Tag:Giants
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:18 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 1:22 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pitchers muscle up



By Matt Snyder

Derek Lowe, Braves/Jake Westbrook, Cardinals. Lowe worked six innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out six in the Braves' 3-1 win. He even helped set up rookie sensation Craig Kimbrel for his record-setting 41st save. But none of that is why Lowe is here. We don't put run-of-the-mill quality starts in the "up" section. Pitchers hitting bombs does get our attention, though, and Lowe hit his first career home run. Westbrook decided to outdo Lowe, however, as he also hit his first career homer -- it's just that Westbrook's was a grand slam, helping to propel his Cardinals to an 8-3 win over the division-leading Brewers.

Jack Hannahan, Indians. Hannahan hit two solo home runs to help get the Indians to extra innings knotted at 3-3 with the A's. He then came through with an RBI single to end the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 16th inning. The win moved the Indians back into second place and kept them within 5 1/2 games of the Tigers -- who came through with a win after an eighth-inning rally.

Madison Bumgarner, Giants. The Giants badly needed someone to step up. They had lost four of six games to the two worst teams in the National League and had fallen to six games behind the upstart Diamondbacks in the NL West. Bumgarner stepped up. His performance shouldn't be all that surprising, because when he's good, he's as good as anyone in the game. Still, he's been inconsistent this season, so you never know. But Wednesday's effort was a beauty. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in eight shutout innings as the Giants won 4-0 to keep pace with the D-Backs -- who won their ninth straight.



Alexi Ogando, Rangers. In July, Ogando's first-half performance got him to the All-Star Game in Phoenix. Come September, he may be out of the Rangers' rotation. Ogando couldn't even get through the third inning during Texas' 4-1 loss to the Rays Wednesday. He allowed five hits, two walks and three earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings, pushing his August ERA to over 7.00. And Scott Feldman is waiting in the wings in case manager Ron Washington wants to bump Ogando.

Jake Peavy's 1st inning, White Sox. The White Sox are trying to chase down the Tigers in the AL Central and have a decent-sized gap, so every game is of vast importance at this point. Wednesday, Peavy coughed up six runs in the top of the first inning to the Twins and the White Sox lost 7-6. Meanwhile, the White Sox fell to third place and are six games out.

The Orioles. Maybe the "Man in White" traveled to Baltimore? The Blue Jays thoroughly dominated the Orioles in every facet of the game Wednesday in a 13-0 victory. The Jays pounded 20 hits -- 10 of which were of the extra-base variety -- including Jose Bautista's major-league leading 39th bomb. The Orioles didn't just limit their ineptitude to the mound, though, as they were equally futile in the batter's box. Henderson Alvarez threw eight shutout innings for the Blue Jays and Rommie Lewis closed the Orioles down in the ninth. They only managed five baserunners all game.

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Giants DFA Tejada, Rowand

Aaron RowandBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants rid themselves of two veterans on Wednesday, designating Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand for assignment.

The Giants owed Rowand $12 million for 2012 and will have to pay him that entire amount.

Miguel TejadaSan Francisco is activating Pat Burrell from the disabled list and call up first baseman Brett Pill. Pill was hitting .312/.341/.530 with 25 home runs and 107 RBI at Triple-A Fresno -- and if he can do half of that in San Francisco, he'll still help the Giants' anemic offense. Burrell has been out since July 14 with a foot injury.

Tejada, 37, was hitting just .239/.270/.326 with four homer ins in 91 games for the Giants, while Rowand, 33, was hitting .233/.274/.347 with four homers  in 108 games.

"After much deliberation, including a long deliberation last night and sleeping on it, we felt this was the right time to set them free," general manager Brian Sabean told reporters (San Francisco Chronicle). "We appreciate their efforts. We're sorry it didn't turn out, but again, it's about managing the roster. There are only 40 spots. That has a lot to do with it, including giving Pill a chance."

And that's the key -- the 40 man spots. Even though rosters expand on Thursday, a player needs to be on the 40-man roster to be called up. Also, if Pill can hit like he did in the minors, he would be a valuable addition to the postseason roster, if the Giants can make it that far.

