Saturday, April 30, 2011

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Weekday and Weeknight Service Changes

All times until August 2011
Bronx-bound 1 trains skip Dyckman St.

NOTE: See additional entry for the 1.

All times until midnight Tuesday, May 10
242 St-bound 1 trains skip 238 St.

10:30 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, May 4 – 6
241 St-bound 2 trains run express from 3 Av-149 St to East 180 St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

11 AM to 3 PM, Mon and Tue, May 2 – 3
Manhattan-bound 4 trains run express from Burnside Av to 149 St-Grand Concourse.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tuesday, May 3
Uptown 4 trains run express from 42 St-Grand Central to 125 St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs

4 PM to 7:45 PM, Mon to Fri, until August 2011
Dyre Av/Nereid Av-bound PM Rush Hour 5 express trains run local from 3 Av-149 St to East 180 St.

10:30 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, May 4 – 6
Dyre Av-bound 5 trains run express from 3 Av-149 St to East 180 St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information,  read station signs.

All times until October 2011
6 trains skip Elder Av and St Lawrence Av in both directions.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tuesday, May 3
Uptown 6 trains run express from 42 St-Grand Central to 125 St.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Wednesday, May 4
6 service operates in two sections:

1. Between Pelham Bay Park to 125 St.
2. Between 125 St and Brooklyn Bridge.

To continue your trip, transfer at 125 St.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Wednesday, May 4
Manhattan-bound 6 trains run express from Hunts Point Av to 3 Av-138 St.

10:30 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, May 2 – 6 (Except Thursday, May 5)
Manhattan-bound 7 trains run express from 74 St to Queensboro Plaza.
10:30 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, May 2 – 6 (Except Thursday, May 5)
Flushing-bound 7 trains run express from 74 St to Citi Field.

All times until June 2011
Manhattan-bound A trains skip Beach 36 St and Beach 60 St stations.

11:30 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, May 2 – 6
Uptown A trains run express from 59 St to 125 St.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, May 3 – 6
Downtown A trains run express from 59 St to Canal St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

All times until Fall 2011
Manhattan-bound B trains skip Avenue M and Avenue H stations.

10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Wed, May 2 – 4
Manhattan-bound D trains run via the N line from Stillwell Av to 36 St, Brooklyn.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tuesday, May 3
No D trains between 34 St-Herald Sq and Pacific St – F, N, Q and special shuttle trains provide alternate service. D service operates in two sections:

1. Between 205 St and 34 St-Herald Sq;
2. Between Pacific St and Stillwell Av.

For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, transfer to N or Q trains at 34 St-Herald Sq and Atlantic Av-Pacific St.

Special shuttle trains run between B’way-Lafayette St and Grand St. Transfer between shuttle trains and F service at B’way-Lafayette.

For service to/from B’way-Lafayette St and West 4 St, take the F. Transfer between D and F trains at 34 St-Herald Sq.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tuesday, May 3
D trains run express between Pacific St and 36 St in both directions.

10 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, May 2 – 6
Manhattan-bound E trains are rerouted to the F line from Roosevelt Av to West 4 St.

11:30 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, May 2 – 6
Manhattan-bound E trains run express via the F line from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge. Free shuttle buses provide connections between 21 St-Queensbridge and Queens Plaza stations.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, May 3 – 6
No E trains between West 4 St and World Trade Center – Take the A instead.

These service changes affect one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information,  read station signs.

All times until 12:01 AM Sat, May 21, 2011
Queens-bound G trains skip Fort Hamilton Pkwy and 15 St-Prospect Park.

10 PM to 12 midnight, Mon to Thu, May 2 – 5

Metropolitan Av-bound M trains run via the F line after 36 St, Queens to 47-50 Sts.

In Queens, free shuttle buses provide connecting service between Court Sq-23 St, Queens Plaza and 21 St-Queensbridge stations.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

11 PM to 12 midnight, Tue to Thu, May 3 – 5
Uptown M trains run express from West 4 St to 34 St-Herald Sq.

10 AM to 3 PM, Thu and Fri, May 5 – 6

Coney Island-bound N trains run via the D line from 36 St, Brooklyn to Stillwell Av. Trains run express, stopping at 9 Av, 62 St and Bay Parkway.

All times until Fall 2011

Manhattan-bound Q trains skip Avenue M and Avenue H stations.

12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tuesday, May 3

No R trains between 59 St and 36 St, Brooklyn.

Niese sharp for six, but falls to Halladay, Phils

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia- For six innings at Citizens Bank Park, Jon Niese matched Roy Halladay nearly pitch for pitch, until one ugly sequence undermined his efforts.

Placido Polanco hit a game-winning sacrifice fly against reliever Taylor Buchholz in the seventh inning, spoiling Niese's strong Saturday start and sending the Mets to a 2-1 loss to Halladay and the Phillies.

