Around the NL Central: July 23 Edition

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 21: Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers makes a play on a ground ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 21, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)


Injured St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse says he'll be ready to start on Sunday against the Pirates

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh made some moves of their own as they activated infielders Ronny Cedeno and Steve Pearce off of the DL.  In addition, the Pirates optioned Chris Leroux to AAA and put newly acquired Jason Grilli on the active roster in his place. 

The Astros activated outfielder Jason Bourgeois off of the DL and optioned Brian Bogusevic to AAA.

Yesterday's Matchups:

The Cubs beat the Astros 4-2Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano were both 2-4 and both had a double and a home run.  Michael Bourn had a three hit game for the Astros.  Both starting pitchers gave up nine hits as Carlos Zambrano allowed two earned runs in six innings and Bud Norris allowed four in 6.1 innings. 

The Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4 in a game of why can't they both lose?  Stupid Albert Pujols keeps on being good as he was 4-5 with a homer.  David Freese was 2-4 with a two run shot of his own, and Yadier Molina also contributed a long ball as he went 3-4 with two runs scored.  Andrew McCutchen (run), Garrett Jones (run, 2 RBI) and Ronny Cedeno (run, RBI) all were 2-4 for the 'Rats and Michael McKenry had a three hit game, though he didn't contribute to any scoring.  Paul Maholm gave up five earned in six innings, four of which came in the first.  Chris Carpenter went eight innings and allowed four runs.

The Reds lost to the Braves 6-4.   The game was tied going into the ninth, but Dan Uggla hit a two run homer off of Nick Masset that inning to take the lead and the win.  This game was all about the long ball with both teams combining to hit seven homers, three by the Reds (Zack Cozart, Fred Lewis, Drew Stubbs).  Cincinnati only picked up five total hits, with Fred Lewis (who also walked) the only Red to reach base twice.  Bronson Arroyo gave up four runs in 6.1 innings and his high HR/9 rate didn't get any better as he allowed three dingers. 

The Brewers kept their first place lead by beating the Giants 4-2.  You can find our recap here.

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Brewers 54 47 -- 6-4 W1
Pirates 51 46 1.0 6-4 L2
Cardinals 52 47 1.0 5-5 W2
Reds 48 51 5.0 4-6 L1
Cubs 40 60 13.5 4-6 W1
Astros 33 66 20.0 3-7 L1


Today's Games:

The Astros and Cubs continue their series as Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.67) faces off against Randy Wells (1-3, 6.71).

The Reds and Homer Bailey (4-4, 3.74) look for a win against the Braves and Derek Lowe (6-7, 4.37).

The Cards and Pirates look for a game advantage over one another.  It's Kevin Correia (11-7, 4.07) against Jaime Garcia (9-4, 3.11).

Randy Wolf (6-7, 3.58) takes on Ryan Vogelsong (7-1, 2.02) as the Brewers continue their western swing against the Giants.

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