National League team-by-team notebook -- Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: CF Chris Young (right quadriceps) started in center field for the first time since he was injured Sept. 3. ... OF Adam Eaton made his 11th straight start since being promoted from Class AAA Reno on Sept. 4, but he was in left field for first time. He had played center field while Young was out. "I want to see the difference in our lineup when he is in there," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones continues to get honored in every park he visits for the last time, and he's getting a little emotional about it. "It's starting to hit home now," he said. "I know I've had a lot of last trips into cities this year, but the ones in the (NL) East are that much more special because of the history with the Mets, the Marlins, the Nationals and the Phillies. It's starting to get to me a bit." ... 2B Dan Uggla, a former Marlin, had three homers in 21 at-bats at Marlins Park after his homer Monday.

Chicago: 2B Darwin Barney went into Tuesday having gone 48 plate appearances without striking out, the longest current stretch in the majors. He also is a Gold Glove candidate. "He's a game changer defensively, the way he positions, the way he turns double plays," manager Dale Sveum said. "The offense, I think is just going to get better and better." ... Cubs pitchers struck out a season-high 15 batters in Monday night's game against the Pirates. The game, which was delayed three hours and 37 minutes by rain, ended at 1:28 a.m., the latest finish in Wrigley Field history.

Cincinnati: LH Aroldis Chapman (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today. He's not expected to pitch again until at least this weekend. ... LH reliever Tony Cingrani, who began the season in Class A, has made it all the way to the majors and has a shot at the playoff roster. "I was pretty surprised to get the call in my first full season," said Cingrani, the Reds' third-round draft pick in 2011. "It's been a little unbelievable, but I've been working and it's paid off."

Colorado: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery) will make his first start of the season Thursday. LHP Drew Pomeranz, who had been scheduled to start Thursday, will be pushed back to Friday. The last step in De La Rosa's rehab was a bullpen session Monday. ... LF Carlos Gonzalez (left hamstring) was out of the lineup Monday but got into the game as a pinch hitter.

Houston: Boston Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will interview for the Astros' managerial job today, according to multiple reports. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez also have interviewed. Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa interviewed but told Fox Sports that he and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow agreed the position is a younger man's job. ... The Astros' new uniforms are scheduled to be unveiled Nov. 2. The uniforms are widely expected to feature the orange and blue of the Astros of old rather than the current brick red.

Los Angeles: Manager Don Mattingly said there's still a chance LHP Clayton Kershaw will pitch again this season. Kershaw was examined Tuesday in New York, but results of the exam were not available. ... C A.J. Ellis is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, dropping his batting average from .283 to .270. Ellis has caught 119 games this season, a career high, including 31 of the last 32 games. ... IF Juan Uribe has been fully healthy yet has not played in a game since Aug. 26, a span of 19 games without an appearance. Uribe, who has just five hits in his last 59 at-bats (.085) dating to June 20, has a total of 17 plate appearances and one start in the Dodgers' last 51 games.

Miami: RF Giancarlo Stanton was out of the lineup for the second straight game because of a sore left side, which he said he first felt a few days ago while swinging. "You have to be really, really careful about it because that thing can go for weeks," manager Ozzie Guillen said. ... CF Gorkys Hernandez was a home run short Monday night of becoming the first player in Marlins history to hit for the cycle. Hernandez, in order, singled, doubled and tripled before striking out and flying out.

Milwaukee: 1B Corey Hart (plantar fascia in left foot) remained out of the lineup but was available to pinch hit. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his foot is "about the same. I can run straight. If baseball was all straight lines, I'd be good to go." ... RF Norichika Aoki has played a major role in the Brewers' late season surge into contention for an NL wild card berth. Aoki has hit safely in his last eight games and in 18 of his last 20.

New York: RHP Matt Harvey's final start of the season was bumped to tonight. Even if Tuesday's game had not been rained out, the Mets planned to push back Harvey so that he would not risk sitting through a lengthy delay. ... 2B Daniel Murphy is hitting .380 with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in September. His average ranked second in the league through Monday.

Philadelphia: LHP Cole Hamels will stay on his regular day and pitch tonight. RHP Tyler Cloyd, who had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday before the game was rained out, will start Thursday's game instead. ... 1B Ryan Howard, who had another 0-for-4 game Monday, declined to talk to reporters on Tuesday. Howard is batting .180 (11-for-61) this month with 16 strikeouts and no home runs in 16 games.

Pittsburgh: 2B Neil Walker was back in the lineup after missing Monday's game because of lower back soreness. Walker missed 15 straight games because of the back problem until returning Friday. ... RHP Kyle McPherson will make his first major league start tonight. McPherson, a rookie, has made seven relief appearances and has posted a 1.54 ERA. He was a combined 3-6 with a 2.48 ERA in 12 starts between Class AA Altoona (Pa.) and Class AAA Indianapolis.

St. Louis: RF Carlos Beltran said wants to be in the lineup the rest of the way despite his second-half slump. "I want to play. I don't want to sit," he said. ... 1B Allen Craig, who got a late start this year as he healed from knee surgery, might not get enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title, but he still has a chance to knock in 90 to 100 runs in his first year as a regular. He went into Tuesday with 82 RBI.

San Diego: LF Carlos Quentin (right knee) wants to play, but he hasn't been available to even pinch-hit because his knee hurts most when he gets into a crouch to hit. The same problem early last May delayed his return from surgery. ... CF Cameron Maybin went into Tuesday hitting .400 (12-for-30) over an eight-game hitting streak. Since Aug. 19, Maybin was hitting .398 (37-for-93), the highest batting average in the league over the span.

San Francisco: SS Brandon Crawford, who made 12 errors in his first 60 games this season, had made only three in his last 67 games through Monday. "I don't know who's playing better defensively," manager Bruce Bochy said. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner on Monday became the first Giants lefty to win 15 games since Shawn Estes in 2000. Though he gave up only one run in six innings, Bumgarner walked a career-high five batters. "My mechanics were probably as bad as they've been all year," he said.

Washington: 2B Danny Espinosa's troublesome left shoulder appeared to be getting better. An MRI showed no major damage. Manager Davey Johnson said a strong cortisone shot appears to have gotten to the inflammation, and Espinosa could return in the next day or two. ... LF Michael Morse (left wrist) was back in the lineup before Tuesday's game was rained out. He missed the weekend series.

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