News from around the Central:
- Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa will sit out St. Louis' six-game road trip because of the nagging case of shingles that's plagued him since spring training. LaRussa traveled to Scottsdale on the team's off day on Monday and remained there Tuesday for further evaluation of his condition.
- If you're not one of the 35,000 people who's following Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips on Twitter -- @DatDudeBP -- you probably should start, if only to watch Phillips take repeated jabs at the Uptight Citizens of St. Louis.
- Pittsburgh reliever Evan Meek will throw from a mound before Wednesday's game as he continues to rehab his injured right shoulder (tendinitis). Meek hasn't pitched since April 26, but he expects to begin a rehab assignment after the Pirates upcoming series in Milwaukee.
- Cubs catcher Geovany Soto is going to have an MRI on his strained groin (... ladies), which he injured blocking a ball in the dirt in the first inning of yesterday's game, and it seems likely that he'll end up on the disabled list. Cryin' Mike Quade sums up why this particular injury is troublesome for a catcher: "We'll hope for the best, but it's a tough place to be, squatting, when your groin's bad."
- Injured Astro closer Brandon Lyon is eligible to come off the disabled list (partial rotator cuff tear) on May 20, but he doesn't expect to be ready to go any time soon. Lyon is attempting to rebuild strength in his shoulder now, and the hope remains that he won't need surgery.
- It looked like we might be in for a barnburner last night in Chicago after St. Louis plated a run and Cubs responded with two in the first inning. Things settled down from there, though, and the game was knotted at 4 going into the top of the eighth, until the Cards scored two runs thanks to a clutch, two-run single from rookie Daniel Descalso. Chris Carpenter picked up his first win of the season, working around thirteen hits and two walks in seven innings.
- Cincinnati won its third consecutive game -- that's called a winning streak, FYI -- with a 7-3 triumph over Houston at Minute Maid Park. This one was over early, with the Reds scoring four in the top of the first and tacking on two more in the second on Astros righty Brett Myers, who saw his season ERA jump to 5.01 after the early barrage. Homer Bailey pitched seven shutout innings, and the final score was as close as it was due to some untimely wildness from Aroldis Chapman, who walked three batters without recording an out in the eighth.
- Prosperity doesn't suit Pittsburgh: a day after climbing above .500, the Pirates came stumblin' down in a 10-3 whuppin' at the hands of the Dodgers. The teams traded scoreless frames for the first five innings of the game, but L.A. exploded for four runs in the top of the sixth and added another five in the top of the eighth. The decisive blow came off the bat of Matt Kemp, who socked a three-run, two-out homer off of Kevin Correia (5-3, 3.25) in the sixth to blow the game open.
On tap for tonight:
- The Cardinals and Cubs continue their series at Wrigley Field with another 7:05 p.m. CDT contest. This game features St. Louis right-hander Jake Westbrook (2-2, 6.14) and Chicago righty Matt Garza (1-4, 4.43).
- Houston and Cincinnati wrap up their series with a 1:05 p.m. CDT start at Minute Maid Park. The Reds send Edinson Volquez to the mound (3-1, 5.63) and the Astros counter with lefty Wandy Rodriguez (2-3, 4.00).
- Pittsburgh and Los Angeles play game three of their four-game set at 6:05 p.m. CDT at PNC Park. Scheduled to start: for the Bucs, lefty Paul Maholm (1-4, 3.68); for the Dodgers, Hiroki Kuroda (3-3, 3.69).