News and notes from around the Central:
- St. Louis reliever Eduardo Sanchez, who's been sidelined since June 12 with an injury to his throwing shoulder, has made solid progress in the last couple of weeks and hopes to rejoin the club before the end of the season.
- The Reds are searching for any possible way to keep Yonder Alonso's bat in the lineup, and that might mean that the young slugger will see time at third base in the last month of the season.
- The Pirates got some reinforcements before last night's game against St. Louis, as outfielder Alex Pressly and infielder Chase d'Arnaud rejoined the club after finishing rehab assignments in the minors. The Bucs sent Pedro Ciriaco and pitcher Aaron Thompson down to make room for Pressly and d'Arnaud.
- Carlos Pena could've been playing for the Yankees in the thick of the AL East pennant race, but instead he's staying with the Cubs to play out the string after the Cubs pulled him back from waivers -- and Pena, for one, is quite pleased with that turn of events.
- Following the finale of their series against the Rockies, the Astros placed left-hander Sergio Escalona on the 15-day DL (elbow tendinitis) and summoned hard-throwing righty Juan Abreu from AAA Oklahoma City. Abreu was acquired in the deal that sent Michael Bourn to Atlanta last month.
St. Louis rebounded from its sweep at the hands of the Dodgers by pulling away for an 8-4 victory over Pittsburgh last night at Busch Stadium. The Cards plated three early runs against Charlie Morton thanks to RBIs from Al Pujols, Lance Berkman, and Skip Schumaker, but the Bucs rallied to tie the game on Alex Pressly's run-scoring single and Garrett Jones' 2-RBI single. But the Redbirds plated three runs in the eight inning on Matt Holliday's three-run bomb and that was all she wrote for the Pirates, who went quietly against Fernando Salas in the ninth. Edwin Jackson picked up his 10th win of the year with six innings of solid ball: six hits, three walks, four runs, but only one earned.
Chicago's afternoon was pretty well summed up in the top of the first inning: after Matt Garza surrendered a leadoff single to Michael Bourn, Garza couldn't handle Darwin Barney's throw on Martin Prado's grounder, and Brian McCann made Garza pay for the boo-boo when he crushed a 2-0 offering into the right field bleachers for a three-run tater. It only got worse for the Cubs from there: the Baby Bears committed four errors on the day as the Braves took an easy 8-3 win and a 3-1 series victory. Brandon Beachy worked six innings (six hits, eight Ks, three runs, two earned) to earn his seventh victory of the season.
Houston got single runs in the first, third, and seventh against Ryan Vogelson to snag a 3-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park. Rookie Henry Sosa picked up his first win, keeping the Giants off balance for six innings (four hits, three walks, one earned run) and J.D. Martinez did the heavy lifting for the offense with a run-scoring double and a sac fly. Jordan Schafer smashed his first homer as an Astro in the seventh inning to account for the final margin.
Milwaukee and Cincinnati had the night off.
Your updated standings for August 26:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Elimination #
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:
Braves (Wild Card)
On tap for today:
- The Crew and Cubs begin a three-game series at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Randy Wolf (10-8, 3.45) faces Rodrigo Lopez (4-4, 4.97) in the opener.
- The Cardinals and Pirates continue their series at 7:15 p.m. CDT, when Jake Westbrook (10-7, 4.70) takes on James McDonald (8-6, 4.21).
- The Reds welcome the Nats to town for a three-game series that kicks off at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.14) is scheduled to face Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 4.33) in game one.
- Houston and San Francisco resume their series at 9:15 p.m. CDT. J.A. Happ (4-14, 6.26) is back from AAA exile to face Madison Bumgarner (7-12, 3.68).