Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Angels cruise past Rangers after 6-run second

The Angels scored six runs off of Rangers starter Anthony Ranaudo in the second inning and went on to a 10-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon. The Angels ended up taking two of three from the Rangers this week and have won 11 of their last 13 in Arlington.
Angels starter Hector Santiago earned his first win of the season by allowing just one run in seven innings. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out five. Ranaudo was gone with two outs in the second after allowing eight of 13 batters to reach base. More >
Angels outfielder Mike Trout went 3-for-4 to give him a nine-game hitting streak to start the season. The Angels had 13 hits on the afternoon. CatcherCarlos Corporan accounted for the Rangers' only run off of Santiago with a home run in the fifth inning. Adam Rosales homered in the ninth off of Angels reliever Adam Wilk.
The Nos. 2-5 hitters in the Angels' lineup -- Trout, Albert PujolsMatt Joyceand David Freese -- went a combined 9-for-16 to spark an offense that had been waiting to erupt.
"I think it's just something that we needed," Joyce said, "just that confidence to know that we can score a bunch of runs. That's huge for our confidence."
Pulling away early: The Angels matched their season high for runs in one inning, plating six runs on five hits and two walks in the top of the second.Johnny Giavotella dumped a two-run single into left-center field, Erick Aybarbrought in a run on a safety squeeze, Pujols notched an RBI single when his grounder snuck under the glove of Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and Joyce followed with a two-run double. Ranaudo, starting in place of the injured Derek Holland, exited after recording only five outs.
Missing the pickoff: The Rangers had a chance to cut the Angels' rally short in the second. It came with the Angels leading 2-0, with one out and Collin Cowgill at second, Giavotella at first and Aybar at the plate. After Aybar swung and missed at a 1-0 pitch, the Rangers caught Cowgill too far off second. But Corporan threw too quickly to second and Cowgill bolted to third, beating the throw for a stolen base. That set up the safety squeeze, but the Angels scored three more runs after that.
"I said coming out of Spring Training there would be some inconsistency given the experience we have in some areas," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's still early. Part of this is a work in progress. Guys are still grinding and working. I feel we're trending in the right direction." More >
Santiago cruises: Santiago isn't necessarily regarded for his pitch efficiency, but given the early cushion, the 27-year-old left-hander attacked the strike zone and got through seven innings of one-run ball with only 103 pitches. Santiago gave up just four hits and two walks, striking out five to put his ERA at 2.92. More >
"I may just get hits all year. I like getting hits. Whatever I don't do, you guys will talk about it." -- Prince Fielder, who is hitting .400 after 10 games but is still looking for his first home run.
"The other day at home, me and Trouty were talking after we got swept by Kansas City and said, 'Man, we have to change it up.' I think Joe Smith was there, too. I was like, 'I'm going to change it up; I'm going to do something different. I'm going to do a reverse mohawk.' They're like, 'No you won't.' 'You guys must not know me.'" -- Santiago, recalling the conversation that led to him shaving a line down the middle of his head before his Wednesday start.
Trout honored Jackie Robinson in a different way on Wednesday -- for the 42nd time in his career, the Angels' center fielder reached base four or more times in a game (not including reaching on an error). Trout, who finished 3-for-4 with a walk, has hit safely in all nine Angels games this season and is batting .438.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia lost his challenge in the fourth inning, when umpires upheld their initial call on a foul ball for Freese. Anthony Bass' fastball grazed the third baseman's left hand, where he wears a guard, and Scioscia was hoping for a hit by pitch that would've loaded the bases. But the hand is part of the bat, so the count remained 2-2 on Freese, who ultimately grounded out to end the inning.
Angels: The Angels are off Thursday, then start a three-game weekend series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Jered Weaver will take the ball on Friday, opposite right-hander Roberto Hernandez, in hopes of getting back on track. The Angels ace has given up 10 runs on 15 hits in 10 1/3 innings in his first two starts against the Mariners and Royals. Game time is 5:10 p.m. PT.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo pitches for the Rangers at 9:05 p.m. CT on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Mariners at Safeco Field. The Mariners are expected to pitch left-hander J.A. Happ. The Rangers were 10-9 against the Mariners last season, including 5-4 at Safeco.

