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hong wei
hong wei Dec 6

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

HOT HOUSTON

The Astros aim for their 12th straight victory [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...uenton-nelson-jersey]Quenton Nelson Color Rush Jersey[/url] , which would tie for the longest winning streak in franchise history set in 1999 and duplicated in 2004. Fresh off a 10-0 road trip to Texas, Oakland and Kansas City in which they outscored opponents 74-35, the World Series champions return to Minute Maid Park to take on Tampa Bay. Houston starter Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.40 ERA) leads the AL with 130 strikeouts; the Rays will start a reliever for the third straight game, with Ryne Stanek opening up.

DOUBLING UP

The New York Yankees and Washington meet for a doubleheader – sort of – at Nationals Park. The teams were tied at 2 in the sixth inning on May 15 when their game was stopped because of rain, and they were postponed the next night. So the Yanks and Nats will pick up in the sixth, with both clubs expected to start out with relievers. Sonny Gray will start Game 2 for the New York against rookie Erick Fedde.

TRY AGAIN

Bartolo Colon goes for his 244th career win, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic. The 45-year-old Colon gave up a season-high eight runs in his last outing for Texas [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...arius-leonard-jersey]Darius Leonard Color Rush Jersey[/url] , tagged by the Dodgers. Colon has won one of his past five starts going into this game at Kansas City. Ian Kennedy has won just one of his last 27 home starts for the Royals.

OH BABY

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford will go on paternity leave for the birth of his fourth child and could miss as many as three games. San Francisco returns home from a 10-day road trip to face the Miami Marlins.

In games where the St. Louis Cardinals hit homers and pitch well, they generally walk off the field with a win.

But on nights where they can’t connect with the long ball, they don’t consistently make up for it with situational hitting or defense. Friday night’s 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves was another example of that trend rearing its ugly head.

After failing to cash in leadoff walks in the bottom of the first against Braves starter Julio Teheran, St. Louis simply couldn’t crack the code. It eventually caught up with the Cardinals as they were held to one run for their second straight game.

For St. Louis (42-38) to even the series Saturday night at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals will have to do a better job of converting runners in scoring position into runs while not giving up extra outs defensively. The Cardinals’ three errors Friday night marked their 17th multi-error game in 80 games.

St. Louis is on a pace to commit more than 130 miscues this year, continuing a three-season trend of below-average defense. Permitting good teams like Atlanta (46-34) four or five outs in an inning is a recipe for disaster.

The Braves started a 10-game road trip with a positive result. Third baseman Johan Camargo was the offensive star, going 3-for-5 with two runs and a two-run double off Jordan Hicks in the eighth that broke open a 1-0 game.

“Baseball is all about its ups and downs,” Camargo said. “For me [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...-braden-smith-jersey]Braden Smith Color Rush Jersey[/url] , it’s all about maintaining the focus and just staying the path.”

Atlanta essentially heeded Camargo’s credo, bouncing back from consecutive series losses against last-place teams Baltimore and Cincinnati. It will turn to left-hander Max Fried (0-2, 4.09 ERA) on Saturday to secure a series win.

Fried is replacing veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was put on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a knee injury. A former first-round pick of San Diego, Fried will make his first start since going five innings and giving up one earned run on May 28 in a no-decision against the New York Mets.

It will be the second career appearance against the Cardinals for Fried, who last year tossed a scoreless inning in relief against them.

Right-hander Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) will look for his second straight win for St. Louis. Weaver shrugged off a rough first inning Sunday in Milwaukee to grab an 8-2 win, fanning a season-high nine over 5 2/3 innings while yielding two runs off five hits and two walks.

Weaver needed 32 pitches to make it through a two-run first inning [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...-kemoko-turay-jersey]Kemoko Turay Color Rush Jersey[/url] , but started finding the range with his off-speed pitches. That made his fastball play bigger, and he rolled through the middle innings while the Cardinals bombed Jhoulys Chacin out of the box with five runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

“The first inning, it was like, ‘Here we go again.’ It means a lot for him to right the ship,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny told mlb.com.

Weaver, who snapped a seven-start winless streak in Milwaukee, will make his first career appearance against the Braves.