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Around the NL Central: May 23 Edition

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News from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • The Fightin' Yosties of Kansas City rallied from a 7-1, fifth-inning deficit in the rubber match of their series with St. Louis, using some excellent run scoring from Jeff Francoeur and Mitch Maier to knot the game at 7 in the seventh inning. Unfortunately for KC, reliever Tim Collins picked a most inopportune time to walk the ballpark, issuing bases-loaded passes to Colby Rasmus (who drew five walks on the day) and Yadier Molina to force in two runs in the 10th inning. The Roy Boys had one last gasp, scoring a run off Flavor of the Month Closer Fernando Salas in the bottom of the 10th, but Alcides Escobar struck out looking with the tying run on second base.
  • Fives were wild for Cleveland second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, who went 5-5 with five runs driven in to power the Indians to a 12-4 win and a three-game sweep of Cincinnati. Edinson Volquez was off his game yesterday -- 2.2 innings, seven hits, four walks -- and the Tribe took full advantage, plating seven early runs (six of which were earned) to chase Volquez in the third inning. Cabrera homered twice and totaled 11 bases for the game and former Brewer farmhand Michael Brantley went 3-4 with a double, two RsBI, and three runs scored for Cleveland.
  • Pittsburgh couldn't figure out Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, who held the Pirates to one hit over eight innings as Detroit blanked Pittsburgh, 2-0. Porcello needed just 84 pitches to confound the Bucs, walking two and striking out three, and Jose Valverde worked around a ninth-inning hit for his 11th save. On the other side of the coin, Pirate lefty Paul Maholm labored through 5.1 innings, walking two and giving up six hits, including a homer to Jhonny Peralta.
  • With Matt Garza's injury throwing a wrench in the Cubs rotation, lefty James Russell was pressed into emergency duty in the finale of Chicago's three-game set in Boston. As per usual, the results for Russell were nothing to write home about: he lasted just four innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs as the Red Sox took the series with a 5-1 win. Chicago was stymied by ancient knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who limited the Cubs to one run and four hits in 6.2 innings.
  • Thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Hunter Pence and three shutout innings from the bullpen, Houston declared a 3-2 victory over Toronto when it passed through customs on Sunday afternoon. Wandy Rodriguez surrendered two homers on the day, but he managed to keep Jose Bautista in the yard and evened his record at 3-3 on the year.
Your updated standings for May 23:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 28 20 -- 6-4 W2
Reds 25 22 2.5 5-5 L5
Brewers 24 23 3.5 8-2 W3
Pirates 22 24 5.0 4-6 L1
Cubs 20 25 6.5 4-6 L1
Astros 17 30 10.5 3-7 W1


On tap for tonight:

  • St. Louis visits sunny San Diego for a three-game series with the Padres, starting at 9:05 p.m. CDT tonight. The Cardinals send Kyle Lohse (5-2, 2.17) to the bump to face San Diego's Dustin Moseley (1-6, 3.40).
  • The Reds take to the road to start a four-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark. Game one starts at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight, with Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 4.11) scheduled to face Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (5-2, 2.92).
  • The Astros host the Dodgers in a three-game series at Minute Maid Park, beginning at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Houston starts Bud Norris (2-3, 3.93) and the Dodgers counter with lefty Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.09).
  • The Cubs and Pirates have the day off.