Those are the overt moves, the other side could be the team sending a message to underperforming veterans -- it doesn't matter how much you've done in your career (Tejada) or how much money you're owed (Rowand), if you don't perfrom (both), you're out. And there's been a lot of not performing of late. The Giants started the month a game up in the National League West and could find themselves seven games back at the close. Before Wednesday's game, the team is hitting .231/.283/.338 this month and averaging just 2.6 runs per game -- which no matter how good of a pitching staff you have, isn't going to cut it. 

This may not be the end, either. Sabean said if the team's slide continues, more young players could be coming to replace the veterans.

 "We're running out of games," Sabean said (San Francisco Chronicle). "We've all been on teams or seasons that turned on a dime. Nineteen ninety-eight was an example. Last year, too. Strange things happen. We're down to that."

Rowand told the Chronicle's John Shea that he understood the move and felt no ill-will toward the team (which will still pay him approximately $14 million for this yearand next, so why should he?), calling it "probably the right move for both parties. For myself and for the team." 

Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:22 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Giants announce possible embezzlement

O'ConnorBy Evan Brunell

The Giants have released a statement announcing that there is evidence of possible embezzlement by ex-payroll manager, Robin O'Connor, which you can read below the article.

KGO-TV has more, saying that O'Connor stands accused of embezzling $1,513,836.28 from player accounts, according to a FBI special agent's affadavit. The 41-year-old married woman has worked for the Giants for four years and was making an annual salary of $80,000 before making a mistake that got her caught and charged with wire fraud and fraud in connection with a computer.

"They're felonies, so they're not the most serious felonies, but they do carry a penalty of up to five years in federal prison per count," ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.

O'Connor applied for a loan with Bank of America to buy a house in San Diego, forging a letter from the Giants' HR manager as a way of explaining why large deposits had been put into O'Connors account. "Because of her outstanding contributions ... that assisted us in accomplishing our goal of winning the 2010 World Series, she was given two additional payments of compensation in May 2011," the letter read, confirming deposits totaling just over $300,000. Bank of America asked the Giants to confirm, exposing O'Connor.

She admitted to forging the letter and stealing more than $600,000, returning the amount to the team. However, San Francisco then found $900,000 more that was taken.

"I really want to speak out about this, but I am not allowed to do this as part of an agreement that I have at the moment... I am sure that you have come to realize in your profession, all is not always as it appears... Lastly I do understand why you are doing this and have no hard feelings. Thanks for letting me know this [report] is going to happen," O'Connor told KGO-TV in a statement.

You can see the Giants' press release below:
Last month, the San Francisco Giants discovered evidence of possible embezzlement by our former payroll manager, Robin O’Connor, which resulted in her dismissal.
 
We immediately notified the United States Attorney's office and are working with the federal authorities to ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated and that any wrongdoing is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
 
The United States Attorney's Office has requested that we refrain from providing additional details at this time to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Photo originally from KGO-TV, used via Deadspin.com.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Pepper: Arizona pulling away from champs

Daniel Hudson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants' last stand may come this weekend -- if they're even still in it by the time the Diamondbacks visit AT&T Park.

You may have noticed the Diamondbacks are starting to pull away in the National League West, winning their last seven games and increasing their lead in the division to five games. I'm still not sure exactly how it's happened, but you've got to appreciate what Kirk Gibson and his team have done.

Whichever team wins this division will do it by winning the division -- the Giants don't play anyone outside their division the entire month of September, while the Diamondbacks have three games against Pittsburgh in September, but no other games outside the division. What that means? A lot of the Padres and Dodgers and Rockies -- teams with a combined 29 games below .500.

One thing to keep in mind if you like trends, after the Diamondbacks won seven games earlier this month, they went out and lost their next six. If that trend repeats, it'd mean a sweep in San Francisco, which would put the Giants right back into it. But if San Francisco can't score more than a run or two in a game, they won't be sweeping anyone.

