National League team-by-team notebook -- Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: 1B Paul Goldschmidt and 2B Aaron Hill became the third pair of Diamondbacks teammates to have 40 doubles in the same season when Hill doubled in the seventh inning Sunday. Goldschmidt (42) and Hill join LF Luis Gonzalez and 3B Chad Tracy (2006) and SS Stephen Drew and CF Chris Young (2008). ... PH Mike Jacobs' run-scoring single in the eighth inning Sunday was his first hit since he got a hit for the Mets on April 17, 2010, at St. Louis.

Atlanta: RHP Kris Medlen will start the Oct. 5 wild-card game, assuming the Braves are in it. Manager Fredi Gonzalez will adjust the rotation to have Medlen on track for the start, flipping Medlen and LHP Paul Maholm. Medlen will start Tuesday and Maholm on Wednesday vs. the Marlins. ... CF Michael Bourn jammed his left thumb sliding into second base headfirst in an 8-2 win over the Phillies on Saturday. No X-rays were taken, but trainer Jeff Porter determined there was no fracture or torn ligaments. Bourn sat out Sunday, and the team is off Monday.

Chicago: RH closer Carlos Marmol had his streak of saves snapped at 19 when he blew a lead Saturday. Marmol had given up only one run during the streak. "I don't care about it," he said. "When I go out there, I don't think about numbers. I think about getting people out." ... LF Alfonso Soriano recorded his career-best 105th RBI with a solo home run Sunday against the Cardinals. He had 104 RBI in 2005 with Texas. The last Cub with more RBI in a season was 1B Derrek Lee, who had 111 in 2009.

Cincinnati: LH closer Aroldis Chapman's appearance Saturday was his first since Sept. 10. Chapman, back from a fatigued left shoulder, reached 99 mph while pitching a scoreless inning in a non-save situation. Acting manager Chris Speier had hoped to ease Chapman back to action in a low-pressure situation. ... RHP Mat Latos was brilliant in Saturday's division clincher, throwing eight shutout innings. No Dodgers runner got past first base.

Colorado: RH reliever Matt Belisle made his career-high 77th appearance Sunday, when he blew a lead and took the loss. The club record is 79 appearances by Todd Jones in 2002 and Jose Mesa in 2006. ... C Wilin Rosario hit his 26th homer Saturday, a record for a Rockies rookie. He had been tied with 1B Todd Helton, who hit 25 homers in 1998.

Houston: RHP Bud Norris is questionable for Wednesday's start as his flu symptoms and blister problems linger. "He has to be healthy physically, and we have to make sure the flu is out, all his conditions are out and he'll be fine to pitch the rest of the season," manager Tony DeFrancesco said. ... LHP Dallas Keuchel earned an endorsement from DeFrancesco after allowing two runs in 16 1/3 innings during his three September starts. "Hopefully he can be a big part of the rotation next year," DeFrancesco said.

Los Angeles: LHP Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound Sunday night, one week after he was scratched from a start against the Cardinals due to a right hip impingement. Kershaw, who threw a bullpen session Friday, was told by doctors he could continue to pitch without further damage to the hip. "I've never seen anybody quite like him," manager Don Mattingly said. ... RH reliever Jamey Wright on Saturday issued his first walk since Aug. 26, after facing 53 batters without a base on balls. Wright allowed three runs, which snapped a string of 13 scoreless appearances.

Miami: LH reliever Wade LeBlanc went to the bullpen, signaling a return to a five-man rotation. LeBlanc had been slated to start Tuesday at Atlanta, but RHP Nathan Eovaldi will start as the rest of the rotation is moved up a day. Pitching coach Randy St. Claire said the starters struggled to stay sharp in the six-man rotation. ... The team recalled OF Scott Cousins from Class AAA New Orleans (Metairie, La.) to help shore up outfield depth. LF Justin Ruggiano is out with a sprained right shoulder, RF Giancarlo Stanton has a strained muscle on his left side, and OF Austin Kearns has a sore back.

