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Around the NL Central: August 2 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Milwaukee's winning streak now stands at seven and its division lead is up to 3.5 games after a come-from-behind, 6-2 victory over St. Louis last night at Miller Park. KL has your Recap of Joy here.
  • Chicago used a three-run outburst in the sixth inning to steal a 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh at PNC Park. Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a single and Jeff Baker followed with another, and Geovany Soto plated Castro when he ripped a line drive double to left field. After an intentional walk, Alfonso Soriano drove in another run with an RBI ground-out, and Carlos Pena drove in the third run of the inning with a sac fly to left field. That was all the support Carlos Zambrano needed, as the mercurial one worked six effective innings (seven hits, one run, three walks, five strikeouts). Kerry Wood made things interesting by giving up two runs in the eighth inning on former Cub Derrek Lee's second homer of the night (Lee finished 2-for-4 with the two homers and three driven in), but Carlos Marmol nailed down his 21st save with a three-up, three-down ninth inning.
  • Cincinnati lost a gut-punch game in Houston, as the Astros won, 4-3, in 10 innings. Houston's bats went quiet after a three-run second inning (caped by Jimmy Paredes two-RBI triple), but the Reds couldn't get much offense going against Bud Norris: despite working Norris for ten hits and three walks in just five innings, the Reds only notched three runs on Joey Votto's RBI double, Brandon Phillips' RBI single, and a run-scoring, double play ground-out from Jay Bruce. The Astros loaded the bases in the 10th on a single by Humberto Quintero, a pinch-hit single by Angel Sanchez, and an intentional walk to Brian Bogusevic. Jose Altuve followed with a shot back up the middle which was gloved by Phillips, who fired to home plate in plenty of time to force Quintero ... but catcher Ryan Hanigan dropped the ball and Quintero scored the winning run.

Your updated standings for August 1:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
61 49 -- 8-2 W7
Cardinals 57 52 3.5 5-5 L2
Pirates 54 53 5.5
3-7 L4
Reds 53
56 7.5 5-5 L1
Cubs 44 65 16.5 5-5 W2
Astros 36 73 24.5 3-7 W1

On tap for tonight:

  • The Crew and Cards are back at it at 7:10 p.m. CDT at Miller Park, when Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.33) takes on Jaime Garcia (10-5, 3.14).
  • The Pirates try to rebound from last night's loss to the Cubs at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Kevin Correia (12-8, 4.24) faces Randy Wells (2-4, 6.16) in this one.
  • Houston and Cincinnati play game two of their series at 7:05 p.m. CDT at Minute Maid Park. Homer Bailey (5-5, 4.68) is on the bump for the Reds, while Wandy Rodriguez (7-7, 3.47) starts for the 'Stros.