Miley roughed up as Red Sox drop finale to Nats

After a tough first eight games to their season, capped by two ugly losses in Boston, the Nationals regrouped nicely on Wednesday with a 10-5 victory over the Red Sox in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
The Nats came out swinging, jumping on Red Sox starter Wade MIley for two runs in the first and then knocking the lefty out with a six-run barrage in the third.
Down, 8-2, Boston got a two-run homer in the fifth from Hanley Ramirez, the first of his career at Fenway Park. Brock Holt ripped an RBI double in the sixth, and the Sox were suddenly within three runs. But the Nationals grabbed the momentum back in the top of the seventh, thanks to a two-run homer byTyler Moore against lefty reliever Robbie Ross Jr.
Scoring machine: For the second day in a row, the Nationals scored at least seven runs. Their biggest inning was the third, when they scored six runs.Wilson Ramos highlighted the scoring with three-run double. With the exception of Yunel Escobar, every Nats player in the starting lineup had at least one hit.
Miley misses his mark: Miley's home debut went none too smoothly. The left-handed sinkerballer left a number of pitches elevated in the strike zone, allowing the Nats to charge him with four extra-base hits and seven runs. The Red Sox pulled Miley after just 2 1/3 innings of work, making it the third-shortest start of his career, as his ERA ballooned to 10.57 after two starts.
Gio does enough: Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez won his first game of the season by throwing six innings and allowing five runs-- four earned -- on six hits.
Right-hander Rafael Martin made his Major League debut on Wednesday afternoon and pitched two shutout innings, allowing a hit and striking out five.
Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings, and the Red Sox recognized the city-wide moment of silence at exactly 2:49 p.m. ET, which came in the fourth inning. A brief announcement preceding it provided details about the victims and was punctuated by the declaration, "We are one Boston." More >
Nationals: The Nationals return to Washington to begin a four-game series against the Phillies on Thursday. The last time these two teams met was last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, with the Phillies taking two out of three games.Doug Fister will take the mound in the opener. In his last outing, Fister didn't allow a run in 6 1/3 innings but received a no-decision in a 3-2 loss.
Red Sox: Following a day off on Thursday, the Red Sox open a four-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Friday night. Right-hander Joe Kelly, coming off a strong first start of the season at Yankee Stadium, will get the start against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.

