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MLB News and Notes June 29

MLB News and Notes June 29

Sunday Night Baseball -- White Sox vs. Cubs
By ASA

ESPN has scheduled the White Sox and Cubs again for their Sunday Night Game of the Week and with good reason. These two teams have a strong dislike for each other which makes this one of the best Interleague series in all of baseball.

This weekend’s series should be a little more intense than usual after the Cubs just stuck it to the Sox last weekend in a 3-0 sweep at Wrigley. The Cubbies came from behind to win a close game on Friday night 4-3. The home team then proceeded to pretty much pound the Sox on Saturday and Sunday 11-7 and 7-1. With those three wins the Cubs have now won nine of the last 10 meetings with the Sox dating back to July of 2006.

Slated to start for the White Sox on Sunday night is veteran Mark Buehrle. Buehrle has produced double digit win totals for the White Sox in seven straight seasons and he looks like he is well on his way for 10 or more wins in 2008. Overall, Buehrle is 5-6 on the season with a 4.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.31. In his last four starts, however, he has been nearly unhittable. He has gone eight innings in each outing during this stretch.

Buehrle has a 3-0 record and a paltry 1.36 ERA over that four game span. He is eighth in the A.L. in total innings pitched this season with 104.2. In Buehrle’s last five starts he has allowed an average of just 1.6 runs per game. In Comiskey Park he is 2-2 with an ERA of 3.46 and his opponents are hitting just .224. The Cubs have knocked Buehrle around pretty good, however, as he is just 3-4 with an ERA above 5.00.

The White Sox offense takes a hit in this series as 1B Paul Konerko is still on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. He missed last weekend’s series and isn’t expected back until next weekend at the earliest. Konerko had been one of the White Sox's top hitters against the Cubs with 14 career homers.

The Chicago Cubs will send recently recalled left-hander Sean Marshall to the mound to face the Sox on Sunday. In his first start since being recalled, Marshall pitched last Tuesday vs. Baltimore and promptly got shelled. He allowed eight base runners in just 4.2 innings. Marshall allowed four earned runs in that stint and the Cubs lost 7-5. That loss ended the Cubs 14-game home winning streak. He began the year at Iowa before he was recalled April 9 and posted a 4.15 ERA in 13 relief appearances.

He had a save and no decisions before he was sent back to Iowa in early May. Marshall shouldn’t get too comfortable in the clubhouse as this will most likely be his last start as Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to come off the D.L. and resume his spot in the rotation. Marshall has had some success vs. his cross town rival going 1-1 with a 2.92 lifetime ERA vs. the Sox.

Statistically, these two teams basically mirror each other as they are both in the top ten in runs scored with the Cubs second at 430 runs while the Sox are eighth with 373 runs. The Cubbies have the advantage in batting average as they stand at .284 as a team which is the best in Major League Baseball. The White Sox are 11th in team average at .263. While the Cubs might have the advantage at the plate over the White Sox, it’s the South-Siders who hold the ever so small advantage on the mound. The Sox are second in the Majors in team ERA at 3.46 while the Cubs are fourth with a 3.68 team ERA. Ironically these two clubs are tied at fifth in team batting average against at .245.

Home field advantage could be the difference here as the Sox are 24-11 at home this year while the Cubs are just 16-20 away.

Will the Sox get some much needed revenge after last week’s sweep at the hands of their rivals or will the Cubs continue their recent domination of their south side counterparts? Either way, it will provide some very good drama on Sunday night.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June 29

Sunday's streaking starting pitchers
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks (8-4, 3.04)


Haren hasn’t lost a step since leaving the Oakland A’s. Haren ranks 11th in MLB and seventh in the NL with a sizzling 3.04 ERA. He is also 2-0 with a solid 1.35 ERA and 18 strikeouts in his last three contests.

The right-hander is coming off a dominating performance versus the league-leading Boston Red Sox in which he tossed seven scoreless innings and surrendered just two hits.

The Diamondbacks are 5-0 in Haren’s last five starts, while Florida is a miserable 1-10 in Olsens last 11 starts versus the NL West.

John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels (5-1, 1.57)

Lackey is putting together the best season of his six-year MLB career and he has the statistics to back it up. Since missing the start of the campaign with a tricep ailment, the right-hander has dominated his competition.

Lackey has 45 strikeouts in just eight starts and has not surrendered more than four earned runs in a contest this season. He is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his last three starts and is 3-1 on the road with an equally impressive 1.80 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

The Angels are 5-1 in Lackey’s last six starts against the NL West. They are also 9-3 in their last 12 meetings versus the Dodgers.


