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Around the NL Central: May 18 Edition

News from around the Central:

 Yesterday's action:

  • Once again, Chicago was undone by a big inning, as Cincinnati plated four eighth-inning runs to steal a 7-5 victory over the Baby Bears at Great American Ballpark. This time, though, the Cubs' wounds were self-inflicted. Leading by two in the eighth, Kerry Wood made a hideous error with men on first and second: instead of taking the sure out on a sac bunt attempt, Wood airmailed the throw to third, allowing Scott Rolen and Fred Lewis to score and sending Ryan Hanigan to third base. Cincinnati then took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Chris Heisey and Joey Votto finished the scoring with an RBI double.
  • A big error almost came back to bite the Cardinals, but St. Louis rebounded for a two-game sweep of the Phillies with a walk-off, 2-1 win at Busch Stadium. Jaime Garcia was magnificent over eight innings, limiting the Phils to five hits and one walk while striking out five, but all that good work was almost undone by an inexplicable error by shortstop Tyler Greene, who dropped a can-of-corn pop up from Jimmy Rollins in the eighth inning. Rollins eventually came around to score on a sac fly, but Lance Berkman drove in the winning run with a one-out, bases loaded single in the ninth.
  • Pittsburgh's scheduled game against Washington was washed out by the threat of heavy thunderstorms in D.C. on Tuesday afternoon. The game is expected to be made up when the Pirates return to Washington on July 1-3.
  • Two innings after tying the game at 1 with a ninth-inning bomb off new Astro closer Mark Melancon, Braves catcher Brian McCann sent the locals home happy with a one-out, two-run shot off of Jeff Fulchino to give Atlanta a 3-1 win -- and a two-game series sweep -- over Houston in eleven innings. Melancon's blown save robbed Wandy Rodriguez of a well-earned win: the little lefty went eight innings, scattering five hits and walking two while striking out six. Brett Wallace homered to account for the lone Astro run.
Your updated standings for May 18:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Reds 25 17 -- 8-2 W5
Cardinals 24 19 1.5 5-5 W2
Brewers 20 22 5.0 7-3 L1
Pirates 18 23 6.5 3-7 L6
Cubs 17 23 7.0 3-7 L3
Astros 15 27 10.0 3-7 L3


On tap for tonight:

  • The Reds and Pirates begin a quick two-game series at 6:10 p.m. CDT in Cincinnati. Charlie Morton's (4-1, 3.13) scheduled start got rained out yesterday, so he takes the ball tonight. The Reds start Bronson Arroyo (3-3, 3.78).
  • St. Louis and Houston also squeeze in a two-gamer before interleague play begins. Game one from Busch Stadium starts at 7:15 p.m. CDT and features Houston's Bud Norris (2-2, 3.42) and the Cardinals' Kyle Lohse (4-2, 2.31).
  • The Cubs are in Miami for a two-game set against the Marlins, starting at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Chicago starts Ryan Dempster, who finally has his ERA under 7.00 for the year (2-4, 6.71). Florida counters with Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.02).