Real hero: You hear the word "hero" with sports way too much -- but it's an appropriate use of the word for Emmanuel Marlow. Who is Marlow? He's a vendor at Nationals Park who saved a choking fan on Thursday. Marlow, 49, used the Heimlich maneuver to save the young fan -- then went back to doing his job. Or his second job. Marlow also cares for patients with Parkinson's in his first job. Really, a great story and a real hero. [Washington Post]

Fan scare: Speaking of fan safety, a young fan was hit in the face by a foul ball at Citi Field on Monday. The Marlins' Greg Dobbs hit the ball and said he was told the boy did not suffer broken bones or had his sight damaged, so that's good news. Dobbs gave the kid's mother a bat and Mets second baseman Justin Turner gave him his jersey -- but that's a pretty high price to pay for a jersey and bat. Luckily the boy is OK. [MLB.com]

Perez impresses: The Royals have had their fair share of hyped prospects, so it's OK if you weren't too aware of catcher Salvador Perez. You may want to get used to hearing his name. Since being called up from Triple-A Omaha, he's started 16 of 18 games for Kansas City -- and he's hitting .295/.333/.443, including a 3-for-4 performance and his first home run in Monday's victory over the Tigers. Royals manager Ned Yost said he's "hard to take out of the lineup," and expects him to play 140 games a year. Perez hadn't played above Class A until this season and has had an incredible year, ending in the big leagues. [Kansas City Star]

The new Josh Beckett: Marriage has changed Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, he said. No longer is baseball his top priority -- but he's been even better with it as No. 2 in his life. [WEEI.com]

Standing pat: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he "doubts" the team will make a deal before the Aug. 31 trade deadline. Phillies place on the waiver line (last in the National League) and payroll limitations make any move unlikely. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Untested: Monday night was supposed to be an experiment for the Reds' Yonder Alonso. The Reds rookie received his first professional start at third base on Monday night but didn't have a single ball hit his way. While it was surprising, it was part of the plan. Dusty Baker said the team made Alonso's first start at third during a Homer Bailey start on purpose, as "guys don't usually pull Homer." They didn't, so consider the results of the experiment inconclusive. And don't expect a repeat of Alonso at the hot corner on Tuesday with Bronson Arroyo on the mound against the Phillies. [Dayton Daily News]

Carp may stay: Even if the Cardinals don't pick up Chris Carpenter's $15 million option, MLB.com's Matt Leach doesn't see the team letting the right-hander leave via free agency.

Feeling blue: The Mets will wear retro uniforms for their 50th anniversary next season and then add a blue jersey in 2013. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Garfoose is loose: The Rays released minor league right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, which wouldn't mean much if he weren't the author of the very entertaining Bullpen Diaries and a prolific blogger and Twitter user. Best of luck to Hayhurst -- because if he's out of baseball, he may be out of stories, and that would be a shame. [DirkHayhurst.com]

Stats are fun: Yahoo's Jeff Passan has 25 great, nerdy stats in his latest column. If any pitchers are reading this, for all that is holy, don't throw Joey Votto a fastball. 

Feliciano done? Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano may need career-ending shoulder surgery to repair his a tear in his shoulder. It will certainly end Feliciano's season, but could cost him more. He signed a two-year, $8 million contract before the season and hasn't thrown a pitch for the Yankees. He could get $8 million for just signing his name if he can't come back from this injury. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Socks appeal: There's a proper way to wear a baseball uniform and too often you don't see it -- instead you get the pajama pants look. Hunter Pence's high socks are gaining some attention in Philadelphia. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 1:43 am
 

3 Up 3 Down: Hudson mystifies Rockies

Hudson

By Evan Brunell

3 upDaniel Hudson, Diamondbacks: Hudson has emerged as a go-to guy in the Arizona rotation, and he shut down the Rockies over seven scoreless innings, giving up six baserunners and punching out eight. The victory was the seventh straight for a team that has now pushed their division lead to five games, with Hudson tacking on a RBI single in the 5-1 victory. The righty is projected to crack 220 innings pitched, which would be over 40 innings greater than his previous major-league career high. It's a trend the D-Backs may want to monitor down the stretch, and he could be in line for a break once the postseason push ends.

Randy Wells, Cubs:  Wells threw the game of his life on Monday, handcuffing the Giants in a complete-game two-hitter, allowing just one walk and whiffing seven. The outing pushes Wells' ERA to 5.06, a sight better than the 6.08 ERA he was rocking back in early July. The 29-year-old's season has been a significant setback from the last two years, in no short part due to injury, but a strong September could make the picture look much different.

