Jeff Samardzija held the Cardinals to two runs over 8 1/3 innings in Tuesday's 4-2 victory.
The Cubs scored four runs before Samardzija even toed the rubber, and that's all he needed. The hard-thrower struck out six while allowing seven hits and one walk. The second run charged to him came home after he exited in favor of Kevin Gregg. Samardzija had scuffled a bit the last two times out, but he now has a nice 3.35 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 110 strikeouts over 99 1/3 innings. He should be able to keep it rolling this weekend in Chicago against the Astros.
Russell Martin scored a run, notched an RBI and stole a base against the Reds on Tuesday.
Martin went 1-for-3 but was integral in the Pirates' four-run first inning. The catcher batted in the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the fifth time this season as opposed to his normal fifth spot. He's now scored four runs in those five games.
Kevin Gregg nailed down his 10th save of the season in Tuesday's win over the Cardinals.
Gregg came on in relief of Jeff Samardzija with one out and two on in the ninth and allowed an RBI single to Yadier Molina. He then induced what turned out to be the game-ending double play when pinch-runner Shane Robinson was called out for interference. He's capable of blowing up at any time, but Gregg has plenty of job security with a 0.81 ERA and 0.99 WHIP while going 10-for-10 in save chances.
Mat Latos took his first loss of the season on Tuesday, allowing three runs in five innings against the Pirates.
All good things must end. Latos hadn't suffered a loss since August 24 of last season until Tuesday, despite the start not being his worst in that span. The right-hander was actually pretty good, striking out nine while allowing the Pirates to get just three hits and three walks. He'll look to start a new streak Sunday when he faces the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
Adam Wainwright was undone by a poor first inning Tuesday, allowing all four runs of his runs in a loss to the Cubs.
Waino retired the first two batters of the game before giving up four straight hits -- including back-to-back homers -- and four runs. He was pretty much spotless the rest of the way, shutting the Cubbies out for the next six frames, but by then it was too late. Despite the relatively disappointing showing in a juicy matchup, Wainwright still has a 2.37 ERA and 1.01 WHIP for the season. He gets the Rangers at home this weekend.
Ryan Sweeney doubled and ripped a two-run homer in Tuesday's win over the Cardinals.
Sweeney's two-run blast in the first inning gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead, which turned out to be all they needed. Cody Ransom followed Sweeney with a solo shot of his own. Sweeney is batting .312 with a couple homers in 34 games for the Cubs and will be playing regularly while David DeJesus is out. He's worth owning in NL-only formats.
Carlos Beltran doubled and belted a solo homer in Tuesday's loss to the Cubs.
Beltran just missed a second homer in another at-bat. Just as he did last season, Beltran is having a monster first half, sporting a .310 batting average with 17 homers and 45 RBI.
Rays optioned RHP Jake Odorizzi to Triple-A Durham.
Odorizzi pitched well against the Red Sox Tuesday as the 26th man during a doubleheader, but he'll return to Durham's rotation. He could be back up when the Rays need a fifth starter again.