News and notes from around the Central:
- St. Louis pitching coach/miracle worker Dave Duncan left the club Friday because of "personal reasons," and, considering that Duncan's Shelly left the Indians on Friday for the same reason, things don't sound very good. Here's hoping everything is OK with the Duncan family.
- Injured Reds shortstop Edgar Renteria (left groin strain) made a brief appearance over the weekend, when he pinch hit on Saturday. Skipper Dusty Baker says the hope is that Renteria will be ready to go when the team begins a series with the Marlins tomorrow.
- When the words "will be examined by Dr. James Andrews" are attached to a pitcher, it rarely ends in good news. But that's the situation facing injured Pirates starter Paul Maholm, who was placed on the DL on Friday with a left shoulder strain.
- Interim Cubs General Manager Randy Bush has already been told that he's not a candidate for the full-time gig, but he's promised to make the transition for the new GM as smooth as possible.
- To ease the rookie's workload in the final month of the season, the Astros optioned right-hander Jordan Lyles to AAA Oklahoma City. Lyles will rejoin the club on September 1 when rosters expand, but he'll be used exclusively as a reliever after that.
- A day after what probably qualifies as their wildest win of the year, Milwaukee had a much more conventional 6-2 win over the Mets on Sunday afternoon. Our recap is here.
- I guess hoping for Chicago to sweep St. Louis would have been too much to ask for, what with Rodrigo Lopez on the mound last night and all: Lopez got battered by the Cards to the tune of four home runs -- solo shots by Jon Jay and Yadier Molina in the second, a solo homer by Al Pujols in the fifth, and a two-run shot by Molina in the sixth that chased Lopez from the game -- and Jake Westbrook held the Cubs down for seven innings, scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out three as the Cardinals avoided the sweep with a 6-2 win.
- Cincinnati rallied for a 5-4 win over Pittsburgh in a game that was delayed by rain for an hour in the seventh inning. The Reds were trailing by one when the game resumed, having scored all three of their runs to that point on Joey Votto's three-run blast in the sixth, but Garrett Jones answered Votto's shot with a two-run homer of his own in the bottom of the sixth. The game stayed at 4-3 until the ninth, when the Reds touched Bucs closer Joel Hanharan for three hits and two walks while plating two runs to steal the win. Ramon Hernandez tied the game with a single to left field, and Brandon Phillips drove in the winning run with an RBI groundout.
- Houston's modest four-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Kung Fu Panda, as Pablo Sandoval snapped a 4-4, 11th-inning tie with a two-run homer to center field to give the Giants a 6-4 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Houston starter Henry Sosa got worked for four runs on four hits and a walk in five innings, but four Astro relievers held the Giants in check until closer Mark Melancon surrendered Sandoval's shot in the 11th. J.D. Martinez was 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI.
Your updated standings for August 22:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Elimination #
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
On tap for tonight:
- The Crew and Pirates have a doubleheader that starts at 4:05 p.m. CDT. Game one features the return of Chris Narveson (8-6, 4.49), who will take on Jeff Karstens (9-6, 3.12). In game two, Zack Greinke (12-4, 3.92) faces spot starter Brad Lincoln (0-0, 5.40).
- The Cardinals head home to face the Dodgers at 7:15 p.m. CDT. Chris Carpenter (8-8, 3.68) is on the bump for the Redbirds, while Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 2.12) starts for L.A.
- The Cubs open a four-game set with the Braves at 7:05 p.m. CDT. Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.61) matches up with Jair Jurrjens (12-5, 2.84) in this one.
- Houston begins a series in Colorado at 7:40 p.m. CDT, when Brett Myers (3-12, 4.72) takes on the Rockies Jhoulys Chacin (9-10, 3.59).
- The Reds have the day off.