News from around the Central:
- Between injuries and short starts, the Cardinals rotation hasn't been doing St. Louis' overworked bullpen any favors in the last two weeks, writes Stan McNeal of The Sporting News.
- Ancient third baseman Scott Rolen can add another nagging injury to the list of maladies that have kept him out this year: a day after fouling a ball off his left foot vs. the Giants, Rolen was held out of the series opener against the Dodgers. The injury isn't expected to keep Rolen out for long.
- Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrissey is a smart man.
- Injured Pirate reliever Evan Meek saw Dr. James Andrews in Florida yesterday to get an opinion on his ailing shoulder. Dr. Andrews found nothing structurally amiss with Meek's arm, and Meek will continue to rehab the injury without surgery.
- Erstwhile Astros closer Brandon Lyon is still working out the kinks in his return from a partial rotator cuff tear: inserted in the ninth inning of yesterday's game vs. the Braves and tasked with protecting an eight-run lead, Lyon gave up three earned runs on two hits (including a homer by Jordan Schafer) and a walk as his ERA ballooned to 11.47 on the year. Sean Pendergast is wondering what Lyon has done to earn a spot on the roster.
- Milwaukee fell into a first-place tie with idle St. Louis as the Crew, as per usual, couldn't figure out Ryan Dempster and lost to Chicago, 1-0. Randy Wolf was stellar through seven, but Eighth Inning Guy Kameron Loe allowed the Cubs to scratch across a run and the Brewers went quietly into the night. Our recap is here.
- It was a clean sweep in the rest of the division, as the Reds, Pirates, and Astros all won last night. Cincinnati used a four-run seventh inning to take a 6-4 decision over the Dodgers in L.A. Bronson Arroyo worked into the eighth inning, giving up six hits and walking nobody while giving up four earned runs, and CoCo Cordero struck out the side in the ninth (he also walked a batter) for his 13th save. The big blow in the pivotal seventh came off the bat of Reds slugger Joey Votto, who clubbed a two-out, three-run shot off of Matt Guerrier to put the game out of reach.
- The Pirates continued to flirt with the .500 mark, claiming a 3-1 win over the Mets at PNC Park and inching within a game of .500 once again. Neil Walker went 1-3 and drove in two runs (one via a bases loaded walk) and Brandon Wood his his second homer of the year in the fifth to fuel the Pittsburgh offense. Paul Maholm threw seven strong innings, limiting New York to three hits and two walks without allowing a run.
- Houston exploded for five runs in the fifth inning of an 8-3 win over Atlanta at Minute Maid Park. Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a 3-4 performance that included a homer and four runs driven in, and Brett Wallace went 2-2 with two walks and drove in a run. Wandy Rodriguez was effective in his return from the DL, holding the Braves scoreless on two hits and four walks over six innings.
Your updated standings for June 14:
On tap for today:
- The Crew and Cubs are at it again at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight at Wrigley Field, with Yovani Gallardo (8-3, 3.96) facing Randy Wells (1-1, 6.50).
- St. Louis is in D.C. for a three-game series with Washington that begins at 6:05 p.m. tonight. Jaime Garcia (6-2, 3.20) gets the ball for the Redbirds, and he'll face Yunesky Maya (0-1, 5.40).
- The Reds and Dodgers continue their series at 9:10 p.m. CDT at Dodger Stadium. Scheduled to start: for Cincy, Johnny Cueto (3-2, 1.93); for L.A., Clayton Kershaw (6-3, 3.44).
- Pittsburgh and Houston start a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight at Minute Maid Park. Jeff Karstens (3-4, 2.94) is on the bump for the Buccos, while Bud Norris (4-4, 3.67) goes for the 'Stros.