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MLB News and Notes August 6

MLB News and Notes August 6

Wednesday's MLB Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Marlins (Sanchez) at Phillies (Kendrick)**

-Caesars Palace opened Philadelphia as a $1.55 home ‘chalk’ over Florida, with the total set at 10½. This National League East matchup is slated to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Florida’s Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18 ERA) is making his second start of the season after upending Colorado Thursday as a $1.20 home favorite, 12-2. The Venezuela native went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

-The combined 14 runs soared ‘over’ the 9½-run closing total.

-Sanchez underwent right shoulder surgery last summer, and spent the beginning of this season in the minors. The 24-year-old picked up a no-decision against the Phillies last season, going five innings while being reached for three runs on nine hits (one home run) with three walks and four strikeouts.

-The Marlins eventually dropped that affair as a $1.50 road underdog, 6-5, while the combined 11 runs went ‘over’ the 9½-run closing total.

-Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59 ERA) knocked off Washington Thursday as a $1.25 road ‘chalk,’ 8-4. The second-year player pitched 6 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

-The combined 12 runs eclipsed the 8½-run closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash his fourth consecutive start.

-The 23-year-old fell to the Marlins July 19 as a $1.02 road underdog, 9-5, lasting just 4 1/3 innings while being tagged for seven runs on 10 hits (three home runs) with a walk and two strikeouts. The combined 14 runs went ‘over’ the nine-run closing total.

**Dodgers (Lowe) at Cardinals (Pineiro)**

-Caesars Palace lists Los Angeles as a $1.10 road favorite over St. Louis, with the total set at 8 ½. This matchup is slated to start at 8:15 p.m. ET.

-Los Angles hurler Derek Lowe (8-9, 3.70 ERA) was riding a personal three-game winning streak before Thursday’s setback to Arizona as a $1.00 home selection, 2-1. The veteran right-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

-The combined three runs failed to topple the 6½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 3-1 his last four starts.

-The 35-year-old fell to the Cardinals May 23 as a $1.20 home favorite, 2-1, yielding two runs on five hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings.

-The combined three runs never seriously threatened the eight-run closing total.

-St. Louis pitcher Joel Pineiro (3-5, 5.04 ERA) heads to the hill for the first time since Thursday’s setback to Atlanta as a $1.25 road favorite, 9-4. The Puerto Rico native was tagged for six runs on 10 hits (two home runs) with no walks and two strikeouts over six innings.

-The combined 13 runs eclipsed the 10-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 5-2 his last seven starts.

-The nine-year veteran has not pitched against the Dodgers the last few seasons.

**Yankees (Ponson) at Rangers (Hunter)**

-Caesars Palace installed New York as a $1.20 road ‘chalk’ over Texas, with the total listed at 12½. This American League tilt is scheduled to begin at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-New York gives the starting assignment to Sidney Ponson, hoping the right-hander can improve on his 6-2 ledger and 4.23 ERA in 15 starts. The Aruba native is off Friday’s no-decision against Los Angeles despite tossing seven scoreless innings on just two hits with four walks and a strikeout.

-The Yankees eventually dropped that affair as a $1.00 home selection, 1-0, while the lone run never seriously threatened the 10-run closing total. The ‘over’ had gone 7-2 his previous nine outings.

-Ponson finagled a no-decision against the Rangers July 2 despite allowing seven runs on nine hits (two home runs) with three walks and a strikeout over five innings. The Yankees rallied to win that matchup as a $1.75 home ‘chalk,’ 18-7, while the combined 25 runs soared ‘over’ the 10½-run closing total.

-Texas pitcher Tommy Hunter (0-0, 10.80 ERA) picked up a no-decision in Friday’s start with Toronto. The rookie right-hander went five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits (two home runs) with two walks and four strikeouts.

-The Rangers eventually won that affair as a $1.10 home favorite, 9-8, while the combined 17 runs eclipsed the 11-run closing total.

-This will be Hunter’s second major-league start.

**Tigers (Verlander) at White Sox (Danks)**

-Caesars Palace opened Detroit as a $1.10 road favorite over Chicago, with the total set at 9 ½. First pitch is slated for 8:10 p.m. ET.

-Detroit’s Justin Verlander (8-11, 4.49 ERA) has dropped back-to-back outings after Thursday’s setback to Cleveland as a $1.45 road ‘chalk,’ 9-4. The four-year veteran tossed 5 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs on five hits (one home run) with three walks and nine strikeouts.

-The combined 13 runs toppled the nine-run closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash his second consecutive contest.