Slumping

Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds (4-7, 6.52)


Arroyo’s skills have steadily diminished since a strong 2006 campaign, his first in Cincinnati. The right-hander is 0-2 with a lofty 10.80 ERA in his last three starts. He surrendered 11 hits, 10 earned runs and three homers in Tuesday’s 14-1 setback to the lowly Toronto Blue Jays.

The veteran pitcher, winless in his last three road starts, has been atrocious, amassing a mediocre 3-3 record with an embarrassing 7.99 ERA and 2.02 WHIP.

The Reds are 6-23 in Arroyo’s last 29 road starts and are 4-10 in their last 14 trips to Progressive Field.

Joe Blanton, Oakland Athletics (4-10, 4.58)

Home field hasn’t been very kind to Joe Blanton. The veteran righty is just 2-7 with a 3.74 ERA at McAfee Coliseum. Blanton managed to pick up his second home win this season on Tuesday, but tossed a season-high 119 pitches in the process. The right-hander has thrown more than 300 pitches in his last three outings.

Blanton is just 1-2 in his last three starts with a 7.02 ERA. He has also surrendered at least one HR in each of his last seven starts.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.97 career ERA against the Giants. San Fran is 5-0 in left-hander Jonathan Sanchez’s last five road starts

Covers.com

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Sunday Night Baseball: Chicago Showdown Part II

ESPN has scheduled the White Sox and Cubs again for their Sunday Night Game of the Week and with good reason. These two teams have a strong dislike for each other which makes this one of the best interleague series in all of baseball.

This weekend's series should be a little more intense than usual after the Cubs just stuck it to the Sox last weekend in a 3-0 sweep at Wrigley. The Cubbies came from behind to win a close game on Friday night 4-3. The home team then proceeded to pretty much pound the Sox on Saturday and Sunday 11-7 and 7-1. With those three wins the Cubs have now won 9 of the last 10 meetings with the Sox dating back to July of 2006.

Slated to start for the White Sox on Sunday night is veteran Mark Buehrle. Buehrle has produced double digit win totals for the White Sox in seven straight seasons and he looks like he is well on his way for 10 or more wins in 2008. Overall Buehrle is 5-6 on the season with a 4.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.31. However, in his last four starts he has been nearly unhittable. During that stint he has gone eight innings in each outing. He has a 3-0 record and a paltry 1.36 ERA over that four game span. He is 8th in the A.L. in total innings pitched this season with 104.2. In Buehrle's last five starts he has allowed an average of just 1.6 runs per game. In Comiskey Park he is 2-2 with an ERA of 3.46 and his opponents are hitting just .224. The Cubs have knocked Buehrle around pretty good, however, as he is just 3-4 with an ERA above 5.00.

The White Sox offense takes a hit in this series as 1B Paul Konerko is still on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. He missed last weekend's series and isn't expected back until next weekend at the earliest. Konerko had been one of the White Sox's top hitters against the Cubs with 14 career homers.

The Chicago Cubs will send recently recalled left-hander Sean Marshall to the mound to face the Sox on Sunday. In his first start since being recalled, Marshall pitched last Tuesday vs. Baltimore and promptly got shelled. He allowed eight base runners in just 4.2 innings. Marshall allowed four earned runs in that stint and the Cubs lost 7-5. That loss ended the Cubs 14-game home winning streak. He began the year at Iowa before he was recalled April 9 and posted a 4.15 ERA in 13 relief appearances. He had a save and no decisions before he was sent back to Iowa in early May. Marshall shouldn't get too comfortable in the clubhouse as this will most likely be his last start as Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to come off the D.L. and resume his spot in the rotation. Marshall has had some success vs. his cross town rival going 1-1 with a 2.92 lifetime ERA vs. the Sox.

Statistically these two teams basically mirror each other as they are both in the top 10 in runs scored with the Cubs second at 430 runs while the Sox are eighth with 373 runs. The Cubbies have the advantage in batting average as they stand at .284 as a team which is the best in the Bigs. The White Sox are 11th in team average at .263. While the Cubs might have the advantage at the plate over the White Sox, it's the South-Siders who hold the ever so small advantage on the mound. The Sox are second in the majors in team ERA at 3.46 while the Cubs are fourth with a 3.68 team ERA. Ironically these two clubs are tied at fifth in team batting average against at .245.