Milwaukee: CF Logan Schafer made his first major league start. CF Carlos Gomez had a sore quadriceps and foot, and manager Ron Roenicke thought it was a good day to play Schafer, who responded with a single and an RBI double before Gomez batted for him in the sixth inning. ... LF Ryan Braun is playing with several nagging injuries, including a left groin strain. Braun probably will have to curtail his running after reaching 29 stolen bases Friday. He scored two runs Sunday to get to 100 RBI and 100 runs for the fourth consecutive season, the only major-leaguer to do so.

New York: RH closer Frank Francisco, who hasn't pitched in a week, mostly due to a sore right elbow, will be shut down for a few more days. Manager Terry Collins said Francisco told him before Saturday's game that he had again felt a problem with the elbow. Collins said team doctors reported no structural damage and think it's tendinitis; they prescribed medicine and rest. ... 3B David Wright snapped an 0-for-8 string with a home run in his first at-bat Sunday, his 19th homer of the season. Wright is three hits from tying Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418.

Philadelphia: 1B Ryan Howard's streak of four games with a home run ended Sunday, but Saturday he hit his 300th home run in his 1,093rd game. In baseball history, only Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner got there faster (1,087 games). ... RHP Roy Halladay was knocked out of his start Saturday after just 1 2/3 innings. Halladay gave up seven runs on five hits and three walks. Halladay, who missed two months in the middle of the season with a right shoulder injury, said he was examined by doctors Friday for spasms in the same area. He expects to make his last two starts.

Pittsburgh: GM Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he is not concerned about his job security despite a second consecutive collapse in August and September. The Pirates are 33-71 after July 31 in the last two seasons. Huntington has two years remaining on the three-year contract he signed last December. ... Kevin McClatchy, the Pirates' principal owner from 1986 to 1996, revealed to the New York Times that he is gay. McClatchy said it was difficult to hide his sexuality during his 11 years with the Pirates but feared it might be detrimental to the team if he came out.

St. Louis: RHP Jake Westbrook, who has a strained right side muscle, probably is out for the rest of the regular season. Westbrook, a 13-game winner, was injured Sept. 8 and had to stop a bullpen session Saturday in Chicago. "It just hasn't gotten better," he said. ... C Yadier Molina, who suffered lower back spasms Saturday while trying to avoid a pitch in the ninth inning, did not start Sunday even though he said he felt a lot better.

San Diego: C Yasmani Grandal returned to the lineup Sunday after taking a wicked foul tip off his chin Friday. Grandal also decided to switch to the hockey-style catching mask. If Grandal starts five of the last nine games, the Padres will have had three catchers start at least 50 games this season. Nick Hundley made 56 starts, John Baker has made 50 starts and rookie Grandal started his 45th game Sunday. ... OF Chris Denorfia is hitting .357 this season as the Padres' leadoff hitter.

San Francisco: LHP Barry Zito, who was left off the 2010 playoff roster, appears to have a spot on the 2012 postseason roster. Manager Bruce Bochy said the plan is for all five starters to make the roster. Presumably, Zito or RHP Ryan Vogelsong will be the No. 4 starter. "I'm not sure what's going to happen," Zito said. "It's hard to process things right now because I'm getting ready for a ballgame Wednesday and another in L.A." ... LHP Madison Bumgarner won Saturday's division clincher, his team-leading 16th win.

Washington: RH reliever Drew Storen could reclaim the closer role by continuing his consistent pitching in his next two appearances. While RH reliever Tyler Clippard has allowed eight runs in his last seven games, Storen has not allowed an earned run in 10 outings. Manager Davey Johnson said he would use each pitcher based on matchups and not name a closer. ... With a 10-4 victory Saturday over the Brewers, LHP Gio Gonzalez became major league baseball's first 20-game winner and the first to do it for a D.C. team since Bob Porterfield for the 1953 Senators.

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