News from around the Central:
- Matt Holliday's return to the St. Louis lineup from a strained quadriceps was short-lived: one night after returning to the field after missing six straight games, Holliday was scratched from the Cards' lineup shortly before first pitch of yesterday's game vs. San Francisco because his leg started acting up again.
- It seems certain that Cincinnati OF Jay Bruce is going to be named the NL Player of the Month for May; all he's done is hit 12 homers and drive in 32 runs in the month. As a prelude to that award, Bruce was named the NL Player of the Week for the week ending May 29.
- Josh Harrison made his major-league debut for the Pirates on Tuesday night, and he made it a night to remember with two hits in four at-bats and his first RBI in the Show.
- It seems that the injury bug that was vexing St. Louis earlier this year has relocated to Chicago's outfield: already missing CFs Marlon Byrd and Reed Johnson, the Cubs lost left fielder Alfonso Soriano to an injured quadriceps yesterday. Chicago recalled OF Tyler Colvin from AAA Iowa to take Soriano's place on the active roster.
- Houston manager Brad Mills wanted to ease infielder Jeff Keppinger back into the grind after Keppinger returned from offseason foot surgery, but Keppinger's strong play -- he's got six hits in his first 13 ABs of the year -- is keeping him in the daily lineup.
- St. Louis used its 518th late-inning rally of the young season to swipe a 4-3 victory from the Giants at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds trailed, 3-1, heading into the bottom of the eighth, but SF relievers Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez couldn't protect the lead: Jon Jay and Albert Pujols each doubled to lead off the inning, Allen Craig doubled Pujols home with one out, and Skip Schumaker drove in Craig with a two-out single for the winning run. Fernando Salas picked up his 10th save of the year, working around a two-out, Nate Schierholtz double to put the Giants to bed.
- Zack Greinke wasn't at his best, needing 109 pitches to get through six innings, walking three and giving up six hits, but the bats came to the rescue in Milwaukee's 7-2 win over Cincinnati. Corey Hart continued his torrid play with a three-run homer en route to a 4 RBI day, and Jon Lucroy clubbed his sixth homer as the Crew improved to 1-4 at Great American Bandbox this season. Our recap is here.
- Pittsburgh's scuffling offense looked like it was going to be the Pirates' undoing once again last night, as the Bucs trailed the Mets, 1-0, after seven innings. But the Pirates finally got to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the eighth inning, scoring three two-out runs thanks to RBI singles by Josh Harrison and Neil Walker. Pittsburgh tacked on two more in the ninth and grabbed a 5-1 victory in New York. James McDonald was solid for six innings, giving up six hits and one run while walking two and striking out five.
- Houston got a strong major league debut from 20-year-old Jordan Lyles, as the right-hander went seven innings, giving up five hits and striking out four without walking a batter. But Lyles' throwing error on a sac bunt attempt set the stage for a three-run bottom of the eighth as Chicago got doubles from Aramis Ramirez and Darwin Barney to grab a 3-1 advantage. Then Carlos Marmol came on, and this happened: single, double, double, sac bunt, single, walk, homer. That's six runs on five hits and a walk, if you score along with us, and Marmol's ERA ballooned to 3.47 on the year. Houston gets the win and secures a series triumph, 7-3.
Your updated standings for June 1:
On tap for today:
- The Cardinals and Giants continue their series at Busch Stadium at 7:15 p.m. CDT tonight. San Francisco has ace Tim Lincecum (5-4, 2.22) on the mound to face the Cards' Jake Westbrook (5-3, 5.19).
- The Reds and Brewers wrap up their three-game set at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight in Cincinnati. Shaun Marcum (6-2, 2.80) gets the ball for the Crew, and he's opposed by Jane's Addiction fan Mike Leake (4-2, 5.10).
- The Pirates play game three of their four-game series with the Mets at Citi Field at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Scheduled to start: for the Bucs, Kevin Correia (7-4, 3.44); for New York, former Brewer Chris Capuano (3-5, 4.94).
- The 'Stros and Cubs have a matinee contest at 1:20 p.m. CDT at Wrigley Field. Brett Myers (1-4, 5.11) tries to get Houston the sweep, while Doug Davis (0-3, 6.75) tries to salvage a game for the Baby Bears.