Home field advantage could be the difference here as the Sox are 24-11 at home this year while the Cubs are just 16-20 away.

Will the Sox get some much needed revenge after last week's sweep at the hands of their rivals or will the Cubs continue their recent domination of their south side counterparts? Either way, it will provide some very good drama on Sunday night.

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BEHIND THE LINES

Good or struggling, pitchers provide betting opportunities


Pitchers such as Angels' John Lackey or Milwaukee's Ben Sheets earn strong support, but Cincinnati is an underdog behind the struggling Bronson Arroyo.

Backing a winning pitcher will always be a safe baseball bet, especially when the starter is someone like the Angels' John Lackey (5-1 record and 1.65 earned-run average) or Milwaukee's Ben Sheets (9-1, 2.59 ERA).

But although Lackey and Sheets will attract strong support for their starting assignments today, bettors should not overlook going against a struggling pitcher such as Cincinnati right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who's 0-3 in his last five starts.

Arroyo, who is scheduled to take the mound for the Reds against the Cleveland Indians today, has a 4-7 record for the season with a whopping 6.52 ERA.

That's part of the reason behind the line oddsmakers have given today for Cincinnati, which has been made a +161 underdog against the Indians (-169), according to Covers.com. Cleveland will start left-hander Aaron Laffey (4-4, 2.83 ERA).

Arroyo has had his problems in June.

In 22 1/3 innings, Arroyo has given up 25 earned runs, 37 hits and nine home runs, while allowing batters to hit .374 this month. And in Arroyo's last start at Toronto, he gave up three homers, 11 hits and 10 runs in only one inning of work in a 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

Not the type of effort the Reds expect from a pitcher who signed a $25-million, two-year contract extension in 2007.

It's a much different story for the Angels and Brewers, who have enjoyed one strong effort after another from Lackey and Sheets, respectively.

Lackey, who will make his ninth start of the season against the Dodgers today, has won four games in a row, and the Angels are 16-5 in his last 21 interleague starts.

With Lackey on the mound, oddsmakers have made the Angels favorites at -117 over the Dodgers (+109), who will start right-hander Derek Lowe (5-7, 4.05 ERA) today.

For Milwaukee, Sheets is the main reason why the Brewers are favored at -128 over Minnesota.

Despite the Twins' hot roll, which included 10 consecutive victories entering Saturday night's game, the Brewers are listed as favorites today. Minnesota, which will start righty Kevin Slowey (4-6, 3.96 ERA), is listed at +120.

latimes.com

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INTERLEAGUE

N.Y. Mets (39-41) vs. N.Y. Yankees (44-37)


Left-hander Oliver Perez (5-5, 5.29 ERA), who has just one win since shutting down the Yankees on May 18, takes the hill for the Mets as they wrap up their four-game interleague set at Shea Stadium. The Mets crushed the Yankees 15-6 in the first game of Friday’s unique split-stadium doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, but they’ve gone on to lose the next two at home by scores of 9-0 Friday night and 3-2 Saturday, Still, Jerry Manuel’s club is 11-6 in its last 17 interleague games and 7-3 in its last 10 Sunday outings.

Despite dropping the last two contests, the Mets still lead this season series 3-2, with the three wins coming by a combined score of 33-12.

Right-hander Darrell Rasner (4-5, 4.50) takes the ball for the Yankees trying to shake his own slump, having netted just one win since May 21. The Yanks are on a 24-12 roll, including 11-6 on the highway. The Bronx Bombers are also 10-3 in their last 13 in interleague play and 20-6 in their past 26 Sunday games.

The Mets are a middling 3-4 in Perez’s last seven starts, and the southpaw has figured in the decision in just three of those games, going 1-2. On Tuesday against Seattle, Perez got drilled for six runs (two homers) on seven hits in five innings in an 11-0 home loss. Perez has given up at least four earned runs in five of his last seven outings, posting a bloated 6.88 ERA in 34 2/3 total innings. On the bright side, the Mets are 7-3 in Perez’s last 10 Sunday starts.

Rasner is just 1-5 in his last six starts. On Tuesday at Pittsburgh, he got pounded for seven runs (all earned) on 10 hits in five innings in a 12-5 defeat. The young right-hander hasn’t gone beyond five innings in any of his last three starts, though he did get the win in a 5-3 home victory over San Diego on June 18, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings.