Salvador Perez, Royals: The Royals think quite highly of Perez, believing he can be a durable starter for them. But Perez's value is on defense, where he draws rave reviews despite being just 21. But for one night, he was the offensive star. During a 3-for-4 night, Perez hammered a 415-foot homer, the first of his career.  "I crushed that ball," Perez told the Associated Press. "I felt so happy -- it was unbelievable." Perez is now hitting .295 on the year.



Max Scherzer, Tigers: "I don't know what it is about Scherzer," Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella told the Associated Press after Scherzer couldn't solve Kansas City in an offensive attack that eventually rapped out 18 wins. "We've put good swings on the ball against a lot of pitchers and not gotten anything to show for it, but we've been better against him." Scherzer, who had been demonstrably better in the second half, took a big step back with 10 hits allowed in three innings, coughing up seven runs. It's his worst performance on the year, although others come close to rivaling it. This is a pitcher on the cusp of putting it all together, but a true stinker every now and then keeps setting him back.

Tim Lincecum, Giants: Lincecum had an uncharacteristically bad start, giving up three bombs for the first time in his career as the Cubs walked all over the slumping Giants. Lincecum got through six innings, giving up four runs and walking four, striking out just three. The loss pushes Lincecum to just one game over .500 at 12-11 despite a 2.58 ERA. That's what a moribund offense does for a pitcher's perceived effectiveness in wins and losses. With seven more strikeouts, Lincecum will get 200 whiffs for the fourth consecutive season. Once he does that, he will become the seventh pitcher since 2000 with at least four consecutive years with at least 200 strikeouts. Justin Verlander already became the sixth pitcher earlier this season.

Alex White, Rockies: Alex White is a talented pitcher, but he's got a long ways to go. Despite pitching in the minors with solid command, he's walked 16 over five starts and 27 innings, two of those starts coming with the Rockies. In those games, White has given up five runs per game. The sixth inning was White's downfall, as he gave up four runs and seven baserunners. All told, he walked six, while punching out just three. White has some serious upside long-term, but he's not ready to tap into it just yet.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:29 am
 

Pepper: Ethier-Dodgers saga takes another turn



By Matt Snyder


Sunday, we passed along the report that Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier was playing through an knee injury that would need offseason surgery -- a report in which he seemed to insinuate the Dodgers were forcing him to play. Also contained therein, general manager Ned Colletti seemed to say he believed Ethier was faking an injury.

One day later, manager Don Mattingly was upset.

"I'd rather lose my job and us not win than put a guy out there that has a chance of hurting himself and doing something that would affect his career in a long-term way in any shape or form, especially if he says, 'Hey, I can't go,'" Mattingly said (LATimes.com).

Meanwhile, Ethier kind of backed off his sentiment, though he never denied making any of the statements to the Los Angeles Times reporter.

"It's always been my choice to keep playing and keep going," Ethier said (LATimes.com). "They've never said, 'We don't think you can or you can't play.' It's always been they've said, 'Hey, you've obviously put up with this and it's at your discretion.'"

Remember, earlier this season Ethier publicly complained about the Dodgers' ownership situation and reports indicated he was jealous of his friend Dustin Pedroia getting to play in Boston. Is Ethier just angling to leave Los Angeles when he's a free agent after 2012? Or is he a bit of a drama queen? Or did he back off his Saturday statements due to meeting with Mattingly and Colletti Sunday after the duo read the Sunday Los Angeles Times story?

Hard to figure. Whatever it is, it's another mess for the Dodgers. As if they didn't have enough stuff to worry about.

For like of the game: Dirk Hayhurst is a minor-league pitcher in the Rays' system and also a published author. He's been in the bigs before, but not since 2009 with the Blue Jays. He's also very active on Twitter and has his own blog. In his latest entry, Hayhurst explains why he hates hearing the phrase "for love of the game," and instead prefers "like." It's a great read and I highly recommend clicking through with an open mind.

