Phillies-D-backs: What you need to know

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Phillies-D-backs: What you need to know

Phillies (7-9) at Arizona Diamondbacks (8-8)9:40 p.m. on TCN

The Phillies limp into Arizona after losing the final two games of a winnable series in San Diego. Since starting 1-1, the Phillies alternated back-to-back losses and wins three times, then lost their last two. Based on the pattern, the Phils should win the next two games against the Diamondbacks.

If theres a place to hit, its Chase Field. Since 2008, the stadium in Phoenix has seen 13 percent more runs than the league average ballpark and seven percent more homers. It ranks four spots ahead of Citizens Bank Park in overall park factor and is labeled as an extreme hitter's park by ParkFactors.com.

Starting Pitchers
In a battle of spot starters, Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93) takes on Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12).

Kendrick is starting in place of Cliff Lee, who is on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique. Miley starts for Daniel Hudson, who went on the disabled list Saturday with shoulder soreness.

Kendrick last pitched in relief six days ago in San Francisco. Hes allowed seven baserunners in 4 23 innings but just one earned run.

Miley is a 25-year-old lefty out of Southeastern Louisiana. He throws a 90-mile-per-hour fastball and uses his slider against lefties and a changeup vs. righties. He very rarely throws a curveball. Miley made seven starts for the Dbacks last season and struggled with control (18 BB in 40 IP) and keeping the ball in the yard (six home runs allowed).

Previous games
The Phillies, in ugly fashion, lost games at San Diego Saturday and Sunday after winning 13 straight at PETCO Park. Through the first seven games of the 10-game west coast road trip, the Phils are 3-4. Theyve hit .212, gone 12 for 60 with runners in scoring position and have left exactly 50 men on base.

The Dbacks lost five straight before beating the Braves Sunday. During the losing streak to Pittsburgh and Atlanta, Arizona was outscored 29-10.

Head-to-head
The Phillies are 49-48 all-time against the Diamondbacks and 16-9 since 2008. But of those 16 wins, 10 came at home. The Phils are 6-7 at Chase Field the last four seasons and lost the road series to Arizona in 2010 and 2011.

Kendrick has made three appearances and two starts against Arizona over the last three seasons. He has no decisions and a 4.05 ERA that should be higher based on his peripheral numbers. Kendrick walked seven Diamondbacks in those 13.1 innings and was taken deep three times.

Miguel Montero is 4 for 6 with a double and a homer off Kendrick. Lyle Overbay is 2 for 2 with a double and a triple. Current Dbacks are batting .310.355.569 off Kendrick.

Miley, meanwhile, has never faced the Phillies. Only Ty Wigginton (1 for 6) has seen him.

Whos hot
Juan Pierre had three hits Sunday to raise his batting average to .326. It was the 162nd three-hit game of Pierres career, a full seasons worth.

Whos not
Take your pick. Hunter Pence is hitless in his last 15 at-bats and is now down to .258. Shane Victorino was 0 for 8 in the final two games in San Diego. John Mayberry pinch-hit on Sunday and struck out on three pitches. Mayberry is batting .175 with no walks and 13 strikeouts, and during his 0 for 12 skid has left a dozen men on base.

Storylines
It will be interesting to see how the Phillies respond to Charlie Manuels semi-blow up after the final Padres game. Will it have any effect on the bats, or is this collection of players incapable of scoring four runs per game?

The Phillies let Padres righty Anthony Bass completely off the hook on Sunday. Bass walked five batters, had trouble throwing strikes even to Joe Blanton, but escaped with just one unearned run on his record. Jim Thome was signed to feast on young righties like Bass, and in his first two at-bats he struck out swinging at a 90 mile per hour fastball and looking at another one.

Miley is cut from the same cloth as Bass a mediocre youngster with a nondescript repertoire. Its only April, and this could just be a prolonged team-wide cold spell, but failing to capitalize against two of these pitchers in a row would tell us more about the Phillies offense than any advanced metric.

Sound off
What has frustrated you the most through 16 games?

