National League notebook -- Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: RHP Trevor Cahill has won his last four starts and has a 2.45 ERA in that span, but he's still only 6-5 for the season with a 3.47 ERA. He won five in a row with Oakland from April 17 to May 9 last year. ... RH reliever David Hernandez on Wednesday struck out the side in his one inning for the fifth time in 32 appearances this season. He got all three hitters with two-strike breaking balls.

Atlanta: RHP Brandon Beachy underwent successful Tommy John elbow surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews. Beachy is expected to be out for 11-13 months. ... RHP Jair Jurrjens was recalled from Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and will take Beachy's spot in the rotation. Jurrjens was sent down after starting the season 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA. He was 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 starts for Gwinnett.

Chicago: RHP Jeff Samardzija will be trying to break a three-game losing streak when he starts tonight at Arizona. Samardzija has not won since May 29, when he beat San Diego to run his record to 5-3 with a 3.09 ERA. He's now at 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA. ... LF Alfonso Soriano has reached base in 16 consecutive road games. He's 18-for-60 (.300) in that span.

Cincinnati: RHP Bronson Arroyo has the fifth lowest walk rate per nine innings (1.47) of any starter in the majors, but he walked two in four innings Wednesday. Both proceeded Asdrubal Cabrera's three-run home run. ... CF Drew Stubbs (strained muscle in left side) is scheduled to begin a short rehab assignment for low-A Dayton (Ohio) today. He went there because Class AAA Louisville is on the road.

Colorado: SS Troy Tulowitzki underwent successful arthroscopic surgery in Philadelphia for removal of scar tissue irritating a nerve in his left groin. Tulowitzki will be out at least six weeks, but the Rockies are planning on an eight-week absence. ... RH closer Rafael Betancourt had not allowed a run on the road this season before Wednesday, when he blew a save and took the loss as he yielded two runs, one earned, in the ninth inning at Philadelphia.

Houston: RHP Jordan Lyles said teammate Wandy Rodriguez was the inspiration for rediscovering his curveball. "He's got good spin on it, so I walked over to Wandy and started to talking to him and seeing how he gripped it and what he was thinking about when he was throwing it," Lyles said. ... OF Fernando Martinez was added to the Class AAA Oklahoma City roster on a rehab assignment one day earlier than expected after he passed his concussion tests. Martinez is eligible to return from the seven-day disabled list as soon as he's ready.

Los Angeles: LHP Clayton Kershaw picked off Oakland's Coco Crisp in the first inning, his major league-leading fifth pickoff of the season. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Kershaw is tied with Rays RHP James Shields for the most pickoffs in baseball, with 14. ... RF Andre Ethier went 0-for-3 against A's LHP Travis Blackley and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats against lefties. He is 2-for-29 with 14 strikeouts against lefties since June 2.

Miami: LH reliever Mike Dunn was recalled from Class AAA New Orleans, and RH reliever Chris Hatcher was sent down after throwing 55 pitches Wednesday and giving up a grand slam. ... RF Giancarlo Stanton has remained in the lineup despite minor soreness in his right wrist, the result of getting hit by a pitch Tuesday. He was 1-for-19 on the road trip going into Thursday.

Milwaukee: RH reliever Mike McClendon was recalled from Class AAA Nashville for the third time this season. The Brewers' bullpen has been overworked and thinned by injuries. ... C Martin Maldonado has hit five homers, and the last four have come with two out and the score tied or the Brewers trailing. Before he was called up to the Brewers in late May, he had four homers for Class AAA Nashville but was hitting only .198.

New York: SS Ronny Cedeno (left calf) completed his rehab assignment at Class AAA Buffalo and is expected to be activated today. He is likely to assume the starting shortstop duties until Ruben Tejada is also ready to return from the disabled list. ... 3B David Wright is hitting .366 during his 11-game hitting streak and holds a .420 batting average during the first inning of games. Wright, Baltimore's Adam Jones and San Francisco's Angel Pagan are the only big leaguers with three separate hitting streaks of 10 games or more this season.

Philadelphia: RHP Joe Blanton has allowed at least five runs in six of his last seven starts and has given up 15 home runs in that span. Wednesday, he surrendered three home runs in the first four innings but then retired 11 straight to end his night. "I feel fine about the way I threw the ball," he said. ... C Carlos Ruiz had been hit by a pitch a majors-leading 11 times this season before Thursday. His previous career high was 10 last year.

Pittsburgh: RH reliever Daniel McCutchen, on the disabled list since May 13 because of a strained muscle in his side, was activated and optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis. He'll continue to be used in long relief. ... SS Jordy Mercer, the Pirates' top infield prospect, has gotten just nine at-bats since his May 29 recall, which is contrary to the way management has handled nearly every other prospect. "It is a situation we'll have to address at some point," GM Neal Huntington said.

St. Louis: SS Rafael Furcal, after getting just two hits in 39 at-bats, has four in his last seven at-bats over the last two games. "You don't see a guy hitting in 162 straight games," he said. "It's a long season." ... The Cardinals still lead the NL in batting average (.273) and in on-base percentage (.336) and are second in runs scored (336), but they have scored three runs or fewer in 10 of their last 12 games, all of which have been against the AL. In one of the games they scored three runs, it took them 15 innings and five hours to do it.

San Diego: RHP Anthony Bass hit a two-run single off Texas RHP Yu Darvish on Wednesday in addition to allowing only one run on three hits and a walk over five innings before leaving the game because of a sore shoulder. Bass has five RBI in 28 at-bats, the second highest RBI-to-AB ratio for the Padres. ... After allowing no runs while recording five saves in his first 10 outings, RH reliever Dale Thayer has a 13.49 ERA over his last 10 outings. He has given up 13 runs on 13 hits and four walks in 8 2/3 innings.

San Francisco: 1B Aubrey Huff can come off the disabled list Tuesday, but manager Bruce Bochy said it's no guarantee he'd rejoin the Giants that early. Huff's health is improving after he sprained his right knee jumping on the field to celebrate Matt Cain's perfect game, but there are other factors. One is that 1B Brandon Belt has secured the everyday job and might feel more at ease without any competition from Huff. ... LHP Dan Runzler (strained muscle in left side) was elevated from high-A San Jose to Class AAA Fresno to resume his rehab. Bochy said the Giants are eager to bring back Runzler to give the team another lefty in the bullpen.

Washington: RHP Stephen Strasburg is the first Nationals starter to register six consecutive victories since Livan Hernandez from April 24 to May 9, 2005. Strasburg's 10-strikeout game Wednesday marked the sixth he has reached double digits in 31 career starts. ... RH closer Drew Storen (elbow surgery) is scheduled to throw live batting practice today. In his latest bullpen session Wednesday, he threw at 85 to 90 percent and said he had no pain.

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