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Cubs' Junior Lake gets the start in left field Friday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:04 pm ET) Cubs outfielder Junior Lake is making a rare start in left field, batting seventh on Friday against the Diamondbacks. Lake was recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday and is making just his third start of the season.

Lake is replacing Chris Coghlan, who had started each of the last five games. Coghlan is likely just receiving a day off, with no injury being reported. 


Braves bring up Ian Thomas, send down Adonis Garcia


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:57 pm ET) With Alex Wood scratched with a stomach virus, the Braves promoted left-hander Ian Thomas from Triple-A Gwinnett for some insurance. Thomas has tossed 15 2/3 scoreless innings in the minors this season, per MLB.com.

In a corresponding move, the Braves optioned third baseman Adonis Garcia down to Triple-A. Garcia made just two big-league appearances and had only one at-bat.


Cardinals' Matt Holliday to DH against the Royals on Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:48 pm ET) Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday will serve as a designated hitter Friday night against Chris Young the Royals, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Holliday is a career .310 hitter as a left fielder and only .205 as a designated hitter.

With Holliday at DH, Randal Grichuk will play left field with Peter Bourjos in center and Jason Heyward in right field.


Marlins LF Christian Yelich gets a breather on Friday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(4:26 pm ET) Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich is being held out of the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Orioles. No injury is being reported, so it appears to just be a day off.

Yelich had started every game since returning from a stint on the disabled list on May 8, and he's been struggling offensively. In those 12 games, he's batting just .159 (7 for 44) with a home run and a double. 

Ichiro Suzuki will make the start in left field and bat seventh in the order. 


Phillies slide 2B Chase Utley back to No. 3 spot in order


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:50 pm ET) With Ben Revere back in the starting lineup, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley slid back to the No. 3 hole  for Friday's contest against the Nationals.

Utley recorded his first triple of the season on Thursday, and is has had a hit in each of his last six games. He is hitting .450 (9 for 20) with four doubles, a triple and three RBI over that span. He owns a .169/.250/.292 slash line with three homers and 18 RBI over 148 plate appearances this season.

Philadelphia is considered an underdog (+245) at Washington, per VegasInsider.com.


Nationals' Clint Robinson makes the start in left field Friday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(3:06 pm ET) Nationals left fielder Clint Robinson is making his first start since April 23. Robinson is in the starting lineup Friday against the Phillies, batting seventh.

With regular left fielder Jayson Werth on the disabled list, Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore have been splitting most of the time in the outfield. But they will be on the bench as Robinson will draw the start Friday. He's had just nine at-bats this month, with his only hit going for an RBI double which came in his last appearance as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday.


Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig (hamstring) feeling better in rehab


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(2:45 pm ET) Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, who is currently working on a rehab assignment while recovering from a hamstring injury, is said to be feeling much better, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Previous reports indicated Puig had suffered a minor setback in his recovery, but it looks like he could be getting closer to making a return to the Dodgers' lineup, though the team has not provided an offical update on his timetable. 

Puig has one hit in seven at-bats during his rehab at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. The one hit was a solo home run.


Reds OF Marlon Byrd playing his role in team batting slump


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:48 am ET) The team batting slump that has ravaged the Reds has hit outfielder Marlon Byrd hard as well.

Byrd has been scuffling for two weeks, during which time he has just five hits in 35 at-bats. He is currently on a 1-for-17 slide.

He has generally remained productive, however. Byrd has six home runs and 15 RBI in May, but his overall slash line on the year is at .207/.283/.430. He has fanned 42 times in just 135 at-bats.


Rival teams looking to struggling Brewers for possible deals


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:45 am ET) With the Brewers looking more and more like eventual sellers, rival teams are saying pitchers Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse have limited trade value, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Early on, teams seem to be preferring Lohse due to his pending free agency at the end of the season, and his excellent clubhouse presence. Both pitchers have struggled this season, each with an ERA over 5.00 in nine starts. 

Heyman also notes that teams are unsure if the Brewers would consider trading young shortstop Jean Segura, who is currently on the disabled list with a broken finger. There seems to also be uncertainty whether catcher Jonathan Lucroy or outfielder Carlos Gomez would be available, though Gomez would probably be the most likely to go since his contract is up after the 2016 season. 