E-mail Corey Seidman at cseidman@comcastsportsnet.com

More MLB Notes: First baseman James Loney traded from Padres to Mets

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USA Today Images

More MLB Notes: First baseman James Loney traded from Padres to Mets

NEW YORK -- The Mets have found help at first base following Lucas Duda's injury, acquiring veteran James Loney from the San Diego Padres for cash.

Loney has spent this season in the minors, playing well for Triple-A El Paso. He was batting .342 with two home runs and 28 RBIs over 43 games in the Pacific Coast League.

Always a fine fielder, the 32-year-old Loney hit .280 with four homers, 16 doubles and 32 RBIs in 104 games with Tampa Bay last year. The Rays released him April 3 and he signed with the Padres on April 8.

Duda was put on the disabled list Monday with a stress fracture in his lower back that is expected to sideline him at least four to six weeks, probably longer.

Until Duda returns, Mets manager Terry Collins says Loney, a left-handed hitter, will mostly face right-handed pitching in a first-base platoon with Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell. Flores is close to returning from a strained hamstring.

Royals: Catcher Perez hurt, helped from field
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez had to be helped off the field in the ninth inning Saturday against the Chicago White Sox after colliding with rookie third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert while catching Adam Eaton's foul popup.

Cuthbert came sliding in and struck Perez's lower legs. Perez went down in pain as trainer Nick Kenney and manager Ned Yost rushed to the field.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and left fielder Alex Gordon collided Sunday while chasing a foul ball at Chicago and both landed on the disabled list. Gordon has a broken right wrist and is out for three to four weeks, while Moustakas tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is likely out for the season.

Drew Butera replaced Perez.

Cardinals: Matt Carpenter activated from paternity list
WASHINGTON -- Third baseman Matt Carpenter has been activated from the paternity list by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Carpenter missed two games after being placed on the paternity list Thursday. His wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl, on Wednesday.

Carpenter leads the Cardinals with nine home runs and 32 RBIs.

To make room for Carpenter on the 25-man roster, St. Louis designated infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment on Saturday. Tejada was batting .176 over 23 games with no homers and three RBIs.

If Tejada is released, St. Louis would be responsible for the remainder of his $1.5 million salary this year, which was $1,049,180 entering Saturday.

Instant Replay: Cubs 4, Phillies 1

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The Associated Press

Instant Replay: Cubs 4, Phillies 1

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs continue to dominate the Phillies with extra-base hits and terrific starting pitching.
 
They beat the Phils for the second day in a row Saturday. The final score at Wrigley Field was 4-1. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks went the distance for the win. The Phils scored in the ninth inning to avoid a shutout.
 
The Phils have been held to two or fewer runs 18 times and one or fewer 11 times. They are averaging just 3.22 runs per game.
 
The Cubs, who lead the majors with 33 wins, have stroked nine extra-base hits in the first two games of the series and four of them have been homers. The Phils have just three extra-base hits, all doubles. One was a misplay by the Cubs’ outfield.
 
The Phillies are 1-4 on this six-game road trip, which started in Detroit.
 
The Phils have lost six of their last eight games and are now just three games over .500 at 26-23.
 
Starting pitching report
Eickhoff was not nearly as efficient as he was in his previous start when he threw just 85 pitches in seven innings in a 5-0 win over Atlanta. This time, Eickhoff threw a season-high 109 pitches over six innings. He gave up eight hits, four for extra bases and four runs. He walked one and struck out seven.
 
Eickhoff was tagged for three extra-bases hits in the first inning, a home run and two doubles. For the season, Eickhoff is 2-7 with a 4.07 ERA.
 
Hendricks held the Phillies to five hits, three of which were singles. He was not overpowering, but his command was exceptional. He did not walk a batter and struck out seven while throwing just 104 pitches.
 
Jon Lester held the Phillies to one earned run in 6⅓ innings Friday.
 
Bullpen report
The Cubs didn’t need one. Andrew Bailey and Elvis Araujo pitched scoreless ball for the Phillies.
 
At the plate
The Phillies had just five hits. Ryan Howard returned to the starting lineup and went 0 for 4 to drop to .154.
 
The Cubs, who hit three home runs Friday, got their power game going early as Dexter Fowler led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer against Eickhoff. Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist both doubled in the inning as the Cubs went up 2-0 in the first. Heyward doubled home a run in the second inning.
 