Perez is 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA at home this season, but he’s been much more successful against the Yanks, going 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five career starts. On May 18 at Yankee Stadium, he allowed just two runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings of an 11-2 Mets rout. Meanwhile, Rasner is 1-4 with a 6.92 ERA in his five road starts this season. Also, in his one career outing against the Mets last season at Shea Stadium, he allowed two earned runs and failed to record an out in the first inning before leaving with an injury in a 10-7 loss.

The over is on a 5-2 tear in this interleague rivalry and is 4-2 in the last six at Shea Stadium. The over is also on streaks of 5-1 overall when Perez starts, 5-0 when Perez works on Sundays, 21-10-4 for the Mets in interleague games against winning teams, 4-2 for the Yanks on the road and 5-3 for the Yankees against left-handers.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. METS and OVER


L.A. Angels (48-33) at L.A. Dodgers (38-42)

One night after getting no-hit, yet still pulling out a 1-0 victory, the Dodgers go for a three-game sweep of the Angels when they hand the ball to veteran right-hander Derek Lowe (5-7, 4.05). The Dodgers on Saturday got their lone run in the fifth inning when Matt Kemp reached on an error, stole second base, went to third on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly to steal a 1-0 victory. Joe Torre’s club, which took Friday’s series opener 6-0, became the fifth team since 1900 to win a game in which it was held hitless.

Even though they’ve won the first two games of this set, the Dodgers remain mired in slumps of 16-39 in interleague play, 6-22 in interleague games against winning teams, 18-44 as an underdog and 5-9 against the A.L. West. However, they now lead the season series against the Angels, 3-2.

Red-hot ace John Lackey (5-1, 1.65 ERA) is scheduled to toe the slab for the Angels, who still sport baseball’s best road record at 26-15, including 10-4 in their last 14 as a visitor. Mike Scioscia’s club is also on runs of7-3 in interleague road games, 9-4 in the last 13 against the N.L. West and 25-12 in its last 37 interleague games overall.

The Angels still hold a 9-4 advantage over the Dodgers in the last 13 series meetings. However, the home team is now 18-4 in the past 22 clashes.

The Angels have won five in a row behind Lackey, who has won his last four outings after missing the first six weeks of the season due to a strained triceps. On Monday at Washington, he yielded just two runs (one earned) on six hits in eight innings as the Angels rallied for a 3-2 victory, improving to 15-5 in their ace’s last 20 outings. Lackey has pitched at least seven innings in each of his eight starts this year, giving up only one earned run on six occasions.

Lowe and the Dodgers are 3-2 in his last five starts, although he got roughed up in a four-run eighth inning Tuesday against the White Sox. Lowe ended up allowing five runs on nine hits over 7 1/3 innings in a 6-1 home loss. Lowe is 3-4 with a no-decision in his last eight starts, but he’s thrown at least seven innings in six of those games.

Lackey is 3-1 with a sterling 1.80 ERA in four road starts this season, and he’s 4-1 with an even more minuscule 1.41 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Dodgers. Lowe, meanwhile, is 4-3 with a 3.52 ERA at Dodger Stadium this season, and he’s 6-6 with a 3.29 ERA in 28 career appearances (12 starts) against the Angels. However, last month in Anaheim, Lowe got tagged for seven runs on 10 hits in five innings in a 10-2 Angels shellacking.

With Lackey throwing, the under is on a 13-3-1 spree and is 21-7-3 in his last 31 road starts and 9-1 in his last 10 when facing an N.L. West opponent. The under has also cashed in Lackey’s last six starts against the Dodgers. Additionally, six of Lowe’s last seven interleague starts have stayed low, and the under is 11-3 in his last 14 outings in the third game of a series. Finally, the under is on streaks of 7-2 in this rivalry (2-0 in this series), 6-0 overall for the Dodgers, 15-5 for the Dodgers at home, 43-18-5 overall for the Angels and 20-7-2 for the Angels on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS and UNDER


Chicago Cubs (49-32) at Chicago White Sox (45-35)

Left-hander Mark Buehrle (5-6, 4.04), who has settled down significantly in his last four starts, gets the ball tonight as the White Sox look to complete a three-game sweep of the crosstown rival Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field. The Pale Hose hammered their neighbors 10-3 Friday, then came back yesterday and eked out a 6-5 victory. The White Sox, who got swept in a three-game set at Wrigley Field last weekend, have won four of their last five and they’re now 26-11 at home this year, including a stout 22-6 in their last 28 at U.S. Cellular.

The White Sox are also riding hot streaks of 11-1 in interleague home games against winning teams, 20-8 in the third game of a series and 12-5 in Buehrle’s last 17 Game 3 starts.

