Rundown: Wain-righting the ship

By Matt Chaprales

Adam Wainwright is not accustomed to
losing. Before a recent four-start slide, the Cardinals hurler hadn’t dropped
more than two consecutive decisions since 2007. Considering he was facing a
Braves squad Thursday that had never defeated him, something had to give. Early
on it didn’t look good, as Wainwright surrendered three runs in the first. It
was lights-out after that, though, as the Cy Young candidate faced the minimum
over the next seven frames to notch that elusive 18th win.

Andy Pettitte was pleased with his
rehab start Thursday night for Double-A Trenton, in which he threw 51 pitches
over four innings, giving up two hits and fanning four. Of course, owners with the
southpaw want to know when he’s going to return. That remains an open question,
though if I had to venture a guess, it’s probably unlikely he sees anything more
than a few carefully monitored tuneups for the postseason down the stretch, as the Yankees are already looking
toward October. And as we all know, there’s only one month that truly matters
in the Bronx.

Johnny Damon (4-for-4, RBI, 2 R) has
popped off for four multi-hit efforts in the last five games, going 10-for-21
with four runs and four walks during the brief surge. Without delving too deep
into the history books, I’ll go out on a limb and say Damon is the first player
in some time to notch a four-hit game not long after rejecting a trade to the
Red Sox in favor of remaining in Detroit.

Rockies
rookie Chris Nelson pulled off a
rare feat Thursday, stealing home off Reds reliever Nick Masset in the eighth to
help propel Colorado to a season-high seventh consecutive win. The speedy pinch-runner
became the first player since Corky Miller in 2001 to record his first career
swipe via a straight steal of home. Nelson was recalled earlier this month
after batting .313 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs and seven thefts at Triple-A
Colorado Springs.

Perhaps
Ryan Ludwick (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2
RBIs, BB) is fixing to come alive after an extended poor stretch. The
outfielder ended a 25-game power outage but is still batting just .225 with
four jacks and 16 RBIs in 36 contests with the Padres.

It
was a banner day for Colby Rasmus (4-for-4,
2 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 R, BB), who put together his second multi-homer game of the
season. The second-year outfielder has come into his own in 2010, improving
significantly on his .251/.307/.407 triple-slash as a rookie with an impressive
.276/.360/.514 line this season. Despite a reported trade request, the
24-year-old has 10 hits in his last 18 at-bats.

Bumps ‘n’ bruises: Jimmy Rollins remains day-to-day with tightness in his right
hamstring. … Elvis Andrus is
expected to return to the starting lineup tonight when the Rangers begin a
weekend series vs. the Yankees. … Orlando
Cabrera
missed his second straight start Thursday with a sore left oblique.
Gordon Beckham is targeting a
return to action sometime this weekend. … It’s still not known whether Aaron Cook will be sidelined for the
remainder of the season with a non-displaced fracture of his right leg.

 

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