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Pirates' Pedro Alvarez ridding bad habits at the plate


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(8:24 pm ET) Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez has worked on becoming more than just a hitter that likes to pull pitches this season

Wanting to change this, Alvarez has been working before games to break the habit of trying to pull pitches on the outside corner of the plate, according to MLB.com. 

"The approach has always been the same," Alvarez said. "I just think it's a combination of seeing pitches out there and being able to put good swings on them and executing the swing to the pitch."

In Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Marlins, Alvarez was able to record an RBI opposite-field single in the seventh inning during his team's rally to win. 

"The work he is doing before the game and in the cage is transferring to the game. That's the biggest part," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Our guys have found a way to slow themselves down to a better pace, a much more workable pace, the last week or so. Pedro in particular."


Dodgers OF Scott Van Slyke has injured back


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:53 pm ET) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said outfielder Scott Van Slyke is dealing with an injured back and probably won't be available to play, according to True Blue LA. 

The back injury, described as a tweak, is the reason Van Slyke wasn't available for Tuesday. Before being out of the starting lineup past two games, Van Slyke had started three of the past four. 


Nationals OF Jayson Werth heading to see specialist on wrist


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:42 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is heading back to Washington to see a specialist for his wrist injury, manager Matt Williams said per The Washington Post.

Werth, who is on the 15-day DL with the injury, is expected to rejoin the team this weekend in Cincinnati. General manager Mike Rizzo said Werth's range of motion has improved, but the doctor visit was planned. Werth has not played since May 15 and is hitting .208 with 12 RBI in 101 at-bats this season.


Juan Uribe starting, batting fifth in Braves lineup Wednesday


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:40 pm ET) The newest Braves acquisition, Juan Uribe, will start at third base and bat fifth Wednesday night against his former team, the Dodgers. 

The Dodgers traded Uribe to Atlanta for Alberto Callaspo on Tuesday. 

Left fielder Johnny Gomes will hit seventh and Andrelton Simmons will bat eighth. 

The only other change from Tuesday is that A.J. Pierzynski will start at catcher for Christian Bethancourt. Pierzynski is hitting sixth. 


Nationals' Doug Fister, Sammy Solis throw off flat surface Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:33 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Doug Fister and Sammy Solis were both able to throw off a flat surface on Wednesday, manager Matt Williams said per MASN Sports.

Fister, who is dealing with a strained flexor, threw for the first time since suffering the injury. Fister is 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA in 39 2/3 innings of work. Solis, who is dealing with shoulder inflammation, has not pitched since May 10 with the injury. 


Dodgers' Chris Heisey starting in place of Andre Ethier


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:31 pm ET) Dodgers outfielder Chris Heisey is starting for Andre Ethier for Wednesday's game against the Braves. 

Ethier appears to be getting the day off. Heisey, making his fourth appearance and third start of the season, will hit seventh in the lineup. Heisey is hitting .200/.600/.200. 

With Heisey in the lineup, outfielder Alex Guerrero will hit sixth. The rest of the lineup is unchanged from Tuesday's .


Padres catcher Austin Hedges in the starting lineup on Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:07 pm ET) Padres catcher Austin Hedges is in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Angels, the team announced. Hedges will start behind the plate with Derek Norris taking of designated hitter duties and Jedd Gyorko heading to the bench.

It will be Hedges' first start in the last three games and is hitting .133 with two RBI in 15 at-bats this season. The Padres are currently the underdogs (+150) agianst Los Angeles.


Padres' Bud Black: Middlebrooks 'potentially' to see more SS action


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5:37 pm ET) Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks might see more action at shortstop in the future, per 1090 Sports Radio.

Padres manager Bud Black said Middlebrooks could "potentially" see more action at shortstop depending on the matchups he will face.

Coming into Tuesday's game against the Angels, Middlebrooks had made just one start at shortstop while making a team-high 34 at third base.


Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart hits first HR since April 30


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart had just one hit in four at-bats Wednesday against the Rockies, but he made his one hit count. Barnhart connected for a solo home run off Kyle Kendrick leading off the eighth inning.

It was his third home run and first since April 30. However, Barnhart still doesn't have a multihit game in 13 appearances (11 starts) this season.


Reds 3B Todd Frazier connects for 14th home run


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:22 pm ET) Reds third baseman Todd Frazier clubbed his 14th home run Wednesday against the Rockies. He hit a two-out, solo home run off Kyle Kendrick in the first inning for his second home run in three games.

He also had his eighth double on Wednesday, as he finished 2 for 3 with two RBI and one walk. Frazier is batting .281 with one triple, four doubles, seven home runs and 12 RBI in 24 May games.


Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu pushes hit streak to 10 games


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:13 pm ET) Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 10 games with two singles during Wednesday's game against the Reds. He also had a walk and one run.

LeMahieu is batting .405 (15 for 37) with one triple, one home run and seven RBI in his last 10 games. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.


Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado emerging from slump in a big way


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:03 pm ET) Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado connected for his 10th home run during a 6-4 win Wednesday against the Reds. Arenado wasted no time getting Colorado on the board, as he parked a two-out, three-run homer off Mike Leake in the first inning.

Arenado finished the game 2 for 4 with one strikeout. He has homered three times in his last four games.

He is 9 for 16 (.563) with one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI in his last four games after batting .177 (11 for 62) with one home run, three doubles and four RBI in his previous 17 games.


Giants RP Santiago Casilla slams the door for 14th save


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5:00 pm ET) Giants closer Santiago Casilla worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the 3-1 win and the series-sweep over the Brewers. He struck out two on his way to recording his 14th save of the season, which ties him for second in the National League. 

Casilla has now worked 12 consecutive scoreless outings as his ERA sits at a very comfortable 1.37 clip.


Giants 2B Joe Panik launches two-run home run on Wednesday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(4:57 pm ET) Giants second baseman Joe Panik was the offensive hero for the Giants in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Brewers. After Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, Panik launched a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to put the Giants on top.

The home run was Panik's third of the season, all of them coming this month. 


Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon has two HRs in last five games


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:57 pm ET) Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon connected for his seventh home run during a 6-4 win Wednesday at Cincinnati. Blackmon parked a two-run homer off Mike Leake in the second inning, giving Colorado a 5-1 lead.

Blackmon, who went 1 for 4 with one walk, has homered twice in his last six games. However, he is batting just .176 (12 for 68) with five RBI in his last 19 games. His batting average has dropped from .317 to .262 in that span.


Brewers SP Mike Fiers goes five innings on short rest Wednesday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(4:54 pm ET) Pitching on three day's rest, Mike Fiers fared decently for the Brewers in the 3-1 loss to the Giants. Fiers went five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, as he fell to 1-5 on the season.

"That's what I was thinking: Get five good innings from him," manager Craig Counsell said to MLB.com. "He gave us a chance. He kept us in the game."

The only damage to Fiers was a two-run home run by Joe Panik in the fifth inning. Fiers lowered his ERA a tick to 4.53 and, assuming he stays on normal rest, will make his next start Tuesday in St. Louis.


Giants SP Ryan Vogelsong goes six strong innings on Wednesday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(4:50 pm ET) Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong was solid in Wednesday's win over the Brewers. The right-hander limited the Brewers to just one run on six hits, striking out five. He did not issue a walk, as 73 of his 110 pitches went for strikes.

The only run he gave up came on an RBI-single in the fourth inning, which actually put the Giants down 1-0. But the offense came alive in the fifth, and Vogelsong was dominant the rest of the way to pick up his fourth win.

"He's so mentally tough. He did go through a tough time there," manager Bruce Bochy said to CSN Bay Area. "He's gotten in a better routine and he's throwing the ball as well as anybody. What a great job he did today. Good for him."