Left-hander Sean Marshall (0-1, 5.40 ERA), who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa earlier this week, will get the starting nod for the Cubs, who have lost four of five since sweeping a three-game home series from the White Sox last weekend. Lou Piniella’s squad is 16-22 on the highway this season, compared with a 33-10 home record, and the Cubbies have dropped five straight interleague roadies.

Despite the results the last two days, the Cubs are still on an 8-3 roll against the White Sox.

Buehrle is 3-0 with a no-decision in his last four starts, going eight strong innings in all four contests and yielding a total of just four runs, all earned, for a stellar 1.13 ERA. On Tuesday against the Dodgers, he yielded a single run – on a solo homer – on six hits in eight innings as Chicago rolled to a 6-1 road victory. The White Sox are 3-1 during Buehrle’s hot streak, having outscored opponents by a combined 25-5 in the three wins, and they are 5-1 in his last six interleague starts.

Buehrle is 2-2 with a 3.46 ERA in six home starts this season, and he’s 3-4 with a 5.10 ERA in nine career starts against the North Siders.

Marshall, who made 13 relief appearances in a stint earlier this season with the Cubs, got his first start of the year Tuesday against Baltimore. The 25-year-old took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 7-5 home setback. Dating to last season, the Cubs are 1-5 with Marshall start against winning teams.

Marshall has a 2.57 ERA in nine road relief appearances this season, and he’s 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two career starts against the South Siders.

The first two games of this series have topped the total, but the under is still 7-3 in the past 10 clashes at U.S. Cellular. Furthermore, the under is 6-1 in Marshall’s last seven starts, 5-1 for Buehrle in interleague play and 10-4-1 with Buehrle tossing the third game of a series.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CHICAGO WHITE SOX and UNDER

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Sunday's best MLB bets
By COVERS.com

Atlanta at Toronto -145, 8½

After years of rotation stability, the Braves are seeing how the other half lives this season. Injuries have forced three rookies - Jair Jurrjens, Jorge Campillo and Charlie Morton – into the rotation along with today’s starter Jo-Jo Reyes, who had just over 50 innings of big-league experience before this season. His last outing wasn’t pretty, either, when he gave up four runs to the Brewers early and was chased after just 2 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, it’s been an up-and-down year for Toronto’s A.J. Burnett. He was lights out in his last start, allowing just one run over eight innings in a win over Cincinnati, but he has also been rocked for eight earned runs in two of his last four starts as his name continues to come up in trade rumors.

Pick: Over


Arizona at Florida +110, 8

The Diamondbacks have slipped since beginning the season on a crazy tear, but Danny Haren is one guy who hasn’t cooled off yet. He has allowed just one run over his last 14 innings of work and has a 84 to 17 strikeout-to-walk ratio heading into today’s game.

Through a tough month of June, Haren kept the D-Backs above water by going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA to help Arizona to wins in all five of his starts.

"I tend to be streaky," he said. "That's not necessarily a good thing. Even though I tend to be streaky over my career, even when I have bad games I usually can keep the team in the game. I can at least try to throw up a quality start if I'm not out there feeling my best."

Pick: Arizona

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Baseball Today

STARS

- Jason Bay, Pirates, homered with two outs in the 13th inning to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

- Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, hit a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to give Detroit a 7-6 win over the Rockies.

- Carlos Quentin, White Sox, led off the bottom of the seventh with a tiebreaking homer to help the White Sox beat the Cubs 6-5.

- Tim Lincecum, Giants, struck out 11 and allowed five hits in seven innings, helping San Francisco snap a seven-game losing streak to Oakland with a 1-0 victory.

NO NO-NO

Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night, but the Angels became the fifth team in modern major league history to win a game in which they didn't get a hit. It was only the fifth such game since 1900, and first since Boston's Matt Young in 1992, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

SHOWING UP

The game between Baltimore and Washington drew a Nationals Park-record 39,479 fans, but less than half remained after a 63-minute rain delay in the sixth inning. The Orioles went on for a 9-1 victory.

EVEN

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth and Detroit overcame Todd Jones' blown save to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-6 and bring its record to .500 for the first time this season. The Tigers have won four straight and 14 of 17.

ON A ROLL

The Yankees' Andy Pettitte allowed only two solo homers in six neat innings, winning his fourth start in a row, 3-2 over the Mets. The left-hander improved to 6-0 with a 3.54 ERA in eight outings since a May 17 loss to Santana at Yankee Stadium.

