IF Josh Harrison is hitless in his last 10 at-bats and has missed the chance to get some extra playing time with 2B Neil Walker missing the last nine games with lower back tightness. Harrison started the first five games after Walker was hurt but has since yielded to rookie 2B Brock Holt, whose contract was purchased from Indianapolis on Saturday and has gone 7-for-16 in the last four games as the leadoff hitter. ... C Michael McKenry is 7-for-22 (.318) with six RBI in his last nine games. He had been 2-for-28 (.071) in his previous 10 games.

St. Louis: RHP Kyle Lohse, who has had two straight no-decisions and hasn't made it through six innings in either one of them, again will bid for his 15th victory tonight. Lohse's 14-2 mark at this stage of the season is second in team history only to Ted Wilks, who was 14-1 in 1944 before finishing at 15-2. ... RH reliever Edward Mujica hasn't allowed a run since he was obtained from Miami on July 31. Mujica has 16 consecutive scoreless outings covering 15 1/3 innings, mostly working the seventh inning. He has had 11 holds in those 16 games.

San Diego: OF Chris Denorfia is the sixth Padre to get a contract extension this season. Liking the "niche" he has found with the Padres, Denorfia on Wednesday accepted a two-season extension that will pay him $2 million in 2013 and $2.25 million in 2014. He made $1.165 million this season. ... SS Everth Cabrera has been successful on 28 of 29 steal attempts this season. He stole two more bases Wednesday.

San Francisco: LF Xavier Nady's MRI results will be revealed today. He hurt his left hamstring chasing a ball in the seventh inning Wednesday, and manager Bruce Bochy called it a "setback." ... RHP Tim Lincecuum will start Friday in the opener of the Giants' biggest series of the year, three games against the Dodgers. This is Lincecum's worst season, but the Giants have won eight of his last 14 starts after going 2-12 in his first 14 starts. ...

Washington: LH reliever Sean Burnett (elbow) is scheduled to play catch Saturday and could pitch in a game as soon as Monday, manager Davey Johnson said. Burnett, who hasn't pitched since Sunday, also had some tightness in the elbow in July. ... 2B Danny Espinosa, who was hitting .226 on July 1, told masnsports.com that his hot streak since then coincides with feeling more relaxed and not critiquing his at-bats as much. He said he spent too much time in the video room early in the season.

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