Padres' Melvin Upton needs at least 40 at-bats before DL activation


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:30 am ET) With Yonder Alonso and Wil Myers sidelined with injuries, this could Padres outfielder Melvin Upton's best opportunity to show he can still contribute, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Upton, who has been sidelined all season with a left toe injury, began a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso on Monday. He is hitting .333 (3 for 9) with a double and an RBI in two games. He will need another 40 at-bats before he is activated from the disabled list.

"His pride is kicking in," a friend of Upton said. "He doesn't want to be remembered as the worst contract in baseball history."


Mets LF Michael Cuddyer could be finding his way at the plate


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:39 am ET) Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer had his first three-hit game of the season in Thursday's win over the Cardinals. Cuddyer reached safely in all four of his plate appearances, going 3 for 3 (all singles) with a walk. 

The veteran outfielder has gotten off to a rather slow start at the plate for his new team, but he may be starting to turn things around. He's reached base safely via a hit or a walk in each of his last seven games, batting .346 during that span. 

“I feel a little better,’’ Cuddyer said after the game, per the New York Post. “I don’t really tinker with mechanics too much. There’s a few things you I can do in the cage that will free you up a little bit, and we’re getting you that point. But ultimately, you look at the box score, and that’s how you say if a guy is hot or not.’’

Cuddyer hasn't homered since May 1, so the power hasn't quite been there for him yet. But the team is happy to see Cuddyer improving.

“Cuddy’s hitting the ball well. He hit the ball well [Wednesday] night, but right at them," Mets first baseman Lucas Duda said. "I think we’re getting rolling here offensively, and that will just help us. It should be fun.’’


Braves' Cameron Maybin provides spark in No. 2 spot Thursday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin batted second for the first time this season on Thursday, going 1 for 4 with a walk, two RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in his team's 10-1 win over the Brewers.

"It was cool, man," Maybin said of hitting second after the game, per MLB.com. "I didn't really change my approach, tried to keep the same approach -- be a tough out, get a good pitch to hit and just make sure I'm on base, somehow, someway. Whenever I can do that good things happen, and good things happened tonight."

Maybin has excelled since taking over the full-time starting role in center field on May 2, going 17 for 54 with nine runs and 21 RBI.

"My confidence is high," Maybin said. "I've been able to put in some really good work with [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer] in the cage. And every day is a competition. Every day I feel like you have to fight to keep the job, win the job. So my mentality is to come out and go hard everyday and things will work out."

Maybin has hit .255/.352/.426 with four home runs, 17 RBI and five stolen bases in 94 at-bats.


Giants CF Angel Pagan collects two hits in Thursday's win


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Giants center fielder Angel Pagan went 2 for 4 with two runs to help the Giants to a 4-0 win over the Dodgers on Thursday.

Pagan is now 13 for 39 in his last 10 games. He is batting .325 on the season.


Giants OF Hunter Pence drives in two runs Thursday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Giants outfielder Hunter Pence went 2 for 4 with two RBI to help lead the Giants to a 4-0 win over the Dodgers on Thursday.

Pence drove in a run when he singled off Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning and he added his second RBI in the eighth when he reached based on an infield single, which scored Angel Pagan.

The two hits broke an 0-for-8 streak over his last two games. He is now 6 for 20 with four RBI in his first five games since returning from a fractured forearm.


Rockies OF Brandon Barnes has four-hit game in win on Thursday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/21/2015) Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes had a big day in the team's 7-3 win over the Phillies on Thursday. Barnes, who had just been recalled from Triple-A on Wednesday, went 4 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in his first start of the season.

Barnes had a decent season in 2014 when he hit .257 with eight home runs in 292 at-bats. He will likely be a platoon outfielder for the foreseeable future. 


Marlins CF Marcell Ozuna collects sixth multihit game in May


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna went 2 for 5 with one RBI, one strikeout and two runs during a 7-6 loss Thursday vs. Arizona. Ozuna had an RBI single off Randall Delgado in the sixth inning.

Ozuna had his sixth multihit game in May. He is batting .276 (21 for 76) with three home runs, four doubles, eight RBI, nine runs, six walks and 14 strikeouts in 19 May games.


Diamondbacks' Inciarte records seventh multihit game in May


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Diamondbacks outfielder Ender Inciarte recorded his seventh multihit game in May during a 7-6 win Thursday at Miami. He had three singles in five at-bats.