-The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 1-1 against the White Sox this season in two starts, going a combined 13 innings while yielding eight runs on 13 hits (two home runs) with a walk and eight strikeouts. The Tigers prevailed as a $1.10 home ‘chalk,’ 5-1, while losing as a $1.50 home favorite, 7-6.

-Chicago’s John Danks (8-4, 3.31 ERA) is off Thursday’s no-decision against Minnesota after tossing a subpar six innings. The 6-foot-1 southpaw surrendered four runs on eight hits (one home run) with two walks and four strikeouts.

-The White Sox eventually dropped that affair as a $1.12 road underdog, 10-6, while the combined 16 runs doubled the eight-run closing total. The ‘over’ has cashed his last four starts.

-Danks beat the Tigers and Verlander July 26 as a $1.40 road underdog, 7-6, tossing six innings while being reached for five runs (four earned) on eight hits (two home runs) with no walks and five strikeouts. The combined 13 runs eclipsed the nine-run closing total.

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Streaking and slumping pitchers


Garrett Olson, Baltimore Orioles (8-5, 5.67)

After a horrendous stretch of four starts in which he went 0-2 and gave up 23 earned runs in 18.5 innings, Olsen has won his last two outings. You never know what’s going to happen with a rookie starter, but if it’s a season of ups and downs, Olsen is certainly on the way up after he came within two outs of pitching a complete-game shutout against the Mariners in his last start. It’s also a promising sign that the young lefty was able to put on a performance like that away from home, a situation in which he’s struggled this season.

Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins (8-6, 3.56)

Here’s another rookie, but you’d never know it by the way he’s been playing. Blackburn has been solid all season, but he appears to be getting stronger as the season goes on. The 26-year-old had a 2.45 ERA in July and he started off August with a brilliant seven-inning, six-hit, one-run showing against Cleveland, Aug. 1. Control is this young pitcher’s greatest strength; he’s walked just six batters in his last 10 starts.


Shaun Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays (5-5, 3.57)

It wasn’t that long ago that Marcum was the toast of Toronto, but ever since the right-hander has returned from the DL after an elbow injury, he has gone 0-1 and racked up a mammoth 9.82 ERA. After his latest loss, in which he gave up six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rangers, he commented that location has been the source of the problem.

"The whole game I couldn't locate my fastball at all," Marcum said. "It's tough to pitch if you can't locate your fastball."

The Blue Jays have gotten only one win in Marcum’s last seven starts.

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Baseball Today

Detroit at Chicago White Sox (8:11 p.m. EDT). Trying to make a long-anticipated push in the AL Central, the Tigers send Justin Verlander (8-11, 4.49 ERA) to the mound against John Danks (8-4, 3.31) and the White Sox.


- Chris Waters, Orioles, allowed a hit in eight innings in his major league debut in a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles.

- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs, went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs in Chicago's 11-7 win over Houston.

- Jason Kubel, Twins, went 4-for-5 with two home runs in an 8-7 loss to Seattle.

- Raul Ibanez, Mariners, had three hits, including a home run, and drove in five runs in Seattle's 8-7 win over Minnesota.

- Carlos Quentin, White Sox, went 4-for-7 with his 29th home run and Chicago beat Detroit 10-8 in 14 innings.


Chris Waters held the team with baseball's best record to one hit over eight innings in his major league debut, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0. The left-hander, who will turn 28 on Aug. 17, was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and inserted into the rotation due to the ineffectiveness of Radhames Liz - demoted to the minors on July 27. Waters threw 104 pitches, striking out three, walking three and hitting a batter. He retired 14 of his last 15 batters.


Raul Ibanez drove in five more runs in Seattle's 8-7 win over Minnesota. Ibanez, almost traded to Toronto at last week's trade deadline, ripped a three-run homer in the third, added a two-run single in the sixth and has 14 RBIs in his last three games, tying a franchise mark previously held by Ken Griffey Jr. Ibanez had six RBIs in Seattle's 10-run seventh inning on Monday night.


On the same day the Mets lost closer Billy Wagner to an injury, the team's mix-and-match bullpen was put to the test. Leading 6-2 starting the ninth, the Mets turned to Aaron Heilman. Heilman walked his first batter on four pitches and gave up a three-run homer to Jody Gerut with one out. At that point, manager Jerry Manuel had seen enough. He popped out of the dugout to lift Heilman, booed loudly by the crowd of 52,130. Joe Smith retired Tadahito Iguchi on a foul popup, and Manuel brought in Schoeneweis to face Brian Giles in a lefty-on-lefty matchup. Giles' well-hit drive to center was caught by Carlos Beltran, securing Schoeneweis' ninth major league save.


