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Around the NL Central: July 11 Edition

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Programming note: The thunderstorms that roared through Wisconsin last night claimed KL's Internet connection as a victim, and, though we've got four technicians working on the issue (they're working in shifts), it's uncertain if there will be a Mug this morning. Adjust your commenting accordingly.

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • The Cardinals maintained a share of first place with a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium. The scoring was over early in this one: St. Louis plated two runs in the first inning on a Matt Holliday single and a David Freese sac fly, Arizona answered with two in the second on a Ryan Roberts homer, and St. Louis got two more in the third on a two-run shot by Freese that accounted for the final margin. Jaime Garcia picked up his ninth win, working six innings and scattering seven hits and a couple of walks while striking out five and giving up the homer to Roberts. Fernando Salas worked around a two-out single to notch his 16th save on the year.
  • The Crew rallied for its third one-run win over the Reds in four games and its second walkoff win in the last three days, as Craig Counsell brought home George Kottaras with the winning run and Milwaukee handed Cincinnati closer CoCo Cordero his third loss of the season with a 4-3 win at Miller Park. Our recap is here.
  • The Cubs are awful, you guys. Like, almost incomprehensibly awful for a team that's got a payroll of $130 million. Chicago fell to 18 games under .500 by sleepwalking through a 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon at PNC Park. Paul Maholm was excellent for the Bucs, working 7.2 innings and holding the moribund Cubs in check on four hits while striking out eight. Ramon Ortiz, meanwhile, was Ramon Ortiz: the Bucs got to the ancient right-hander for a run in the first inning, then put the game out of reach with a four-run third fueled by a three-run tater from All-Star Andrew McCutchen. Pittsburgh heads into the break a game out of first place.
  • Houston limped into the break with a 5-4 loss to the Marlins in Miami. Wandy Rodriguez ran into trouble in the third and then blew up in the fourth, giving up four runs on a Mike Cameron two-run homer, an Omar Infante sac fly, and a Gaby Sanchez double. The Astros tried to rally, pulling within one on Hunter Pence's 11th homer in the top of the eighth, but Houston couldn't get over the hump, going down meekly in the ninth on two pop outs and a fly out.

Your updated standings for July 11:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 49 43 -- 5-5 W2
Brewers 49 43 -- 5-5 W1
Pirates 47 43 1.0 6-4 W1
Reds 45 47 4.0 3-7 L1
Cubs 37 55 12.0 3-7 L1
Astros 30 62 19.0 1-9 L4

On tap for tonight: the Home Run Derby, which features Milwaukee's own Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks and NL Central-mate Matt Holliday.