Vogelsong (4-2) has been strong in the month of May. He's allowed just four runs in five starts this month, lowering his ERA to 4.24. He'll look to keep rolling Monday against the Pirates.


Brewers' Counsell mulls skipping Matt Garza's next start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:49 pm ET) Brewers manager Craig Counsell is thinking about skipping Matt Garza the next time through the rotation, according to MLB.com. The veteran right-hander is scheduled to start Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

Garza has lost his last four decisions and has seven losses in 10 starts. He has an 11.66 ERA over his last three starts.

"I think Matt is frustrated. He needs to pitch better," Counsell said. "I don't look it like an extra day is going to make him pitch better. The thing we are all trying to figure out -- his fastball yesterday, he got a lot of swings and misses on his fastball. He had a really good fastball yesterday. But it is a mistake, a big inning, a big pitch.

"It's a little self-inflicted. He's going out there and he needs to get better. That's what we're hoping for. That's what we're counting for."


Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn to start on Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:45 pm ET) Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn is officially on the hill to start Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks, the team announced.

Lynn was questionable to make the start on Wednesday while battling a back injury. It was discovered after his last start he was battling back spasms. He received treatment after the game and is healthy enough to start. Lynn is 3-4 with a 3.46 ERA this season.


Braves acquire Juan Uribe, Chris Withrow from Dodgers


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:40 pm ET) The Braves have acquired infielder Juan Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow from the Dodgers in a six-player trade, the team announced on Wednesday.

Uribe was part of a crowded infield in Los Angeles and was hitting .247 with six RBI in 81 at-bats this season. Withrow is yet to pitch this season after posting a 2.95 ERA in 21 1/3 innings of work in 2014.


Jungmann, Thornburg among candidates to join Brewers rotation


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:40 pm ET) Brewers manager Craig Counsell has still not picked a starter to replace the injured Wily Peralta in the rotation, per MLB.com. However, he is going to make a decision soon.

"It's the names you guys would speculate," Counsell told reporters, who have included Tyler Thornburg and Taylor Jungmann among potential candidates. "We'll decide, I think, by Friday."

Thornburg has gone 0-2 with a 4.45 ERA in six starts since being demoted to the minors. He began the season in the Brewers bullpen.

Jungmann is 1-2 with a 6.90 ERA in nine outings (seven starts) for Triple-A Colorado Springs.


Dodgers acquire Alberto Callaspo, three others from Braves


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:37 pm ET) The Dodgers have officially acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo, pitcher Ian Thomas, pitcher Juan Jaime and pitcher Eric Stults from the Braves, the team announced on Wednesday.

Callaspo, who originally rejected the deal, will be placed on the active roster. Thomas will be optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City while Jaime will go to extended spring training. Stults has been designated for assignment.


Mets 2B Daniel Murphy hits safely three times in win


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:31 pm ET) Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy's bat has been scorching in May. He hit 3 for 4 with an RBI in his team's 7-0 win over the Phillies on Wednesday.

Murphy has 33 hits in 91 at-bats during the month of May, good for a .362 batting average.


D-Backs' Hale on Peter O'Brien: 'Another guy pushing the envelope'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale indicated Wednesday that prospect Peter O'Brien is getting closer to joining the major-league roster, per MLB Network Radio.

"He's catching and doing a nice job," Hale said. "He looks good back there. His at-bats have been great and he is another guy pushing the envelope."

O'Brien has a .346/.383/.660/1.043 slash line in 41 games with Triple-A Reno this season. He also has two triples, 11 home runs, 13 doubles and 45 RBI. 

O'Brien has moved all around the diamond this season. He has played 13 games in left field, 11 games in right field, nine games at catches, four at DH and three at first base.


Mets' Michael Cuddyer blasts two-run homer in win


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:22 pm ET) Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer blasted a two-run home run off Phillies' Sean O'Sullivan in his team's 7-0 win on Wednesday.

The long-ball to left field was Cuddyer's fifth home run of the season. Cuddyer now has 22 RBI in 164 at-bats this season.


 
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