As Majors honor Jackie, Marlins show pop to edge Braves

Adeiny Hechavarria had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Dee Gordon hit a two-run double as the Marlins topped the Braves, 6-2, Wednesday afternoon at Turner Field on Jackie Robinson Day. Michael Morse added a solo shot, his first of the season, for the Marlins, who outscored the Braves, 14-4, over the last two games to win the series and gain a measure of revenge for Atlanta's season-opening sweep in Miami.
Eric Stults (0-1) took the loss for Atlanta, allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings. Stults allowed a pair of runs in the third on Gordon's double, then allowed two more in the fifth on a homer by Hechavarria, who is hitting .500 career against him (6-for-12).
Dan Haren (1-0) got the win for the Marlins, shutting out the Braves through five innings and not allowing a hit until Andrelton Simmons grounded a single up the middle with two outs in the fifth. Haren allowed two runs and three hits over seven frames.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin's second homer of the season leading off the sixth and Kelly Johnson's first of the year leading off the seventh accounted for the only two runs off Haren, who raised his career record to 7-2 against Atlanta and 5-1 at Turner Field. The Marlins righty has allowed three runs in 13 innings over two starts this season, all of them coming on homers.
"Hech is a big part of our lineup," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "When he can have the kind of day he had today, that takes the pressure off the other guys. We can't rely on Giancarlo [Stanton] and Michael Morse and those guys to do the damage every single day. We're going to need some other guys to help contribute. What a great day on his birthday too. I know the guys were singing 'Happy Birthday' after his home run."
Haren's veteran presence: After walking two in the first inning, Haren's experience kicked in, and he was able to wiggle out of early trouble. Haren retired Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt on a liner to left, and then Johnson grounded to first to end the threat. Haren didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning, with Miami up four runs.
Can't spell Christian without 'CS': It looked like deja vu for Miami, when Gordon led off Wednesday's game by getting on, then taking off for second. But unlike Tuesday, when Gordon swiped the base to set up a three-run inning, Bethancourt fired a strike to second to nail Gordon. Stults then settled in, retiring Ichiro Suzuki and Giancarlo Stanton to end the first. The caught stealing was Gordon's second of the season in eight tries. Both have been by Bethancourt, with the first coming on Opening Day.
Marlins' power surge: Miami came into Wednesday last in the Majors with only one home run in 262 total at-bats, but the Marlins knocked two over the fence on Wednesday. Hechavarria, who had one homer in 2014, connected for the first time since Aug. 27, 2014. Morse delivered a solo shot in the sixth inning, the 100th of his career. More >
• On his 26th birthday, Hechavarria hit his first homer of the season. In club history, Hechavarria joins Jeff Conine, Orestes Destrade, Charles Johnson,Preston Wilson, Derrek Lee (twice), Paul Lo Duca and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to homer on their birthday.
"J.T. did a great job back there. I have a pretty thorough game plan I have to go over. I'm not out there throwing 95 mph. I have a pretty detailed game plan. I went over with him the last few days because I thought there's a decent chance he catches me." -- Haren, on working with catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday.
"[Freeman] hit the ball hard all homestand. The only time he gets credit is when he hits it out of the ballpark. Everything is a line drive here, a line drive there. Those are good things. Just got to be patient and you'll get rewarded, because he's got good swings right now." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, on first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman was 1-for-10 in the series vs. Miami and 3-for-22 on the homestand.
Marlins: Miami's 10-game road trip moves on to New York after a three-game set at Atlanta. Jarred Cosart (0-1, 1.50) gets the four-game series started on Thursday. The Mets will go with righty Dillon Gee (0-1, 9.00).
Braves: The Braves have an off-day on Thursday, then embark on a 10-day road trip beginning with an interleague series in Toronto then passing through New York and Philadelphia. Atlanta hands the ball to unbeaten Julio Teheran(2-0, 1.50 ERA) on Friday. The 24-year-old Teheran will try to lower his 8.31 career ERA against Toronto, his second-highest against any team -- he allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in one career outing against the Blue Jays back in 2012, his fourth career start.

Bauer, Indians get two-game split with White Sox

Right-hander Trevor Bauer logged six strong innings, picking up his second win in as many starts and helping the Indians to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Cleveland.
Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall contributed a two-run double andCarlos Santana added an RBI single, offering just enough support for Bauer to improve to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA for the Tribe. Bauer (two runs allowed on four hits with eight strikeouts and four walks) built off his season debut, in the process extending his impressive streak of no-hit innings to nine to start the year.
White Sox left-hander John Danks was charged with four runs (three earned) on six hits in 4 2/3 innings for Chicago, which committed two errors in the loss. Chicago's lone breakthrough against Bauer came in the sixth, when Alexei Ramirez and J.B. Shuck each drove in a run.
Bauer outage: Cleveland's starter opened with three no-hit innings, giving him nine straight innings with no hits allowed to begin this season. White Sox slugger Jose Abreu ended that streak with a leadoff single in the fourth inning. In his nine no-hit frames, dating back to his first outing of the year on Thursday in Houston, Bauer struck out 15, walked seven and threw 157 pitches (94 strikes).
Walk this way: Adam LaRoche apparently took it upon himself to offset his team's lack of walks. The White Sox entered the game with a league-low eight unintentional walks. LaRoche walked in each of his first three at-bats against Bauer. It was the 10th time in LaRoche's career he walked at least three times in a single game. Micah Johnson also took a walk for the White Sox in the third inning.
Escape act: Cleveland has struggled with shut-down innings of late, allowing runs in seven out of nine innings immediately after scoring in the four games prior to Wednesday. After his offense struck for one run in the bottom of the third, Bauer found himself in a bases-loaded jam with one out in the top of the fourth. The righty bucked the recent trend, though, inducing a popout from Shuck and striking out Geovany Soto to end the threat. After the Indians scored twice in the fourth, Bauer turned in a one-two-three fifth.
Defense backfires: The White Sox didn't do themselves any favors in the field. The Indians compiled three infield hits, and there were two other balls that didn't leave the infield which resulted in an Indians baserunner, thanks to errors. Jason Kipnis was awarded a stolen base in the fifth inning when a throw from first baseman Abreu went into left field on a pickoff attempt. To make matters worse, a defensive shift against Santana backfired in the fifth inning, as Santana found a hole in the shift at shortstop for an RBI single.
In the ninth inning, home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza ruled that Johnson was hit by a pitch by Indians closer Cody Allen. Cleveland manager Terry Francona challenged the call, but the call was confirmed after a brief review.
Bauer became the first Major League starting pitcher since 2001 (Hideo Nomo, 10 2/3 innings) to open a season with at least nine consecutive no-hit innings. The only other Cleveland starter to accomplish the feat was Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who opened the 1940 campaign with a nine-inning no-hitter against the White Sox.
White Sox: The White Sox continue their trek around the American League Central, heading to Detroit for the first of three consecutive games, starting Friday at 12:08 p.m. ET. Jeff Samardzija gets the start for Chicago, making his first career start against his now-division-rival Tigers.
Indians: Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluberwill take the mound on Friday against the Twins (8:10 p.m. ET) in search of his first win of the season. Kluber has a 2.63 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings through two starts, but he has one hard-luck loss and a no-decision. The game in Minnesota marks the first in a nine-game, 10-day road trip for the Tribe.

