National League team-by-team notebook -- Thursday, September 20, 2011

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: RHP Trevor Cahill (12-11) became one of five pitchers to have at least 10 victories and 30 starts in their first four major league seasons. The others: Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (2001-04), New York Giants RHP Larry Jansen (1947-50), New York Mets RHP Tom Seaver (1967-70) and Milwaukee LHP Ted Higuera (1985-88). ... 1B Paul Goldschmidt is the fifth player in franchise history to hit 40 doubles in a season. Goldschmidt joined Luis Gonzalez (five times), Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Chad Tracy. Gonzalez has the franchise record with 52 doubles in 2006.

Atlanta: RH closer Craig Kimbrel on Wednesday did not have a strikeout in an outing for just the second time in 41 appearances. But he still escaped a second-and-third, two-out jam in the ninth to record his 38th save. ... SS Andrelton Simmons (left shoulder) hopes to return to the lineup tonight. He missed his second straight game Wednesday.

Chicago: LF Alfonso Soriano has at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the third time and also has six seasons of at least 30 homers, two with the Cubs (2007 and 2012). "I'm very proud of myself, working hard," he said. "Always I say, if I'm healthy, my numbers are there." ... 3B Luis Valbuena wandered off second base and was fooling around with his batting gloves when Reds pitcher Mike Leake picked him off Wednesday. "I got no idea," said manager Dale Sveum, who was clearly irritated. "Obviously, he went to sleep."

Cincinnati: Manager Dusty Baker spent his second night in a Chicago-area hospital after undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat. Baker was scheduled to fly back to Cincinnati this morning and may or may not manage tonight's game. "Probably not," GM Walt Jocketty said. ... LF Ryan Ludwick was OK after leaving Wednesday's game with tightness in his left groin. "He's fine," acting manager Chris Speier said. "We're in very enviable position. We're able to sit him for a game or two."

Colorado: LF Carlos Gonzalez did not take the field in the bottom of the second because of left hamstring tightness. He grounded into a double play in his lone at-bat in the first and didn't look comfortable running down the line. ... Wilin Rosario played first base, his first career start at any position other than catcher. He twice was unable to make a two-out play, once on a routine popup and another on a ball in the dirt, allowing two runs to score.

Houston: IF Marwin Gonzalez started at shortstop, his first action since injuring his ankle on Aug. 30. "He's not 100 percent running right now, but defensively he says he can move out there," manager Tony DeFrancesco said. ... SS Tyler Greene was feeling better after getting a scare Wednesday with what was believed to be a cartilage problem in his right knee. "For whatever reason, it got locked up and I wasn't able to straighten it," Greene said.

Los Angeles: LH reliever Scott Elbert had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on Wednesday in Los Angeles to clean up scar tissue in the back of Elbert's left elbow. He is expected to begin throwing again in six to eight weeks. ... 1B Adrian Gonzalez had five doubles in a seven-game stretch and had eight doubles in 23 games as a Dodger through Wednesday. That gave Gonzalez 45 doubles, one shy of his career high.

Miami: C Rob Brantly, who takes a nine-game hitting streak into Friday, needs a hit in his next game to tie the Marlins' record for a catcher. Four catchers have hit in 10 straight games, most recently John Baker in 2010. ... SS Jose Reyes returns to New York this weekend for the last time this year. He is batting .250 with a homer, two RBI, five stolen bases and eight runs scored in 12 games against his former team this year.

Milwaukee: 1B Corey Hart (plantar fascia in left foot) made his first start since Sept. 9 and played 4 1/2 innings, which is what the Brewers planned. "I'll never know if I can do it if I don't get out there," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before the game. ... SS Jean Segura is looking more and more comfortable in the big leagues after being summoned in August from Class AA at age 22. Segura doubled and tripled Wednesday and was batting .460 over his last nine games.

New York: RHP R.A. Dickey's next start, previously scheduled for Sunday, was switched to Saturday so he could get one more home start before the end of the season, manager Terry Collins said. The 18-game winner also will start the home finale against Pittsburgh on Thursday, giving him a shot to reach the 20-win milestone at Citi Field. ... LH reliever Josh Edgin will be shut down after his next appearance, Collins said. The rookie had appeared in 74 games combined in the majors and minors going into Thursday.

Philadelphia: 1B Ryan Howard was hitting .172 this month and hadn't had a home run in 17 games when he connected on the game-winner Wednesday. He admitted his lengthy rehab from left Achilles' surgery was eating him up mentally. "I'm a competitor," he said. "I know I'm better than what shows, and it gets frustrating at times and sometimes you try to do more than what you're capable of doing." ... Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd like to see the Phillies add a second, proven reliever to put alongside RH closer Jonathan Papelbon in 2013. "That's what it takes to be a first-class team," he said.

Pittsburgh: RHP Jeff Karstens pitched three innings in relief and allowed one run on two hits Wednesday. It was the first time he had pitched since leaving his Aug. 31 start at Milwaukee because of left hip soreness. Manager Clint Hurdle has not ruled out returning Karstens to the rotation. ... RHP Kyle McPherson became the 10th different pitcher to start a game for the Pirates this season when he faced Milwaukee on Wednesday night. It was the first major league start for the rookie, who had a 1.54 ERA in seven relief appearances. He took the loss.

St. Louis: RHP Lance Lynn underwent what manager Mike Matheny called a "major overhaul" before his recent return to the rotation. "He spent a lot of time with Chris Carpenter, talking about the finer points of your demeanor, of your tempo, how you hold yourself on the mound," Matheny said. "He didn't go down to the bullpen and sulk. He tried to figure out how to make himself better." ... RHP Jake Westbrook (strained right side) said he felt no discomfort while working at "60 to 70 percent" in a bullpen session Wednesday and planned to repeat the process today. "It felt better than I thought it was going to," he said.

San Diego: RHP Andrew Cashner won't pitch again in 2012 because of a strained tendon behind his right armpit. Cashner's velocity on his fastball was off by five to eight miles per hours in his two starts since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 7. Cashner had been on the DL since injuring his latissimus dorsi July 3. ... RHP Edinson Volquez allowed four runs in six innings Wednesday but was pleased because he didn't issue a walk for the first time this season. "It's about time," he said.

San Francisco: Manager Bruce Bochy wore a 49ers hat during his pregame media session to poke fun at the NFL's threat to fine 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for wearing a Giants cap. "We're just having a little fun with this," Bochy said. "We want to show our support for the 49ers just like Alex Smith shows his support for us." ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, benched for a game last week because of a slump, went 8-for-16 in the four-game series against the Rockies and had three home runs. Before that, his last homer was

Washington: 3B Ryan Zimmerman was back in the lineup after coming out early from the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader. Zimmerman received another cortisone shot in his sore shoulder Wednesday but played afterward until manager Davey Johnson pulled him in the second game. ... 2B Danny Espinosa also returned to the lineup after he, too, got a cortisone shot in a shoulder. An MRI earlier this week showed no major damage.

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