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Player News
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard smacks second homer Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:02 pm ET) Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard went 1 for 3 at the plate Saturday in Philadelphia's 5-2 win over the Braves.

Howard did his damage in the fourth inning when he ripped an 0-1 pitch from Shelby Miller over the center field wall, scoring Jeff Francoeur, his second of the season. Howard is now hitting .189 with six RBI in 53 at-bats this season.


Report: Phillies to promote Severino Gonzalez for Tuesday start
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:59 pm ET) Phillies pitching prospect Severino Gonzalez has been tabbed to make his major league debut Tuesday in St. Louis, the Philadelphia Inquirer has reported.

The 22-year-old Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. He has yielded 20 hits and just two walks in 17 innings with nine strikeouts.

He peaked at the Class A and Double-A levels in 2013, but struggled last season at Double-A Reno with a 9-13 mark and 4.59 ERA.


Braves pitcher Jason Grilli adds seventh save Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:58 pm ET) Braves pitcher Jason Grilli worked a perfect ninth inning in Atlanta's 5-2 win over the Phillies Saturday, leading to his seventh save of the season. 

Grilli needed just 13 pitches to dispose of Philadelphia's hitters in the inning, including a strikeout of Ryan Howard. Grilli now boasts a 1.29 ERA with 11 strikeouts in seven innings of work.


Phillies pitcher Daivd Buchanan drops to 0-4 on the year Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:53 pm ET) Phillies pitcher David Buchanan continued his woeful start to the 2015 season in Philadelphia's 5-2 loss to the Braves Saturday.

Buchanan allowed three runs on two hits in six 2/3 innings of work. Things were looking up for Buchanan early, when he went six scoreless to start the game. Then in the seventh, he allowed a lead off home run to Andrelton Simmons. After getting two outs, Buchanan walked the final two hitters he faced before getting the hook.

Buchanan, now 0-4 on the year, boasts a 7.52 ERA in 20 1/3 innings this season. He will look for win No. 1 Thursday against the Cardinals.


Braves starter Shelby Miller stays hot for third straight win
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:46 pm ET) Braves right-hander Shelby Miller continued to fly under the radar as one of the hottest pitchers in baseball Saturday night.

Miller managed his fourth straight strong start and third consecutive victory by going his typical six innings and giving up two runs on three hits in Philadelphia. He walked two and struck out three.

All was not peachy in the fourth inning when Miller yielded a two-run homer to Ryan Howard that broke a scoreless tie. But his teammates scored three in the seventh to give him the win.

Miller, whose ERA rose to 2.03, will try for his fourth win in a row Thursday against Cincinnati.


Plate discipline leads to success for Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:26 pm ET) As cold as Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe was to start the season, that's how hot he's been since.

Plouffe was batting a mere .133 with one RBI through nine games. He is 10-for-23 in six games since with two doubles, one homer, two RBI and an on-base percentage of .480. How does he explain that? Discipline at the plate.

"I think that's a product of laying off borderline pitches and getting myself into better counts," he told MLB.com. "If the pitcher sees you swinging at those borderline pitches, he's just going to continue to throw those and you're not going to have great at-bats. So if you're able to shrink the zone down, that helps. And when I'm going well, that's what I do."

Plouffe led the Twins with 80 RBI last year.


Pirates closer Mark Melancon battles back against critics
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:14 pm ET) Pirates closer Mark Melancon wasn't exactly turning cartwheels over implications that he was losing his grip on the job after a sluggish start to the season.

He blew a two-run lead Tuesday to the Cubs, raising his earned run average to 8.53 and prompting Clint Hurdle and the media to point out that his velocity was down. But after two straight 1-2-3 saves, including one on Friday, he fought back.

"I blew one save - one save," Melancon told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Should anybody lose confidence after one save? That's for them to decide, I guess."

Melancon, whose velocity remains down, had a closed-door meeting with Hurdle in which he was told the closer job was still his.

"I try to put myself in his position," Hurdle said. "What opportunity would I hope to get, based on what I've done for the club. When (his) performance goes the other way, I don't need to be the first one to overreact."

Hurdle also expressed his belief that Melancon can remain effective despite decreased velocity.

"It's about execution and location," he said.


Phillies C Carlos Ruiz working to emerge from slump
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:01 pm ET) Several high-profile Phillies are mired in slumps, including Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but catcher Carlos Ruiz is also trying to find himself at the plate.

The 36-year-old Ruiz has eight hits - all singles - in 42 at-bats and has scored just once all year. Ryne Sandberg has placed him all over the lineup in an attempt to get him going, but nothing has worked.

"He's working hard in the cage inside as far as finding a comfort zone," Sandberg told philly.com. "It seems like they are pitching him away a lot, so he's got to be patient there and take some swings to right field.

Ruiz has just three hits in his last 29 at-bats.


Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders goes 0 for 2 in return from DL
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:56 pm ET) Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders returned from the disabled list Saturday and went 0 for 2 with a walk.

Saunders had been out since spring training with a knee injury.

Blue Jays SP Daniel Norris allows one run in seven IP in no-decision
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:55 pm ET) Blue Jays starter Daniel Norris yielded one run on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings on Saturday but ended up with a no-decision against the Rays. 

Norris' only hiccup was a first-inning RBI double from Evan Longoria. 

Norris' next start is scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland.


 
 
 
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