Ultimate MLB Show April 15, 2015

Rockies sluggers look to solve Lincecum on Jackie Day

The Giants and Rockies will play the finale of their three-game series Wednesday night at AT&T Park on Jackie Robinson Day. Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum will face Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek. Buster Posey is expected to return to the starting lineup for the Giants after being out of the lineup Tuesday night for the first time this season.
Three things to know about this game
• Lincecum has good career numbers against Rockies sluggers Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Tulowitzki is batting .246 with two home runs in 57 career at-bats vs. Lincecum. Gonzalez is batting .271 with two homers in 47 at-bats.
• Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is batting .444 (4-for-9) with a double against Lincecum. During a Spring Training game this year on March 31, Arenado hit a three-run homer off Lincecum.
• Matzek got the victory in his only career start against the Giants on Aug. 25 at AT&T Park. He allowed two runs on eight hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked one in a 3-2 Rockies win. Matzek gave up a home run to catcher Andrew Susac, but he won't have to face him Wednesday. Susac is now playing for Triple-A Sacramento.

Dodgers host Mariners in Civil Rights Game on JRD

The Mariners and Dodgers will square off Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. PT in Major League Baseball's annual2015 Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium, which this year is being held in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day.
All players, coaches and managers will wear Robinson's No. 42 jersey number in tribute to the man who broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947, a tradition that began in 2009 at the suggestion of former Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in attendance at the game, along with Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter, and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who became baseball's first African-American manager 40 years ago this month.
Things to know about this game:
• Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker will be looking to bounce back from a rough start in his season debut when he gave up nine hits and nine runs in 3 1/3 innings in a 12-0 loss to the A's on Friday. The 22-year-old is regarded as one of baseball's top young arms and had an outstanding spring (0.67 ERA in seven starts). Walker is 3-4 with a 4.15 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts) with Seattle in brief stints over the past three seasons.
• Left-hander Brett Anderson, who had considerable success against Seattle while in the American League West with the A's, makes his second start for the Dodgers. Anderson, 27, is 7-4 with a 1.81 ERA in 15 games against the Mariners, including 14 starts. Anderson took a no-decision in his initial start for the Dodgers, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings in a 4-3 loss to the D-backs.
• Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig's status for the series finale is uncertain after the 24-year-old was held out of the lineup Tuesday with a tight left hamstring. The situation is believed to be minor, but with an off-day looming on Thursday, manager Don Mattingly could keep Puig sidelined and use the extra day to make sure he's fully healed by Friday's series opener against the Rockies. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said first baseman Logan Morrison will be back in Seattle's lineup after getting his first day off on Tuesday.

