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Scott White chat transcript (3/7)

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Player News
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.


Closer Brad Boxberger nails down save in Rays' comeback victory
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:51 pm ET) Closer Brad Boxberger (S,5) threw a 3-up, 3-down ninth inning on Saturday to earn the save in the Rays' comeback victory over the Blue Jays. 

The Rays trailed 2-1 before scoring three in the bottom of the eighth and turn over the ninth to Boxberger.


Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez allows one run in four IP in spot start
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:47 pm ET) Rays starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez allowed one run on four hits and went just four innings Saturday to take a no-decision against the Blue Jays.

Rays manager Kevin Cash didn't announce Ramirez as Saturday's starter until after Friday's game.

Ramirez's next scheduled start has not been announced as of Saturday night.

Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick may be sidelined until Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:47 pm ET) Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick was able to hit and run Saturday, but the team is considering giving him off until Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"Jake, we'll well monitor him day to day," manager A.J. Hinch said Saturday morning. "He's available but I'm going to try not to use him unless I have to. He's bouncing around fine. I'm hopeful for (Sunday), but if it's not (Sunday) and he needs another day we're going to still be cautious with him."

Marisnick is battling with soreness in his right leg, which has kept him out of action Friday and Saturday. Marisnick is hitting .350 with one home run and six RBI in 40 at-bats.


MRI on Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma (lat) reveals strain, out 4-6 weeks
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:39 pm ET) A second MRI on Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's right lat muscle revealed a Grade 1 strain, indicating the right hander will miss two to four weeks, per MLB.com. 

The status of Iwakuma's injury had been on hold until a second MRI could be performed. 

Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain.


Cardinals' Adam Wainwright leaves with anke injury after at-bat
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:37 pm ET) Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright was forced to leave Saturday's game against the Brewers after stumbling out of the batter's box and needing assistance to get off the field, according to MLB.com. Wainwright suffered a left ankle injury and will be re-evaluated when the team returns to St. Louis, the team announced.

Wainwright allowed three hits in four scoreless innings in the game and added four strikeouts to his totals.


 
 
 
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