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Around the NL Central: June 4 Edition


Mikael Cleto, who had made his major league debut by giving up five runs in two innings Thursday night, was sent back to AA by the Cardinals.

St. Louis also sent infielder Pete Kozmo to AAA.  To replace the two players, the Cards brought up first baseman Mark Hamilton and third baseman Matt Carpenter.  The two players had a .509 and .421 OBP in AAA, respectively. 

After a cut lip from a stray grounder, Aramis Ramirez was held out of the lineup for the Cubs.  DJ Lemahieu took his place at third base.

Yesterday's Games:

Trying to stay around .500, the Pirates managed to beat the Phillies 2-1 in twelve innings.  Both teams scored a run in the sixth inning, Philadelphia on a Chase Utley RBI single and Pittsburgh on a Jose Tabata sac fly.  It would be another six innings before Jose Tabata knocked in his second run of the game, a single that scored Xavier Paul who had reached on a single and advanced to second via stolen base.  Jeff Karstens allowed just the one run in seven innings and the Pirates bullpen had a very strong game.  Daniel Moskos notched his first career win.  For the Phillies, Cole Hamels pitched a gem, allowing just one run in eight innings.  He only gave up one hit. 

The Reds beat the Dodgers, also by a score of 2-1, with both runs coming in the fifth.  In that frame, Drew Stubbs reached on a single, proceeded by two walks--the first to Joey Votto and the second to Jay Bruce--to load the bases with two outs.  Ancient Scott Rolen singled in two runs before Fred Lewis lined out to end the inning.  Rolen and Stubbs each had two hit games.  Bronson Arroyo had a nice outing, going six innings and giving up just the one run on five hits. 

The Astros lost to the Padres 3-1, snapping a four game winning streak.  Houston's only run came on a JR Towles sacrifice.  Clint Barmes and Chris Johnson (who I swear always has good games when I'm writing these division recaps) each went 2-4.  Johnson also scored the lone Astros run.  J.A. Happ had a quality start, going six innings and giving up all three Padres runs. 

The Cubs couldn't help slow down the Cardinals as St. Louis won 6-1.  Nobody stood out offensively for the Cubs as they collected just five hits as a team.  Ryan Dempster continued his struggles, allowing six runs in just five innings.  The Cardinals got home runs from Lance Berkman (a three run shot) and Albert Pujols (two runs), accounting for all five St. Louis RBIs (the sixth run scored on a wild pitch).  Berkman, Ryan Theriot and Yadier Molina all had a couple hits.  Jaime Garcia was spectacular, going eight innings, striking out eight, and giving up just the one run on four hits and a walk. 

The Brewers rode some late game heroics from pinch hitter Ryan Braun to a 6-5 victory. 

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 34 25 -- 5-5 W1
Brewers 31 26 2.0 7-3 W1
Reds 30 28 3.5 5-5 W2
Pirates 27 29 5.5 5-5 W1
Cubs 23 32 9.0 3-7 L4
Astros 23 35 10.5 5-5 L1


Today's Matchups:

The Cards and Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.13), who has been outstanding this year, take on the Cubs and the less impressive Randy Wells (1-1, 5.40).

Johnny Cueto (2-2, 2.20) and the Reds go against Clayton Kershaw (6-3, 2.62) and the Dodgers in what could be a hell of a pitchers duel.

The Pirates send out Charlie Morton (5-2, 2.51) to face the Phillies and Kyle Kendrick (3-3, 3.18).

Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 5.40) gets the call for the Astros as they face the Padres and Aaron Harang (5-2, 3.88)

Yovani Gallardo (7-2, 3.89) looks to continue his hot streak as the Brewers take on the Marlins and Chris Volstad (2-4, 5.91).