News from around the Central:
- It's getting downright silly for St. Louis, which lost another player to injury when third baseman David Freese broke his hand after being hit by a Scott Linebrink fastball on Sunday afternoon. And when utility infielder Nick Punto had to leave the game because of a balky hamstring, the Cards were forced to move Albert Pujols to third base in the eighth inning.
- Cincinnati's Homer Bailey will make one final rehab start on Thursday, pitching for Single-A Dayton before his scheduled return to the Reds' rotation on May 10.
- Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata pulled up lame on Saturday night with an ouchie in his hamstring, but reports are that the injury isn't serious and he's only expected to miss a couple of games.
- It was a scary scene in Houston in the finale of the Astros' series with the Brewers when Carlos Lee got leg-whipped in the chest by Angel Sanchez as both players chased a Mark Kotsay pop up in the seventh inning. Lee stayed down for several minutes in obvious pain and later had to be hospitalized, but X-rays showed no broken bones.
- No one is safe from the whining of Cryin' Mike Quade, who got run from his first game on Saturday night. Cryin' Mike couldn't believe that Stephen Drew had the gall to force out Marlon Byrd at second base when Geovony Soto laid down a bunt, but replays confirmed that the play was called correctly.
Last night's action:
- Atlanta staved off a sweep with a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over St. Louis. Once again, the late innings proved to be an adventure for the Cardinals: with the game knotted at 5 in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Theriot dropped a pop up to start the inning, and Alex Gonzalez eventually came around to score on a duckfart off the bat of Brooks Conrad. Ryan Franklin took the loss for the Redbirds, his third on the young season.
- Florida used five home runs to rout Cincinnati, 9-5, at Great American Bandbox. Bronson Arroyo surrendered three of the homers and Nick Masset gave up two in his inning of work as the Reds fell back to .500 on the season. Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce homered for the Reds.
- Houston finished an impressive two days of pitching with a 5-0 shutout of Milwaukee.
- Pittsburgh got to Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez (now 0-2, 7.20) early and often, scoring four runs in the first inning on the strength of a Xavier Paul triple and a Garrett Jones double and tacking on four more in the fifth to run away from the Rockies, 8-4. Charlie Morton was the beneficiary of all that offense -- and he needed every run, as he lasted only 5.1 innings and walked five with one strikeout.
- The Cubs and D-backs split their four-game series, with Arizona sneaking past Chicago for a 4-3 victory in Phoenix. With the Cubs down one in the top of the ninth, Carlos Pena sent a drive to the wall, but Justin Upton hauled it in and Arizona then turned a game-ending 6-3 double play to finish off the Baby Bears.
- St. Louis returns home to host Florida in a four-game series. Tonight's game (7:15 p.m. CDT) features the Cards' Kyle Lohse (4-1, 1.64) and Florida's Chris Volstad (2-1, 5.32).
- Houston travels to Cincinnati for a three-game series, with game one set to start at 6:10 p.m. CDT. J.A. Happ (1-4, 6.35) goes for the Astros, while Mike Leake (3-0, 4.40) takes the ball for the Reds.
- The Pirates head to San Diego for a three-game series with the Fathers. Game one starts at 9:05 p.m. CDT with Pittsburgh's James McDonald (1-2, 7.66) battling Aaron Harang (4-1, 3.90).
- The Cubs continue their West Coast swing with a trip to Los Angeles, with first pitch scheduled for 9:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Chicago sends struggling James Russell (1-3, 8.31) to the mound to face L.A.'s Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.52).