News from around the Central:
- With right-hander Kyle McClellan sidelined by a strained hip flexor, St. Louis summoned its top pitching prospect, big right-hander Lance Lynn, to take McClellan's spot in the rotation. Lynn was immediately throw into the fire, as he started (and picked up the loss) in yesterday's game vs. San Francisco.
- Today in "Duh": Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, who hit around 38 homers and drove in well over 200 runs in May (at least it seems that way), was named the NL Player of the Month.
- Cubs center-fielder Marlon Byrd is making an amazingly quick recovery from the facial injuries suffered when he was hit in the face by a pitch in Boston last month: Byrd says he'll be back on the field in six weeks
- The Pirates have the first pick in the upcoming amateur draft, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Kevin Gorman says it's likely that the Bucs will tab hard-throwing right-hander Gerrit Cole (UCLA) with that selection.
- Injured Houston closer Brandon Lyon's rehab from a partially torn rotator cuff has progressed to the point that he's being sent to AAA Oklahoma City to begin a rehab stint on Sunday.
- Somebody forgot to tell the Giants that they're not supposed to be able to score in bunches: San Francisco used four multi-run innings to stomp St. Louis, 12-7, at Busch Stadium last night. The Giants were actually down 3-0 in this one after three innings, but they scored two in the fourth, three in the sixth, five in the seventh, and two more in the ninth to run away with the win. Aubrey Huff clubbed three homers and drove in six runs for the Giants and Freddy Sanchez added a three-run tater as San Francisco survived a shaky outing from Jonathan Sanchez, who walked six batters in just 5.1 innings of work. Right-hander Maikel Cleto made his MLB debut for the Cards in the seventh and it was nothing to write home about: Cleto was tagged for five earnies on three hits (two homers) and two walks in 2 innings of work.
- Pittsburgh suffered a stomach-punch loss of the highest order at Citi Field, gacking away a 7-0 lead and bowing to the Mets, 9-8. The Bucs plated three runs in the first (RBI singles by Andrew McCutchen and Matt Diaz and an RBI groundout by Neil Walker, respectively) and tacked on three more in the second inning (another McCutchen single and a two-run homer by Walker), but Paul Maholm couldn't make it hold up. The Mets grabbed the lead in the eighth inning in an odd sequence: Ronny Paulino singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Willie Harris. New York then sent Chris Capuano to the dish to bunt Harris over, but that became unnecessary when Jose Veras balked Harris to second. Josh Thole then replaced Cappy mid at-bat, and Veras uncorked a wild pitch that sent Harris to third. After Thole walked, Ruben Tejada hit a sac fly to give the Mets the lead. Veras then walked the bases loaded and gifted the Mets an insurance run when he issued another free pass, this one to Carlos Beltran.
- Don't look now, but Houston won its fourth game in a row last night, taking a 7-4 triumph over San Diego at Petco Park. The Astros grabbed control of the game with a five-run third inning that was fueled by three Padre errors: Jason Bartlett booted a double-play ball, second baseman Logan Forsythe threw away a ball to first base, and Kyle Phillips committed catcher's interference. Bud Norris wasn't especially sharp in six innings -- six hits, two walks, six strikeouts, four runs -- but he did enough to earn the win.
- Everybody else -- Cincinnati, Chicago, and Milwaukee -- had the day off.
Your updated standings for June 3:
On tap for tonight:
- The Cardinals welcome the Cubs to town for a three-game series that begins at 7:15 p.m. CDT tonight. The Cards start Jaime Garcia (5-1, 3.28) and the Cubs send Ryan Dempster (4-4, 6.00) to the hill.
- The Crew is in Miami to begin a four-game, wraparound series with the Marlins. Tonight's game is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CDT and features Milwaukee's Randy Wolf (4-4, 3.43) and Florida's Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.82).
- The Reds continue their homestand against the Dodgers at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Scheduled to start: for Cincinnati, Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 5.74); for L.A., Hiroki Kuroda (5-5, 3.50).
- Pittsburgh plays an intrastate affair, hosting Philadelphia at PNC Park at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. The Pirates have to face Philly's Cole Hamels (7-2, 3.01), while the Fightin's battle Jeff Karstens (3-4, 3.58).
- Houston continues it series in San Diego at 9:05 p.m. CDT tonight. J.A. Happ (3-6, 4.66) starts for the 'Stros, and Dustin Moseley (1-6, 3.18) takes the ball for the Padres.