National League team-by-team notebook -- Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: RHP Josh Collmenter is 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA since the beginning of May, when he was taken out of the rotation after struggling in four April starts. Collmenter has made 23 appearances and six starts since and is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his starts, having given up two runs or fewer in five and one earned run in four. ... 1B Paul Goldschmidt has set his career high for RBI in a game twice in the last 12 weeks, increasing it to five with a three-run home run and two sacrifice flies Tuesday. Goldschmidt had four RBI on July 8.

Atlanta: SS Paul Janish is going to try to rehab his separated left shoulder in hopes of being able to play should the Braves advance to the Division Series. But manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks that's a stretch. Janish might decide to have a surgical procedure on it in the offseason. ... IF/OF Martin Prado and RF Jason Heyward each had a triple Tuesday. It was the first time all season the Braves have had multiple triples in a game.

Chicago: SS Starlin Castro hit his 14th home run and drove in his 77th run Tuesday. Both are career highs. Castro also has set career highs with 12 triples and 25 stolen bases. He is the only player in the major leagues this season with at least 10 homers, 10 triples, 25 stolen bases and 75 RBI. He's the first NL player to do so since the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins in 2007. ... OF Dave Sappelt hit his first major league home run to lead off Tuesday's game. Sappelt became the Cubs' eighth different leadoff hitter this year.

Cincinnati: Manager Dusty Baker spent the afternoon in his office at Great American Ball Park. If all goes well, he'll rejoin the team Monday. Baker suffered a mini-stroke Friday as he was being released from a Chicago-area hospital, where he was being treated for an irregular heartbeat. ... C Ryan Hanigan was back in the lineup. He was given an extra day off Tuesday, two days after being hit in the Adam's apple and right collarbone by a foul tip.

Colorado: 1B Todd Helton, who underwent surgery Aug. 10 to have the torn labrum in his right hip repaired, is optimistic about coming back to play in 2013, the final year of his contract. He is pain-free and getting both hips strengthened before beginning offseason workouts that should have him ready for spring training. ... C Wilin Rosario entered Wednesday with 27 homers, a record for a Rockies rookie, the most among National League catchers and tied for the most among major league catchers. A.J. Pierzysnki of the White Sox also had 27 but with nearly 100 more at-bats (461 to 369).

Houston: Owner Jim Crane said the team is zeroing in on three or four leading managerial candidates and could make a decision as early as Friday. Published reports have identified Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco and Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter also have interviewed. ... RHP Edgar Gonzalez (right hamstring) threw a bullpen session and said he is well enough to make his scheduled start Friday in Milwaukee. "I'm, like, 90 percent healthy," he said. "They will decide, but I think it's for sure that I will pitch Friday. I feel good, wonderful, not just good, super good."

Los Angeles: LHP Clayton Kershaw will start Friday's game as long as his right hip continues to feel OK. "Everything has been totally normal. He's doing everything he would do after any other start through the course of the whole season," manager Don Mattingly said. ... Four regulars were out of the lineup: LF Shane Victorino (sprained left wrist), 2B Mark Ellis (ill), RF Andre Ethier (.143 average vs. Padres starter Clayton Richard) and C A.J. Ellis (had started six of previous seven games).

Miami: OF Justin Ruggiano won't play the rest of the season because of a sprained right shoulder. He has been out since Friday, when he injured the shoulder diving for a ball. ... 2B Donovan Solano on Tuesday became the third player in Marlins history to post a multi-homer game the day he hit his first career home run. Hanley Ramirez did it April 18, 2006, and Tim Hyers hit his first two on June 6, 1999.

Milwaukee: RHP Mike Fiers appears to have run out of gas in a rookie year that began in impressive fashion. In five September starts, Fiers (9-9) has gone 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez hit his 338th career home run as a third baseman Tuesday. The 429-foot drive moved him past Hall of Famer Ron Santo and into sixth place on the all-time list of home runs by third basemen.

New York: LH reliever Robert Carson has a strained left triceps tendon, according to an MRI. Carson, who injured his arm Tuesday, said he initially feared that he would need surgery, which would have affected his availability in 2013. He should be ready for spring training. ... RHP R.A. Dickey said he will not feel "any additional pressure" today when he takes his first crack at a 20th win. Dickey is trying to become the sixth Mets pitcher in history to win 20 games in a season and the first since Frank Viola in 1990.

Philadelphia: RHP Roy Halladay was OK'd for his start Saturday after throwing a nine-minute bullpen session. Halladay was bothered by spasms in his shoulder in his last start but looked much improved Wednesday. ... LF Darin Ruf was given the silent treatment in the dugout, as a prank, for several minutes after hitting his first major league homer Tuesday. "He said that made him feel bad when the bat boy blew him off," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Pittsburgh: 3B Pedro Alvarez's 30 home runs through Tuesday were the most by a National League left-handed hitting third baseman since Robin Ventura hit 30 in 1999 for the Mets. CF Andrew McCutchen also has 30 home runs this season, giving the Pirates two players who have reached that milestone in the same season for the first time since 2001, when Brian Giles homered 37 times and Aramis Ramirez went deep 34 times. ... The Pirates have had a rookie reach double digits in steals each of the last four years: Andrew McCutchen with 22 in 2009, Jose Tabata with 19 in 2010, Chase d'Arnaud with 12 last year and Starling Marte with 10 this year through Tuesday.

St. Louis: RF Carlos Beltran, 3-for-19 in the first five games of the road trip, was not in the lineup. Beltran said last week that he didn't want to come out of the lineup the rest of the season, but he has continued to slump. ... LHP Jaime Garcia had never won in Houston and sported a 13.50 ERA in two starts there this year before his victory Tuesday. "I'm not going to lie to you that I didn't think about it," he said. "Every time I come here it hasn't been good."

San Diego: RH Huston Street gave up two runs in two innings in his first two save situations after he was activated Friday, but he got the save in both to run his record for the season to 23-for-23. "I'd like to make it not quite so interesting," he said. "I don't like to admit there is some rust, but there is some rust." ... The Padres opened the season 2-8 largely because they were 1-5 against the Dodgers. From that point through Tuesday, the Padres were 72-72, the Dodgers 70-74.

San Francisco: C Hector Sanchez was Tuesday's catcher for RHP Tim Lincecum, the latest sign Sanchez would catch Lincecum in the postseason. Lincecum has just one more regular-season start, and it seems if Buster Posey hasn't caught Lincecum much lately, he probably wouldn't catch him in the postseason. ... Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt has five home runs in 12 at-bats against RHP Tim Lincecum. "He's just kind of got my number right now. I haven't found a way of consistently getting him out," Lincecum said after giving up homer No. 5 Tuesday.

Washington: 2B Danny Espinosa was held out of the lineup. The Washington Post reported that manager Davey Johnson said Espinosa had been "pressing" recently, and Johnson wanted to give him a break. ... 1B Adam LaRoche (98 RBI) and 3B Ryan Zimmerman (94 RBI) were closing in on the 100-RBI plateau going into Wednesday. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn are the only other Nationals to ever reach that milestone in a season. LaRoche did it with Arizona (100 RBI) in 2010.

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