Anderson looks to quiet Padres on Robinson Day

The D-backs and Padres wrap up their three-game series Wednesday night at Petco Park with Arizona's Chase Anderson facing off against right-hander Brandon Morrow on Jackie Robinson Day.
Anderson will be making his second start of the season after receiving a no-decision last Friday night against the Dodgers. He was only able to get through five innings and left with the game tied at 3.
Morrow made his Padres debut last Wednesday and held the Giants scoreless for seven innings, while striking out seven.
"He's got a lot of weapons," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's got fastball velocity -- when the fastball is down it has sink, a good overhand curve, slider and a wicked change."
Things to know about this game
• San Diego left fielder Justin Upton has a hit in each of the team's first nine games of the season, tying him with Billy Butler of the A's for the longest hit streak in 2015. Dating back to Sept. 26 of last season, Upton has an 11-game hitting streak.
• Oddly enough, none of Anderson's 21 starts during his rookie year came at Petco Park. Wednesday will be his first.
• This is the final game of the Padres' initial homestand. They will travel to Chicago on Friday to open a seven-game road trip that also includes four games in Colorado.

Reynolds faces former Crew mates on Jackie Day

It's reunion week for Mark Reynolds, who experienced Milwaukee's collapse last fall before signing with St. Louis over the winter. The teams are meeting this week at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals' home-opening series, which continues Wednesday with a Wily Peralta-Lance Lynn duel.
"It's a business," said Reynolds, who is serving as a backup at first and third base. "You have to keep playing."
During batting practice on Monday afternoon, Reynolds stationed himself near the visitors' dugout and greeted former teammates as they emerged for team stretch. One by one, players shouted "Grumpy!" -- the tongue-in-cheek nickname which inspired T-shirts last season -- and offered hugs.
The two teams are different, Reynolds conceded. The Cardinals are generally a more veteran group, fueled by pitching. But if there's a secret "Cardinal Way," Reynolds has yet to discover it.
"I haven't been here long enough to figure that out yet," he said. "Talk to me next time we play and I'll see about it."
Things to know about this game:
• This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing his first professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945, which was the first step toward his eventual breaking of the color barrier on April 15, 1947. As has been tradition each April 15 since 2009, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing No. 42 during that day's games, including the Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium. The annual celebration to commemorate the anniversary of Robinson breaking Baseball's color barrier in 1947 will feature on-field, pregame ceremonies in ballparks throughout the league. The Cardinals' ceremony will honor Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jr., the club's first black scout.
• First baseman Adam Lind has been a bright spot for an otherwise spotty Brewers offense. When he doubled in the sixth inning Monday, Lind had reached safely in all seven games with his new team, including 15 of his first 28 plate appearances.
• After using his bullpen liberally during the team's weekend series in Cincinnati, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was hopeful that Tuesday's off-day would allow his relievers to reset and therefore all be available for the second game of the series. Jordan Walden and Seth Maness each threw in all three games of that Reds series -- Maness has pitched in each of the past four games -- while four other relievers threw on both Saturday and Sunday. Carlos Villanueva was unavailable on Monday after throwing 45 pitches on Sunday.

Pomeranz, McHugh face off on Jackie Robinson Day

Oakland's Drew Pomeranz (1-0) and the Astros' Collin McHugh (1-0) enter Wednesday's series finale at Minute Maid Park coming off impressive starts -- especially the left-handed Pomeranz.
In his first start of the season Friday, Pomeranz threw seven shutout innings in a decisive 12-0 win over Seattle. His scoreless streak is at 15 innings, dating to Sept. 2, 2014. But he is 0-1 career against the Astros in three appearances (two starts).
McHugh, one of the pleasant surprises for the Astros in 2014, had a solid first outing in 2015, keeping the Rangers off balance. In extending his career-long winning streak to eight games, the right-hander allowed only one run and five hits in six innings at Arlington.
Three things to know about this game
• The Astros and A's will join the league-wide celebration of Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday with all players and coaches wearing Robinson's retired 42 on their jerseys. Robinson broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947.
• The A's pitching staff has a Major League-leading three shutouts, with each by eight or more runs (8-0, 10-0, 12-0). Last season the A's had three shutouts of eight or more runs the entire season.
• McHugh's eight-game winning streak is the longest by an Astros pitcher since right-hander Roy Oswalt won nine straight decisions from Aug. 23, 2006 to April 17, '07.