Up next
The Phillies and Cubs close out the series Sunday afternoon. Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.75) pitches for the Phillies against right-hander John Lackey (4-2, 3.83).
 
The Phillies return home Monday night to open a 10-game homestand that will see Washington, Milwaukee and the Cubs comes to town.

MLB Notes: Rangers activate Yu Darvish from DL for return from Tommy John

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Rangers activate Yu Darvish from DL for return from Tommy John

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas right-hander Yu Darvish has been activated from the disabled list to make his first major league start in nearly 22 months.

The Rangers reinstated Darvish before Saturday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Third baseman/outfielder Joey Gallo was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room on the active roster for Darvish, who last pitched in a major league game on Aug. 9, 2014, and had Tommy John surgery in March 2015.

Darvish made five rehab starts this month split between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco. The Japanese pitcher struck out 21 in 20 innings while allowing only two earned runs.

In his first three seasons with the Rangers, Darvish was 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA in 83 starts from 2012-14.

Blue Jays: Tulowitzki placed on 15-day DL with quad injury
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have placed Troy Tulowitzki on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad injury.

An MRI before Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox revealed a low-grade strain, and Tulowitzki will receive treatment on the leg before resuming baseball activities.

Tulowitzki was injured stealing second in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday. He came out of that game and sat out the remainder of the series. He returned for Friday night's game against the Red Sox but was ineffective, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and showing limitations in his movement in the field.

Tulowitzki is batting .204 this season, with eight home runs and 23 RBIs. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney are expected to split time at shortstop until Tulowitzki returns.

Giants: RHP Cain placed on 15-day DL
DENVER -- The San Francisco Giants have placed right-hander Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Cain felt tightness in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies on Friday and exited the game soon after. He had an MRI on Saturday.

He is 1-5 with a 5.20 ERA this season.

The 31-year-old Cain suffered a similar injury in 2014 that led to a stint on the disabled list.

To take Cain's place on the roster, the Giants recalled right-hander Chris Stratton from Triple-A Sacramento. Stratton was in uniform Saturday.

Just before the game, the Giants scratched outfielder Denard Span from the starting lineup because of a sore right hip. Outfielder Hunter Pence (strained hamstring) and infielder Brandon Belt (sprained left ankle) were back in the lineup.

Braves: SS Aybar placed on 15-day disabled list
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have placed shortstop Erick Aybar on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised right foot.

Aybar left Friday night's game in the fifth, one inning after he was hit by a pitch from Miami's Adam Conley. The Braves said Friday night that X-rays were negative.

Aybar, acquired as part of the offseason deal that sent shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels, is hitting .182.

Daniel Castro is starting at shortstop in Saturday's game against the Marlins.

In a corresponding move, the Braves recalled right-hander Aaron Blair from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Saturday's game.

Royals: RHP Chris Young activated off DL
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals have activated right-hander Chris Young from the disabled list before Saturday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

Young, who had been out since May 9 with a right forearm strain, was placed in the bullpen after beginning the season in the rotation. He was 1-5 with a 6.68 ERA in seven starts, allowing 13 home runs and walking 11 in 32 1/3 innings.

The 37-year-old Young earned the victory in the first game of the 2015 World Series, working three scoreless innings in relief as the Royals beat the New York Mets 5-4 in 14 innings.

Kansas City optioned left-hander Brian Flynn, who was 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in five relief appearances, to Triple-A Omaha.

Indians: Brantley unsure when he'll return
CLEVELAND -- Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has no timetable for his return from the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the second time this season.

Brantley spoke to reporters Saturday for the first time since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 14. He began the season on the DL following surgery for a torn right labrum in November. Brantley hit .231 with seven RBIs in 11 games before being shut down again.

Brantley, who received an anti-inflammatory shot in the shoulder two weeks ago, doesn't think he returned from the surgery too soon. He has been hitting off a tee but isn't sure when he will begin taking swings in the batting cage.

Brantley finished third in the AL Most Valuable Player voting in 2014 when he hit .327 with 20 homers and 97 RBIs. He batted .310 with 15 homers and 84 RBIs last season.