BACK ON TRACK

Brandon Webb returned to his All-Star form, striking out eight and giving up two runs in six innings as the Diamondbacks beat the Florida Marlins 6-2. Webb (12-4) gave up 11 earned runs in his previous two starts, both losses.

LONG TIME COMING

Pittsburgh's John Van Benschoten, recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the Pirates' 4-3 win over Tampa Bay in 13 innings Saturday, earned his second career victory and first since September 10, 2004, against Houston. The right-hander improved his career record to 2-12.

SNAPPED

Arizona beat Florida for the first time in five tries this season, 6-2 Saturday night.
- Manny Parra allowed two hits in seven innings to win his sixth straight start and help the Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota 5-1 and end the Twins' 10-game winning streak. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kansas City is the first team since the Oakland A's in 1994 to have a 12-game losing streak and a span of 11 wins in 12 games in the same season.
- Rick Ankiel hit a two-run home run and St. Louis halted Kansas City's six-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory.

SUDDEN IMPACT

St. Louis improved to 4-0 in the four starts Mitchell Boggs (3-0) has made since being called up on June 6 from Triple-A Memphis, including a 5-1 win over Kansas City on Saturday.

POWERPHILS

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit 400-foot home runs only pitches apart in the third inning, both ending homerless droughts, and the Phillies went on to an 8-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on a rainy Saturday night. It was Utley's first homer in 12 games, and Howard's first in nine.

ALMOST THERE

Texas' 8-6 loss to Philadelphia prevented the Rangers from moving two games over .500 for the first time under second-year manager Ron Washington. Texas (41-41) has gotten one game over .500 six times this season, and has lost the next game each time-three times in the last week.

STINGY

Oakland's Justin Duchscherer lowered his ERA from 1.99 to 1.91 and became the majors' ERA leader in a 1-0 loss to San Francisco. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 13 starts, but picked up his first loss this year at home in the Coliseum (6-1).

IT'S BEEN A WHILE

Seattle's Carlos Silva won for the first time in 13 starts, beating the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Saturday night. Silva (4-9) snapped his career-high nine-game losing streak, the longest in the majors this season.

INTERLEAGUE BLUES

San Diego's 4-2 loss to Seattle was the Padres' season-high seventh straight, and 12th in 14 games, all against the American League. The Padres dropped to 3-14 in interleague play, worst in the majors. At 32-50, they're tied with the Washington Nationals for the second-worst mark in the bigs.

NO-HIT LOSERS

The Angels' Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo joined an exclusive list of pitchers who have allowed no hits and lost after the Dodgers won 1-0 on Saturday night. Other no-hit losers were: Boston's Matt Young in 1992, Andy Hawkins of the Yankees in 1990, Steve Barber and Stu Miller of Baltimore in 1967, and Ken Johnson of Houston in 1964.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

The Cubs' Derrek Lee was 5-for-5 with three RBIs in a 6-5 loss to the White Sox.

THE HARD WAY

The Reds' Johnny Cueto (6-8) went 6 1/3 innings in a 5-0 win over Cleveland on Saturday, but had to earn it. He struck out Sal Fasano with the bases loaded to end the second inning, left two runners stranded in both the fourth and sixth, and got key double plays in the first and fifth.

OUCH!

Washington outfielder Lastings Milledge hurt his right groin while chasing a ball hit by Alex Cintron in the third inning and was placed on the 15-day disabled list during Baltimore's 9-1 victory.

STATS

The Braves' Tim Hudson surrendered homers to Vernon Wells and Rod Barajas and the Blue Jays beat the Braves 9-5 on Saturday, dropping Hudson to 1-5 this season when he gives up a home run. Hudson has allowed just 20 homers in his past 331 innings.
- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has saved 54 of Andy Pettitte's 210 career wins, the second-highest total by a pair of major league pitchers since saves became an official stat in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley saved 55 victories for Bob Welch.
- Houston rallied from 4-0 and 9-6 deficits to beat Boston 10-9.

SPEAKING

"Any loss, no matter what, is tough. I'm sure you guys are going to eat this up a lot more than I am. I don't call it a no-hitter for me. I only went six innings."-Jered Weaver after the Los Angeles Angels held the Dodgers hitless, but lost 1-0 on Sunday.

"I strike out 100 or more times a year, so three is not any insurmountable challenge."-Houston's Lance Berkman who struck out three times before hitting a two-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Astros over Boston 10-9.

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