News and notes from around the Central:
- He has risen.
- Pirates infielder Josh Harrison passed a battery of concussion tests a day after leaving Monday's game against the Astros after a nasty home plate collision with Carlos Corporan and was available to play in last night's game vs. Houston.
- Reds starter Bronson Arroyo has been dealing with a mild case of vertigo since Monday, but a solid nap on Monday and a good night's sleep left him feeling better, and he'll make his scheduled start today against the Cards.
- The Cubs placed reliever Marcos Mateo on the 15-day DL after he had to exit Monday's game against the Nationals with pain in his throwing elbow. Cryin' Mike Quade says he's not responsible for Mateo's injury, even though he left Mateo in for five innings (and 60 pitches) after Carlos Zambrano had to leave a game last week after one inning of work.
- Houston placed reliever Fernando Abad on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. The Astros summoned Fernando Rodriguez from AAA to take Abad's place, and F. Rodriguez joins Wandy and Aneury on Team Rodrigui.
- St. Louis celebrated His Holiness' return to the active roster (he didn't actually play, so I can't say "return to the lineup") with an 8-1 demolition of Cincinnati at Busch Stadium. The Cards roughed up Reds started Edinson Volquez, who surrendered seven runs (six earned) in 5.1 innings, with Matt Holliday doing the lion's share of the damage with a solo homer in the first inning and three-run backbreaker in the fifth. Lance Berkman hammered a solo homer of his own in the first, a 452-foot blast that's the longest homer hit in the three-year history of New Busch.
- Pittsburgh pulled into second place courtesy of Milwaukee's loss (if you're feeling masochistic: here's a recap of the Crew's latest toe-stubbing) and the Bucs' 5-1 win over Houston at PNC Park. The "who put a quarter in this guy?" tour rolled on for Pirate starter Jeff Karstens, who worked seven innings, scattering seven hits and allowing a single run on a homer by Clint Barmes. Meanwhile, the Pirates touched Wandy Rodriguez for five earnies in six innings, and Brandon Wood was the hitting hero: Wood was 2-for-3 on the night with a two-run homer, an RBI single, and walk.
Chicago found itself in an early 3-0 hole in Washington thanks to three consecutive singles by the Nats and a throwing error by second baseman Jeff Baker in the bottom of the first inning, but the Cubs held the Nationals scoreless from there, as Ramon Ortiz worked six innings (seven hits, 3BB, seven K, two earned runs) in his return to the Show. Unfortunately for the Northsiders, the only offense the Cubs could muster was a two-run homer from Aramis Ramirez, and Chicago dropped a 3-2 decision to Washington at Nationals Park.
Your updated standings for July 6:
On tap for tonight:
- St. Louis and Cincinnati conclude their series at 7:15 p.m. CDT tonight at Busch Stadium. Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.49) is on the bump for the Reds, while Jake Westbrook (7-4, 4.92) takes the ball for the Redbirds.
- The Crew turns to Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 3.92) in an effort to avoid the sweep at the hands of Josh Collmenter (4-5, 3.17) and the Diamondbacks.
- The Pirates and Astros finish their three-game set at 6:05 p.m. CDT at PNC Park. Bud Norris (4-6, 3.51) faces Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.63) in the finale.
- The Cubs continue their series in D.C. at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Randy Wells (1-3, 6.59) looks to right the ship for the floundering Baby Bears, while former Cub Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.77) gets the call for the Nats.