New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be examined by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday after undergoing an MRI on his ailing right shoulder. Chamberlain returned to New York for tests on his shoulder Tuesday. The team said before its game against the Texas Rangers that it would not reveal the results of the MRI exam until Chamberlain is seen by Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Chamberlain was removed from Monday night's start against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning with what the club announced was a stiff right shoulder. ... Texas closer C.J. Wilson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bone spurs in his left elbow after the Rangers' 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees. Wilson gave up an eighth-inning grand slam to Richie Sexson in the game.


Kansas City catcher Miguel Olivo and pitcher Zack Greinke were suspended for five games for their actions during a weekend game with the Chicago White Sox. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended two games and Royals manager Trey Hillman was given one game. All four penalties also included fines. Olivo and Greinke appealed their suspensions, and can continue to play until the appeal process is complete.


Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star pitcher Dan Haren has agreed to terms on a four-year, $44.75 million contract that runs through the 2012 season with a club option for 2013. Haren, acquired in an offseason trade with the Oakland Athletics, is 12-5 with a 2.75 ERA, fourth-best in the National League. He is fourth in the NL in strikeouts with 142 and leads the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 5.92. Haren's new deal includes $31.5 million more than he would have made in his old contract, which ran through 2009 with a team option for 2010. If the club picks up the option for 2013, the new contract would total $56.75 million.


The Washington Nationals gave up six runs in the eighth in an 8-6 loss to Colorado. But even worse, the Rockies managed just three hits in the inning. Three Washington relievers combined for four walks and two hit batters in the inning. After Brad Hawpe hit a two-run single, Charlie Manning walked Troy Tulowitzki and pinch hitter Seth Smith to make it 5-2. Saul Rivera relieved Manning and hit Willy Taveras to score a run and walked Jeff Baker to drive in another. Matt Holliday, who began the rally with a one-out double, drove in a run on an infield single.


Mike Hampton earned his first victory in nearly three years and hit an RBI double, leading the Atlanta Braves past the San Francisco Giants 11-4. The 35-year-old hadn't won since Aug. 14, 2005, for the Braves against Arizona - 1,087 days earlier. And this was just his third start of 2008 after he returned July 26 following a nearly three-year absence in which the two-time All-Star underwent two major surgeries on his left elbow. This season, he was sidelined by both a strained chest muscle and an injured groin. Hampton allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings. He lowered his ERA from 10.00 to 6.75.


Huston Street blew his sixth save of the season when Toronto rallied for two runs in the ninth to beat Oakland 4-3. Jason Isringhausen, restored to the closer's job last week, retired the first batter he faced but then gave up four hits and a walk in a span of five batters as St. Louis blew a four-run lead in the ninth. It was the major league-leading 27th blown save for the Cardinals, who won in the 11th inning, 6-4. Isringhausen had one bad break on Loney's bases-loaded infield hit, a slow roller down the first-base line that the pitcher couldn't field.


``He was the bulldog Hampton tonight. He had the super-duper sinker going. He was just outstanding. Hopefully he's not too sore tomorrow. It's been a long time since he's done this. The bulldog was on the attack, getting ahead of hitters. It's big for the team to get Mike a win.'' - Braves manager Bobby Cox after Mike Hampton won for the first time in nearly three years, 11-4 over San Francisco.

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Wednesday's best MLB bets

Florida at Philadelphia (-150, 10½)

There's simply not enough difference between these two clubs to justify a price like this. Florida has struggled to win in Philly, but the Fish still lead the season series 6-4, including a road win last night at +140. In spite of their weaknesses (pitching and fielding) the Marlins manage to get wins with their powerful bats - which means they have a chance to win almost every game they play.

They have a particularly good shot today, as Anibal Sanchez takes the mound, his second start since returning from an injury that kept him out for almost 15 months. A win over Colorado in his first game back showed that Sanchez is close to his previous form which saw him pitch a no-hitter in 2006. He'll face Kyle Kendrick today, who allowed seven earned runs, including three homers in his only meeting with the Marlins this season.

Pick: Marlins

Detroit at Chicago White Sox (-110, 9)

Justin Verlander has short, but ugly history against the White Sox. The young right-hander has a career 2-7 record against this divisional rival and he's never won a game (0-4) at U.S. Cellular field.

His opponent today, John Danks, has led the Sox to a 3-1 in his four career starts versus the Tigers. Chicago is 8-5 against Detroit this season, despite playing only four of those games in their home park.

Pick: White Sox

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