Dunn the realist: It's no secret how awful Adam Dunn has been this season, his first with the White Sox. When asked about a rather drastic production in playing time moving forward, Dunn was fully accountable: “I’m a realist," said Dunn, who wasn't in the lineup Sunday and is batting .163 with 156 strikeouts (ChicagoTribune.com). "I’m not like an idiot. We’re right in the middle of things. What do you do? What do you say?”

Royals ready to 'go for it:' Royals general manager Dayton Moore is sitting on mountains of prospects, several of which have begun to filter into Kansas City this season. Now, it sounds like he's done biding his time, because he plans on pursuing a deal this offseason in which the Royals cough up prospects to get a proven starter -- and The Kansas City Star article mentions one like the Indians getting Ubaldo Jimenez.

Relationships to keep Friedman in Tampa Bay? Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman has been the subject of rampant rumors in the Chicago area, now that the Cubs have a vacancy at general manager. Speculation by many is that Friedman would jump at the chance to be freed from the mighty AL East and get to throw some money around instead of pinching pennies. A TampaBay.com article says that won't matter, because of Friedman's strong relationship with owner Stu Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and manager Joe Maddon.

Crane in danger? Prospective new Astros owner Jim Crane has yet to be approved by Major League Baseball, even though two weeks ago Drayton McLane said a deal would be approved in two weeks. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle believes Crane may not be approved by commissioner Bud Selig. "If Commissioner Bud Selig is comfortable with Jim Crane owning the Astros, then Jim Crane will own the Astros. You can read the delay in the approval process any way you like, but as someone who has known Selig for almost 30 years, it’s not insignificant." Justice does point out that a deal is still obviously possible, but it just seems fishy.

Rockies after arms: The Rockies top priority this offseason will be to upgrade starting pitching. That might sound a little weird after they just dealt Ubaldo Jimenez, but they actually traded for two guys who could end up being frontline starters in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. But they might not be ready to lead a team to the playoffs just yet, so a trade for a proven veteran might be coming in the winter months ahead (Denver Post).

Ribbing the rook: Mariners rookie Trayvon Robinson gave a high-five to a fan and heard about it from his teammates in a playful way (MLB.com).

Sanchez may be done: Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez -- who seemed to be having a contest with Barry Zito to see who could get kicked out of the rotation for good -- might miss the rest of the season with his ankle injury. Meanwhile, Zito is feeling much better (Extra Baggs). If the offense doesn't drastically improve, however, none of this will be relevant. 

Only triples: Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson got four at-bats in interleague play and tripled for his only hit. Baseball-Reference's blog found 20 players in big-league history with only triples among their hits in a season.

Branyan the barber: Did anyone notice Sunday night that Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is now bald? Yeah, that's because he entrusted veteran slugger Russell Branyan with cutting his hair. And Branyan purposely took a little more off than was asked. "He pulled a nice little prank on me," Bourjos said good-naturedly (LATimes.com). "I keep scaring myself when I look in the mirror."

Let's play two ... with one extra player: Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks teams should be able to expand rosters by one on days when they're playing a doubleheader (MLB.com).

Happy Anniversary: On this day back in 1977, Duane Kiper hit his only major-league home run. In 3,754 plate appearances. Current White Sox color commentator Steve Stone was on the mound. Funny note: Stone's future broadcast partner (for Cubs' games) Harry Caray had the call that day. (Hardball Times)

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 11:35 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: White Sox youth movement



By Matt Snyder


Dayan Viciedo/Tyler Flowers, White Sox. The White Sox moved one game over .500 and to within six of the AL Central-leading Tigers with a 9-3 win over the Mariners Sunday, and the young guys were front and center. White Sox fans have clamored for Viciedo's promotion from the minors all summer and he finally made it to the show Sunday. In his first start of the 2011 season, Viciedo hit a three-run home run to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. Later, 25-year-old catcher Flowers must have felt a bit left out, because he clubbed a grand slam in the sixth inning, as part of a six-run rally that would put the game away.

Zack Greinke, Brewers. Greinke worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out seven in the Brewers 3-2 win over the Cubs, but that's not why he's here. No, Greinke's getting the nod as an "up" for stealing a base. It was a straight steal, too. Meanwhile, the Brewers are actually only five games behind the Phillies for the best record in baseball. It's been quite the amazing run (27-5 in last 32 games).

