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Around the NL Central: August 4 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Milwaukee did its talking on the field, bludgeoning St. Louis, 10-5, and opening a 3.5 game advantage over the Cards in the Central. Our recap is here.
  • The car hasn't quite gone over the cliff for Pittsburgh, but the driver seems to be asleep at the wheel: the Pirates lost their third straight game to the woebegone Cubs, 1-0, last night. Chicago notched the game's only run on Starlin Castro's solo homer in the eighth inning, and Castro's blast made a winner out of Matt Garza, who worked seven strong innings, striking out seven while giving up four hits and two walks. Charlie Morton was just as good for the Bucs -- 7.0 IP, five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts -- but his bullpen couldn't preserve the tie: Chris Resop entered in the eighth inning and immediately surrendered Castro's homer, which was enough to drop the Bucs below .500 on the year.
  • Cincinnati shot itself in the foot in last night's 4-3 loss to Houston and now finds itself three games under .500 and 7.5 games off the pace in the Central. The Reds tallied single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, but the Astros plated two in the seventh thanks to a couple of misplays by Cincinnati: after Brian Bogusevic walked to open the Houston seventh, Jason Bourgeois reached on a bunt single when Joey Votto lollygagged the throw to first base, and Jose Altuve loaded the bases on another bunt when pitcher Nick Masset couldn't pick the ball up. J.D. Martinez followed with a laser down the left field line that scored Bogusevic and Bourgeois, and the Reds' fate was sealed.

Your updated standings for August 3:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
62 50 -- 8-2 W1
Cardinals 58 53 3.5 5-5 L1
Pirates 54 55 6.5
2-8 L6
Reds 54
57 7.5 4-6 L1
Cubs 46 65 15.5 5-5 W4
Astros 37 74 24.5 4-6 W1

On tap for tonight:

  • The Cardinals head to Miami to open a four-game series against the Marlins at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Kyle Lohse (9-7, 3.33) and Clay Hensley (1-3, 3.09) match up in the opener.
  • The Cubs and Pirates conclude their four-game set at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40 tries to pitch the Cubs to the sweep, while James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) tries to salvage a game for the Bucs.
  • The Brewers, Reds, and Astros have the day off.