National League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: 1B Paul Goldschmidt took out Dodgers 2B Jerry Hairston Jr. with a hard slide while attempting to break up a possible double play Wednesday, and it created some bad blood. Hairston left the game an inning later because of a bruised right shin. "That was a very, very dirty play," Hairston told Goldschmidt's response: "You are not trying to hurt anyone, but you are in there so he can't get the throw off." ... C Miguel Montero did some work in the batting cage to adjust his hitting approach, putting more of a load on his back leg, and has 14 hits in his last 30 at-bats with four home runs and 12 RBI.

Atlanta: IF/OF Martin Prado got the start off and was replaced in left field by newly acquired OF Reed Johnson. Prado has started 101 games at four different positions and was hitting .214 (6-for-28) for the homestand through Wednesday. ... LHP Paul Maholm, acquired from the Cubs this week, started collecting Tom Glavine baseball cards when he was seven years old, and he's thinking he might have them autographed now that he'll be seeing Glavine, who's part of the Braves' broadcasting team.

Chicago: Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger will split the catching duties in the wake of C Geovany Soto being traded to Texas this week. Clevenger is a left-handed batter, while Castillo hits from the right side. Castillo is considered the better defender. "I think Clevenger and Castillo have to step up in the catcher's role because they're a big part of our future," manager Dale Sveum said. ... SS Starlin Castro has reached a career best in home runs (11) and, after slumping for most of July, has gone 10-for-26 in the last week.

Cincinnati: 2B Brandon Phillips (left calf) missed his second straight game but hopes to be back in the lineup tonight for the start of the key series against second-place Pittsburgh. ... 1B Joey Votto (left knee surgery) will not be activated for the Pittsburgh series. Votto took groundballs at first base on the field Thursday and also hit in the cages, but he has yet to hit on the field.

Colorado: SS Josh Rutledge on Wednesday became the fourth Rockies rookie and second this year to homer in three straight games. C Wilin Rosario homered in three straight games June 29-July 2. The others: SS Troy Tulowitzki in 2007 and OF Jorge Piedra in 2005. ... OF Andrew Brown was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs to make room on the roster for RHP Alex White, who was called up to start Thursday's game. ... LF Carlos Gonzalez's 29-game home hitting streak ended Wednesday. He fell one game shy of the club record.

Houston: SS Jed Lowrie was fitted for a new leg brace that increases his range of motion. Lowrie has injuries to his knee, ankle and a nerve in his lower leg, but the Astros believe he will return this year. ... OF Jordan Schafer will return to Atlanta this weekend for the first time since the Braves traded him at the 2011 deadline following a tumultuous tenure in the organization. "This has been a rough year for all of us in Houston, but at the end of the day life is pretty damn outstanding," he tweeted.

Los Angeles: OF Yasiel Puig went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Wednesday as the DH for the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers. It was the first pro game for the 21-year old Cuban outfielder, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract on June 29. ... CF Matt Kemp is hitting .545 (12-for-22) with four extra-base hits during his five-game hitting streak, his fourth streak of at least five games this season. Since the All-Star break, Kemp is hitting .350 (28-for-80) with eight extra-base hits in 18 games.

Miami: CF Justin Ruggiano (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight day, and OF Bryan Petersen (sprained right shoulder) was out as well. Ruggiano tweaked his back throwing a ball back to the infield after a rain delay Tuesday, and Petersen was injured trying to make a diving catch Wednesday. ... RF Giancarlo Stanton (right knee surgery) hopes to return to the lineup next week. He started a rehab assignment

Milwaukee: CF Carlos Gomez has taken away playing time from CF Nyjer Morgan in what originally was slated to be a platoon at that position. Gomez has batted .351 over his last 10 games with four home runs and 10 RBI. ... 2B Rickie Weeks batted below .200 for most of the season but finally has gotten hot. Weeks, who was hitting .152 on May 27, has boosted his average to .212, the highest it has been since he was hitting .222 on April 18.

New York: The Mets have changed course and are getting set to pitch RHP R.A. Dickey every fourth day instead of every fifth day. "It's going to happen," manager Terry Collins told ... RH closer Frank Francisco (strained left side) is set to rejoin the Mets tonight. ... LHP Johan Santana threw a complete bullpen session in Port St. Lucie, Fla., his first since spraining his right ankle last month. Santana will throw off a mound again on Sunday and is in line to return to the Mets next week. ... CF Andres Torres was back in the lineup after a two-game absence to rest his injured right hand.

Philadelphia: 1B Ryan Howard was benched because he was 3 for his last 22 with 14 strikeouts and the Nationals had LHP Ross Detwiler on the mound. "I'm in a funk," Howard told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And there ain't no point in trying to hide it. Right now I'm not seeing the ball. I'm not comfortable." ... OF Nate Schierholtz, who said he didn't get enough of an opportunity in San Francisco before the Giants traded him to Philadelphia, hit the game-winning home run and made a critical sliding catch Wednesday. "I'm excited to be here," he said.

Pittsburgh: RH reliever Jared Hughes leads NL rookies with 43 appearances while allowing only one of 20 inherited runners to score. He has given up only one run in his last 13 innings, spanning 13 appearances. ... LF Starling Marte has batted leadoff in all seven games since being recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and is hitting .250 with two home runs, four RBI and two stolen bases. However, he has yet to draw a walk and has a .242 on-base percentage.

St. Louis: 1B Lance Berkman, who had sat out the previous three starts, all against left-handed pitching, returned to the Cardinals' lineup on Thursday night against Colorado RHP Alex White. ... RH reliever Edward Mujica, who joined the Cardinals this week after being acquired from Miami, said he didn't think he'd be traded and had to explain it to his wife, who just gave birth to a daughter three weeks ago. "That's part of the business. I take it like that. But my wife -- I don't think she took it like that," he said.

San Diego: C Eddy Rodriquez, 26, promoted from high-A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) on Tuesday after C Yasmani Grandal went on the disabled list, made his major league debut and homered in his first plate appearance. ... 3B Chase Headley set a career best with his 13th homer of the season Wednesday. His previous high was 12, set in 2009. Headley has five homers and 15 RBI in his last 19 games.

San Francisco: C Hector Sanchez (left knee) and RH reliever Shane Loux (neck) were activated from the disabled list, and C Eli Whiteside and OF Justin Christian were sent down to Class AAA Fresno. ... Manager Bruce Bochy said he expects 3B/1B Pablo Sandoval (left hamstring) to be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible Aug. 9, but Bochy isn't he'll put him back at first base. Sandoval was injured doing the splits to take a throw.

Washington: RF Jayson Werth (broken left wrist) was activated from the 60-day disabled list and was in the lineup, and RH reliever Henry Rodriguez (lower back strain) was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who had missed the previous two starts because of back problems, was back in the lineup. He came into Wednesday's game as a pinch hitter and played an inning at third.

What to Read Next