Zach Britton, Orioles. Britton has shown flashes of brilliance this year as a rookie, giving the Orioles hope their future ace is soon to emerge, and Sunday he put forth one of his strongest efforts of the season. The young left-hander threw seven shutout innings against the powerful Yankees, allowing only four hits and a walk in a 2-0 Orioles victory. It marked the sixth straight win for the Orioles, though that streak would stop with the nightcap. Still, a very solid effort for Britton.



Jered Weaver, Angels. The Angels went all in during a three-game visit to Texas this weekend, as they brought Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver to the hill on short rest. Santana fared well enough to get the Angels a win Saturday -- along with some offensive help -- but Sunday Weaver did not. The Rangers' offense pegged him for eight hits and seven earned runs in six-plus innings. Weaver even walked four guys, so his command may have been affected by the short rest. Also, a lot of damage was done in the seventh, when Weaver was pulled before recording an out and was charged with his last three earned runs. So it's possible his stamina was also affected by the short rest. Whatever the reason, the Angels lost 9-5 and fell to three games out in the AL West.

Brad Penny, Tigers.
Maybe all the cussing is getting him off his game? Penny was roughed up by a Twins lineup that was missing Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Plus, they just traded Jim Thome. Still, in five innings Penny gave up eight hits and seven runs en route to an 11-4 loss.

Eli Whiteside, Giants. How much do the Giants continue to miss Buster Posey? The offense has been an issue all season, as the Giants rank dead last in the NL in runs scored. Sunday, catcher Whiteside went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. To make matters worse, Whiteside could have made it to first base on a wild pitch on his fourth strikeout but didn't run (Extra Baggs). When you lose 4-3 in extra innings to the hapless Astros, that's a tough pill to swallow.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 2:44 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Keppinger does in old team, again

Jeff Keppinger

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jeff Keppinger, Giants: For the second night in a row, the former Astro did in his old team. Saturday night Keppinger singled in Mark DeRosa from second with a single just over the head of 5-foot-7 Houston second baseman Jose Altuve to give San Francisco a 2-1 victory in 10 innings. On Friday, Keppinger hit a two-run double in the fifth, good for another 2-1 victory. Keppinger came to the Giants from Houston on July 19.

Chris Young, Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks center fielder made sure fans went home happy -- and it wasn't just the because of the bobbleheads in his likeness the team gave out before the game. Young hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off of San Diego starter Aaron Harang and that was enough for Joe Saunders, who allowed just an unearned run on four hits in seven innings as Arizona beat San Diego 3-1 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Brad Lincoln, Pirates: The rookie right-hander not only notched his first victory of the season (and second of his career), but also had a two-run double off of Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter in the Pirates' four-run fourth. Lincoln allowed six hits and no runs in six innings, striking out four and walking one in the Pirates' 7-0 victory over St. Louis, breaking the team's five-game road losing streak.


Chris Marrero, Nationals: Making his MLB debut, the former first-round pick by the Nationals saw a ball hit to him on the very first batter of his big-league career come right at him -- and by him, allowing Brandon Phillips reach in the first inning of the Nationals' 6-3 loss. Phillips scored on a wild pitch with two outs later in the inning. Phillips also scored on Marrero's second error when the Nationals first baseman fielded a double-play ball and threw it into left field, allowing Phillips to score from second, starting a three-run inning for the Reds. Despite his two errors, Marrero did manage his first hit, a single off of Reds starter Mike Leake in the fourth inning.

Royals bullpen: The day after Tim Collins walked in the winning run for a Kansas City loss in Cleveland, Louis Coleman surrendered a three-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera for an 8-7 Kansas City loss to the Indians. With two outs in the eight and the Royals leading by two runs, Coleman gave up a single to Lonnie Chisenhall and walked Kosuke Fukudome to set up Cabrera's shot. Blake Wood also gave up three hits and a run in his 1/3 of an inning of work.

C.J. Wilson, Rangers: The same day Texas manager Ron Washington told reporters Wilson was going to be the team's horse down the stretch, pitching every five days no matter what, the left-hander gave up six runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings. The Angels also hit four of their five solo homers off of Wilson as Los Angeles moved to within two games of Texas with a 8-4 victory.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com