News and notes from around the Central:
- After losing reliever Lance Lynn to a strained oblique, the Cardinals are pulling out all the stops to bolster their 'pen: on Thursday, St. Louis agreed to a deal with lefty Arthur Rhodes, who was released by the Rangers earlier this week.
- The Pirates have fallen ten games off the pace in the Central thanks to their recent 10-game losing streak, and the Bucs sit four games under .500 with 46 games to play. But Jon Paul Morosi writes that the season would still qualify as a huge success if the Pirates can get to 82 wins.
- Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, which was injured earlier this year when Cozart made an awkward tag on a stolen base attempt. Since the surgery is on his non-throwing arm, Cozart should be able to resume baseball activities in short order.
- It's been a frustrating year for injured Cubs starter Andrew Cashner, who's been on the DL since early April after straining his rotator cuff in his only start of the season. But Cashner has made solid progress in the last few weeks, and he expects to re-join the rotation in September.
- Shortshop Tommy Manzella didn't have to wait long to find a new home after Houston designated the 28-year-old for assignment earlier this week: Manzella was claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks, who assigned Manzella to AAA Reno.
- A sweep would've been sweet, but Yovani Gallardo wasn't up to the task and Milwaukee fell to St. Louis, 5-2. Our recap is here.
- Cincinnati scored two runs in the first inning of yesterday's game against Colorado on run-scoring singles by Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs, but the Reds' bats went into hibernation after that: Cincinnati only mustered two hits after the first inning as Jhoulys Chacin threw an eight-inning complete game, striking out nine. Fortunately for the Reds, though, Johnny Cueto didn't make any major mistakes on the day: Cueto worked seven strong innings, giving up just three hits and two walks while fanning nine. The Rockies pulled within one run when Seth Smith led off the ninth with a homer off of Frankie Cordero, but Cordero set down the next three batters for his 22nd save.
- Chicago used a three-run rally in the seventh inning to pull away from the Nationals, as the Baby Bears claimed a 4-3 decision over the Nats on Thursday afternoon. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena did the having lifting in the pivotal seventh, with Ramirez clubbing a two-run homer and Pena following with a solo homer, his 22nd on the year. As he's wont to do, Carlos Marmol made things really interesting in the ninth, loading the bases with nobody out on a pair of walks and an infield single. The Nationals pulled within one on Wilson Ramos' one-out RBI single, but Marmol struck out Brian Bixler and got Rick Ankiel to fly out to center to end it.
- Houston lost its 80th game of the year in walk-off fashion, giving up seven runs in the last three innings of the game to drop an 8-5 decision to Arizona. The Astros were cruising with a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the Snakes rallied for two runs against Brett Myers on Ryan Roberts' RBI double and Miguel Montero's RBI single. Arizona then tied it in the ninth on Paul Goldschmidt's two-run, two-out homer to left field, and won it in the tenth when Chris Young hammered a three-run tater off of Sergio Escalona.
- Pittsburgh had the day off.
Your updated standings for August 12:
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
On tap for tonight:
- The Crew and Pirates kick off a three-game series at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Zack Greinke (10-4, 4.21) faces Paul Maholm (6-12, 3.54) in the opener.
- The Cardinals continue their homestand with a three-game set against the Rockies that begins at 7:15 p.m. CDT. Game one features Kyle Lohse (9-7, 3.45) taking on Aaron Cook (2-6, 5.05).
- Cincinnati hosts San Diego at Great American Ballpark at 6:10 p.m. CDT, when Bronson Arroyo (7-9, 5.48) battles Mat Latos (6-11, 3.87).
- The Cubs travel to Atlanta to start a three-game series with the Braves at 6:35 p.m. CDT. Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 4.46) takes on Mike Minor (1-2, 4.85) in game one.
- The Astros visit Los Angeles for a three-game set with the Dodgers, starting at 9:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Bud Norris (5-8, 3.73) is on the bump for the 'Stros, while Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.60) gets the call for L.A.