News from around the Central:
- From the "Stop me if you've heard this one before" files, the Cardinals and Reds still don't like each other: tempers rose during the ninth inning of Cincinnati's 9-7 win over St. Louis when Francisco Cordero plunked Albert Pujols with one on and one out. Some braindead Cardinals apparently thought the pitch was intentional -- not realizing, it seems, that Pujols represented the tying run and there are two guys hitting around .350 behind him -- and started chirping at Cordero, who returned the unpleasantries after striking out Lance Berkman to end the game.
- One other note for the Reds: catcher Ryan Hanigan was held out of yesterday's game with a bruised hand, caused when he was hit by a pitch from Fernando Salas on Friday night.
- Former Brewer Lyle Overbay had a largely forgettable return to Miller Park this weekend: after homering in Saturday's game, Overbay went 0-4 while striking out twice yesterday. Pirates fans are growing increasingly frustrated with Overbay, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Colin Dunlap asks: what's the alternative?
- Cryin' Mike Quade is trying to figure out what to do to shake utilityman Tyler Colvin from his season-long slump: Colvin is hitting just .113 on the year, but getting more at-bats is going to be an issue with Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, and Reed Johnson all playing well. There are rumblings that the Cubs might demote Colvin to AAA Iowa.
- Houston owner Drayton McLane is expected to hold a press conference today to announce that he's sold the franchise to local businessman Jim Crane.
- Cincinnati clipped St. Louis, 9-7, to sweep the three-game series from the Cards and open a 1.5 game lead in the division. Cincinnati held what appeared to be a commanding 9-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth thanks to a four-run bottom of the seventh, but Aroldis Chapman brought his gas can to the mound in the final frame, walking four of the five hitters he faced and eventually surrendering four earned runs when Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero gave up run-scoring doubles. But CoCo took down Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman to end it, and the Reds moved to six games over .500.
- Milwaukee rode the hot bats of Jon Lucroy and Ryan Braun and survived shaky outings from Zack Greinke and John Axford to sweep Pittsburgh with a 9-6 win at Miller Park. Our recap is here.
- Rain washed out Chicago's game against San Francisco. The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on June 28.
- Houston was cruising along with a 2-0 lead on the Mets until Aneury Rodriguez melted down in the top of the fifth, surrendering four runs as New York claimed an eventual 7-4 win at Minute Maid Park. All told, Rodriguez gave up seven runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks in five innings. The big blow came off the bat of Mets second baseman Justin Turner, who clubbed a three-run homer in the fifth.
On tap for tonight:
- The Reds look to build on the momentum gained over the weekend during a three-game series with the Cubs in Cincinnati. Game one starts at 6:10 p.m. CDT at Great American Ballpark, and features Chicago's Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 4.35) matching up with Cincinnati's Homer Bailey (2-0, 0.69).
- St. Louis tries to rebound from the weekend's poor showing, but things don't get any easier for the Redbirds as come home to host Philly in a three-game series that starts at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. The Cardinals send Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92) to the mound to face the Fightin's' Cliff Lee (2-3, 3.78).
- The Pirates travel to D.C. for a three-game series with the Nats, starting at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Pittsburgh starts Paul Maholm (1-3, 3.60) and John Lannan (2-2, 4.79) goes for Washington.
- Houston continues its string of games against NL East opponents with a series in Atlanta. Tonight's game is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CDT, with Brett Myers (1-3, 5.01) scheduled to face Tommy Hanson (4-3, 2.51).