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Around the NL Central: July 1 Edition

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News from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Milwaukee sleepwalked through another road loss. What else is new? If you can stomach it, our recap of the carnage is here.
  • St. Louis has a share of the division lead courtesy of a 9-6 win -- and series sweep -- over the Orioles in Baltimore. The Cards jumped all over Brian Matusz, who surrendered eight earned runs on nine hits and a walk in just 3.1 winnings as his ERA spiked over 8.00 for the year. Lance Berkman had a two-run homer in the third (and he added another in the seventh) and Jon Jay had a three-run shot in the fourth to stake Jaime Garcia to an 8-0 lead. Garcia did his best to gag that advantage away, lasting just 5.1 innings and giving up ten hits (including two homers) and five earned runs, but four Cardinal relievers held the O's to a single run over the final 3.2 innings of the game.
  • Pittsburgh got the series win in Toronto with a 6-2 triumph at the Rogers Centre. With the game tied at 2 in the top of the sixth, Ronny Cedeno doubled in Lyle Overbay, and Brandon Wood followed with a two-run homer to give the Bucs a lead they wouldn't surrender. Jeff Karstens was excellent again, throwing seven strong innings: five hits, one walk, two punchouts, and two earned runs. Rookie Alex Pressley continued his hot start with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but Chicago managed to defeat the Giants in a game that featured the following things: (1) the Cubs lost Carlos Zambrano after one inning; (2) the Cubs trailed, 1-0, in the bottom of the ninth with Brian Wilson on the mound; and (3) the Cubs were down, 2-1, in the bottom of the 13th inning with two out and nobody on. Aramis Ramirez homered off of Wilson to knot the game at 1, and Jeff Baker doubled and scored on Darwin Barney's single (and a brutal throw by Cody Ross) in the 13th. Geovany Soto then ended the madness with a three-run homer to give the Cubs an improbable 5-2 win and a series split with San Francisco.
  • Houston salvaged a game in the Battle of Texas, thumping the Rangers, 7-0, at Minute Maid Park. The 'Stros blew the game open with a four-run fifth inning thanks to a throwing error by Adrian Beltre, a Jason Michaels double, and a Chris Johnson 2-RBI single. Wandy Rodriguez threw seven great innings, holding Texas to four hits and three walks while striking out four, and three Astro relievers held Texas without a hit a or walk in the game's last two innings.
  • Cincinnati had the day off.

Your updated standings for July 1:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Brewers 44 38 -- 4-6 L3
Cardinals 44 38 -- 5-5 W3
Pirates 41 39 2.0 6-4 W1
Reds 42 40 2.0 5-5 W1
Cubs 34 48 10.0 4-6 W2
Astros 29 53 15.0 2-8 W1

On tap for tonight:

  • The Crew travels to Minneapolis to begin a three-game series with the Twins at 7:10 p.m. CDT tonight. In game one, Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.92) faces Francisco Liriano (4-7, 4.98).
  • St. Louis heads to Tropicana Field for a three-game set with the Rays that starts at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. The Cards send Jake Westbrook (6-4, 5.32) to the bump to face Wade Davis (7-5, 4.32).
  • The Pirates are done with interleague play for the year; the Bucs are in Washington, D.C. to play the Nats at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Tonight's contest features Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.77) and Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 4.18).
  • The Reds welcome the Tribe to Cincinnati at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Bronson Arroyo (7-6, 5.01) matches up with Cleveland's Justin Masterson (5-6, 2.98) in game one of a three-game series.
  • The Cubs and White Sox play Round 2 of their crosstown rivalry beginning at 1:20 p.m. CDT this afternoon. Randy Wells (1-2, 6.25) needs to absorb some innings for a weary Cubs 'pen, and Edwin Jackson (4-6, 4.13) is on the hill for the Sox.
  • Houston hosts Boston in a three-game series that begins at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Tim Wakefield (4-3, 4.54) takes on Bud Norris (4-6, 3.36) in the series opener.