Undefeated KC turns to Volquez vs. Twins on JRD

Right-hander Edinson Volquez makes his second start for Kansas City after a terrific debut for the Royals -- eight innings, one run against the White Sox in a win. The Twins counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson, a University of Missouri alum who is coming off a shaky first start at Detroit during which he gave up six earned runs and walked five in just 3 2/3 innings. It's a 7:10 p.m. CT start on Wednesday at Target Field, where the teams split 10 games last year.
Things to know about this game
• Gibson has owned the Royals with a 3-0 record and a 1.40 ERA. That's his second-best ERA against any team counting multiple appearances (1.29 ERA vs. Texas).
• Royals skipper Ned Yost hopes to give backup outfielder Jarrod Dyson a start on Wednesday -- Dyson has not started a game yet. Yost would like to keep Lorenzo Cain fresh, and he may use a Dyson start in center to actually give Cain two days off, since Tuesday is an off-day for the team.
• First baseman Joe Mauer has been Minnesota's hottest hitter early this season, and he has hit safely in six of the club's first seven games. The Twins are unfamiliar with Volquez, but Mauer is 1-for-3 with a homer against him in his career. Catcher Kurt Suzuki is the only other Twins player with a hit against Volquez.
• This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing his first professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945, which was the first step toward his eventual breaking of the color barrier on April 15, 1947. As has been tradition each April 15, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing No. 42 during Wednesday's games.

Marquis-Wood tilt closes out Reds-Cubs on Jackie Day

The Reds and Cubs will wrap up their three-game series at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night with Jason Marquis starting for Cincinnati against Chicago's Travis Wood.
As it does annually on April 15, Major League Baseball will recognize Jackie Robinson Day with tributes to the Dodgers great, who broke baseball's color barrier. Uniformed personnel from both teams will wear Robinson's league-wide retired No. 42. A pregame ceremony will highlight Robinson's career and legacy.
Things to know about this game:
• In his first start, on Friday against the Cardinals, his first big league game since July 19, 2013, Marquis had a six-inning no-decision. After a rocky first two innings, he recovered and retired a stretch of 12 batters in a row as the Reds took a 5-4 win. Marquis spent the 2007-08 seasons with the Cubs.
• Wood lasted only 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs and seven hits in a 5-1 loss to the Rockies on Friday. The left-hander broke into the big leagues with the Reds, with whom he pitched in 2010-11. He is 2-5 with a 2.98 ERA in his 10 career starts against his former team.
• Cubs catcher Miguel Montero could be a tough matchup for Marquis. Montero is 7-for-20 (.350) with four home runs against the right-hander.

Mets, Niese look for sweep of Phils on Jackie Day

The three-game series between the Mets and Phillies concludes tonight on Jackie Robinson Day at Citi Field, home of the 19,000-square-foot rotunda built to remember the legend who broke the color barrier.
The ballpark's main entrance features a nine-foot sculpture of Robinson, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-56.
Jon Niese, who fell victim to errors in his first start, will start for the Mets. He will be opposed by veteran Philly righty Jerome Williams, who settled for a no-decision his first time around.
Things to know about this game:
• After facing fireballers Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey in back-to-back games, the Phillies will be wise to sit back against the crafty Niese, who threw more changeups in his first start than any other pitch.
• Williams -- who resurrected his career with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts for Philadelphia last season -- is one of just six active players from the state of Hawaii. Astros pitcher Scott Feldman, Red Sox and former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki and Rays Minor League pitcher Kirby Yates are the others. Williams is the only one from Honolulu.
• Look for Mets manager Terry Collins to stick with Curtis Granderson in the leadoff spot despite the outfielder's early struggles. "I'm very, very, very well aware of what Grandy is hitting. But he's getting on base," Collins said. "If he stops getting on base then maybe we have to reassess where he's hitting in the lineup." Granderson enters today with three hits in eight games, but he leads the team in on-base percentage.
• Original Met Al Jackson will throw out the first pitch to Mookie Wilson. Granderson will participate in the pregame ceremony as well.