Inciarte led off the game with a single. He came back with an RBI single in the second inning and added another RBI single in the sixth. He also had one run in the game.

Inciarte is batting .300 (24 for 80) with one home run, five doubles, eight RBI, nine runs, two walks, two stolen bases and 14 strikeouts in 19 May games.


Phillies LF Ben Revere: I'm not distracted by trade talk


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) The rumored talks between the Angels and Phillies in which the former is targeting left fielder Ben Revere are real, according to CSNPhilly.com. But Revere is claiming to be unaffected by them.

"For some people, it might be distracting, but it's not for me," he said. "The only thing I'm doing is trying to get ready to help my team win. ... There's always going to be talk. Everyone has to deal with it."

The Angels are hoping to bolster a struggling offense. But he certainly won't provide much punch. He tied for the National League lead in 2014 with 184 hits, but all but 22 were singles. He owns a .259/.333/.363 slash line this season.


Braves' A.J. Pierzynski, Todd Cunningham out of lineup Thursday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/21/2015) Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski and left fielder Todd Cunningham are getting a rest and are being held out of the lineup on Thursday against the Brewers. 

Pierzynski had been behind the plate each of the last four games, but has struggled with the bat. He's hitting .185 (5 for 27) over his last seven games. He'll cede Thursday's start to rookie Christian Bethancourt.

Cunningham has been on a tear since being called up last week. In his first five games this season, the 26-year-old rookie is 9 for 19 with a pair of doubles. Nevertheless, he'll sit on Thursday with Jonny Gomes making the start in left while batting fifth.


Brewers OF Khris Davis not in Thursday's lineup


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Brewers left fielder Khris Davis will be held out of Thursday's lineup at Atlanta, the team announced.

Davis is in a 2-for-23 slump over his last seven games. Outfielder Gerardo Parra will start in left and bat second in Thursday's game. Parra will face Julio Teheran, who he is 2 for 11 against in his career. 

The Brewers are the underdogs (+120) at Atlanta on Thursday


Pirates hope day off for Gregory Polanco pays off


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) With Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco in an 0-for-18 slump, manager Clint Hurdle gave Polanco the day off Wednesday in the hopes of turning his luck around, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"It's been a hard stretch here lately," Hurdle said. "He's fighting, he wants to play, he wants to compete. I think sometimes you've got to unplug him. He's out there [Wednesday] trying to get some work in and do some things. We'll take it one day at a time."


Dodgers RF Andre Ethier not in starting lineup on Thursday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/21/2015) With the Dodgers facing a tough left-hander, right fielder Andre Ethier will be held out of the starting lineup on Thursday against the Giants. Ethier is in the midst of a hot streak, batting .375 with a home run and four RBI over his last eight games.

But, he's just 3 for 24 lifetime against Giants' starter Madison Bumgarner, so Ethier will take a seat for the series-finale. Scott Van Slyke will handle right field and bat sixth for manager Don Mattingly.


Brewers' Clint Coulter flashing power in pitcher-friendly FSL


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/21/2015) Brewers outfielder Clint Coulter doubled, homered and drove in two runs for Class A Brevard County on Wednesday. He also had a walk and three runs.

Coulter has shown some good pop in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He has nine homers and a .517 slugging percentage through 39 games.

He is also batting .272 with a .360 on-base percentage, .877 OPS, two triples, six doubles, 24 runs, 14 walks, 28 strikeouts and four stolen bases.


Phillies OF Ben Revere gets a breather on Thursday vs. Rockies


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/21/2015) Phillies outfielder Ben Revere is getting just his second day off this month, as he is being held out of the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Rockies. Revere has been hitting fairly well lately, batting .268 with three RBI and three stolen bases over his last 10 games.

Darin Ruf will handle left field and bat third, while shortstop Freddy Galvis will hit lead-off for the first time this year. 


Phillies OF Domonic Brown seems to be finding swing at Triple-A


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/21/2015) Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown seems to be biding his time at Triple-A. He has been with Lehigh Valley since returning from the disabled list at the end of April. He has yet to make his season debut with the big club.

But Brown could be earning himself a future call-up with his hot hitting of late. Over his last 20 games, Brown is hitting a .329 clip, though he has yet to yard this season at Triple-A. 

Brown missed nearly the first month of the season with an Achilles injury.


 
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