News from around the Central:
- Tony LaRussa drew some heat after leaving Jaime Garcia in to absorb a 12-run, 3.1-inning shellacking on Saturday night, but with the bullpen fried La Russa says he didn't have any alternatives.
- Reds reliever Sam LeCure's lingering issue with his right forearm has landed him on the 15-day disabled list, which wasn't entirely surprising given that he wasn't available to pitch in either of the Reds' extra-inning games this past week.
- In other injury news: the Pirates will likely lose Steve Pearce to the DL with an injured calf, and Ryan Doumit probably will join Pearce on the sidelines after spraining his left ankle while blocking the plate in Sunday's loss to the Cubs.
- The Cubs have finally seen enough from right-hander Casey Coleman, who went 2-4 with a 7.25 ERA filling in for Randy Wells the last couple of months: Coleman's been demoted to AAA Iowa with Wells' return from the DL.
- Injured Astro Jason Bourgeois will begin a minor-league rehab assignment today as he tries to return from the strained oblique that's sidelined him for the last three weeks.
- St. Louis claimed a series win in its three-game set in Colorado with a 4-3 white-knuckler over the Rockies. Thanks to homers by Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus, the Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning and led 4-1 at the end of four. The Rox battled back, plating a run in the seventh and then another in the ninth, but couldn't get over the hump, as Carlos
GomezGonzalez grounded out to shortstop with men at the corners and two out in the bottom of the ninth.
- Cincinnati ended a disastrous road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Braves in Atlanta on Sunday night. Johnny Cueto and Jair Jurrjens each turned in excellent outings, with Cueto pitching a complete game (eight innings. five hits, three walks, two runs) to bail out an exhausted Reds bullpen and Jurrjens throwing eight innings of six-hit ball (one earned run) while striking out five. The hero for the Braves was Martin Prado, who homered in the sixth to account for all the Braves' offense and then threw out Paul Janish at the plate in the top of the eighth -- sort of. Replays showed that catcher David Ross completely whiffed on the tag, but home plate umpire Dan Iassogna blew the call to preserve Atlanta's one-run lead.
- It took a while to get the game in, courtesy of a two-and-a-half hour rain delay, but the skies eventually cleared and Chicago avoided a sweep with a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field. The Bucs got to Cub starter Ryan Dempster early, scoring two first-inning runs on a Lyle Overbay double, but that was all the offense they could muster. Aramis Ramirez homered for the Cubs and Kosuke Fukudome scored what eventually became the winning run on a third-inning sac fly by Starlin Castro, and Carlos Marmol picked up his 10th save for Chicago.
- Houston was swept an Minute Maid Park by the Diamondbacks as the Snakes took a 4-3 win on Sunday to claim first place in the NL West. The Astros held a tenuous 2-1 advantage heading into the top of the eighth, but Jeff Fulchino couldn't protect the lead, giving up a single, a walk, and a two-out, two-run double to Xavier Nady. J.J. Putz pitched a clean ninth inning, needing only six pitches to dispatch the Astros for his 16th save.
On tap for today:
- The Cardinals welcome the limping Giants to town at 3:15 p.m. CDT this afternoon. The red-hot Kyle McClellan (6-1, 3.11) faces San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner (1-6, 3.79).
- The Reds try to right the ship, and they've got the right team on the docket to do so: the Brewers travel to Great American Ballpark for a 6:10 p.m. CDT game. It's a matchup of lefties, as Chris Narveson (2-3, 4.20) faces Travis Wood (3-3, 5.11).
- The Pirates travel to Citi Field to face the Mets at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Charlie Morton (5-2, 2.61) takes the ball for the Bucs, and Dillon Gee (4-0, 3.83) gets the call for the Mets.
- Houston is in Chicago for a 1:20 p.m. CDT start against the Cubs. Houston sends Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 4.98) to the mound, while the Cubs start the recently-acquired Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, ---).