Breezing through his finest start of the season to date, Niese finally cracked when John Mayberry Jr. led off the seventh with a booming solo home run to left. Two more baserunners spelled the end of the day for Niese, who watched from the dugout as Buchholz allowed one of those inherited runners to score.

Niese was charged with two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking two.

Attacking Halladay early in counts, the Mets managed to take a 1-0 lead during their lone extended rally, when Carlos Beltran singled up the middle with no outs in the fourth. But Halladay, who threw his first 18 pitches of the game for strikes, retired 13 of the next 14 batters to silence the Mets.

Beltran was the only Mets player to record multiple hits off Halladay, singling in the second and fourth.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ozzie Guillen suspended two games

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended two games for his actions -- including tweeting -- during Wednesday's loss to the New York Yankees.

Guillen was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor over a called third strike on Paul Konerko. Shortly after the ejection, Guillen tweeted: "This one is going to cost me a lot of money this is patetic [sic]." A second message soon appeared: "Today a tough guy show up at yankee stadium." He apparently was referring to Tichenor.

According to MLB rules, all social media messages must stop 30 minutes prior to the first pitch, and they can resume after the game at the individual club's discretion. Getting ejected is not an exemption from the rules.

MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Peter Woodfork confirmed Thursday that Major League Baseball has not had to deal with a player, coach or manager sending out social media messages while a game was still in play, and there was no standard policy on how to discipline the action.

Guillen will serve the suspension during games Friday and Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. He'll also have to pay an undisclosed fine.

"I expect them to call me, I expect them to send me a letter, I expect them to send me the fine," Guillen said before Thursday's game. "Like I say, I've been through this for eight years, and I expect to see what they have to say. How much is the money? I will pay the money."

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – April 30-May 1

The Brooklyn-bound South Outer Roadway of the Williamsburg Bridge will be closed on Saturday (rain date Sunday) from 6 am to 6 pm to facilitate the replacement of the existing continuous roadway’s expansion joint seals. Truck traffic should use the Manhattan Bridge.

The Manhattan-bound roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed on Saturday from 12:01 am to 7 am and on Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am for rehabilitation of the ramps and approaches. The Brooklyn Bridge/Frankfort Street exit from the northbound FDR Drive will close at 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Brooklyn-bound drivers can access the bridge via Centre Street. The Brooklyn Bridge exit for the eastbound BQE will close at 11:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Manhattan-bound drivers can access the bridge via Adams Street. The ramp from eastbound Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place onto the southbound FDR Drive will be closed Saturday from 12:01 am to 7 am and Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am. A detour route will be available along Pearl Street.

The South Outer Roadway of the Queensboro Bridge will be closed Saturday from 12:30 am to 7:30 am.

The 145th Street Bridge over the Harlem River will be closed for testing on Saturday from 12:01 am to 6 am. Motorists and pedestrians can use nearby Harlem River bridges.

There will be lane closures on the Northern Boulevard Bridge over the Flushing River from 10 pm Friday to 2 pm Saturday to facilitate NYCDOT bridge repairs.

The Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek will be fully closed on Saturday from 7 am until 3 pm to repair steel beams, cross bracing and the bridge deck. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be detoured to the adjacent Metropolitan Avenue Bridge.

There will be lane closures on the 37th Street Bridge over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and on the BQE under the bridge from 1 am to 6 am on Saturday and from 1 am to 8 am on Sunday for rehabilitation work on the bridge.

59th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Manhattan will be closed from 7 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday to facilitate utility and trunk water main work by the Department of Design and Construction. Motorists should use 2nd Avenue southbound or 58th Street eastbound to access the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday:

  •  The following streets will be closed from 10 am to 3 pm for the Revlon Run Walk for Women: 7th Avenue between 44th Street and 59th Street; Broadway between 45th Street and 47th Street; and 44th Street to 48th Street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue.

  • The following streets will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Tribeca Family Festival: Greenwich Street between Chambers Street and Hubert Street; Harrison Street and N. Moore Street between West Street and Hudson Street; Beach Street, Franklin Street, Jay Street, Duane Street and Reade Street between Greenwich Street and Hudson Street.

  •  The following streets will be closed from noon to 3 pm for the Sikh Cultural Society Parade and Street Festival: Madison Avenue between 38th Street and 23rd Street; 37th Street and 38th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue; 36th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue; 27th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue; 26th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue; 24th Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway; Park Avenue South (West Curb Lane) between 23rd Street and 27th Street; Park Avenue South (Curb Lanes) between 24th Street and 25th Street.

The following streets will be closed on Sunday:

  •  51st Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue and 6th Avenue between 51st Street and 55th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 10 am to noon for the Fire Department Holy Name Society Parade.

  • Broadway between 43rd Street and 44th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 2 pm to 5 pm for the Armenian Genocide Commemoration.

  •  Broadway between Fulton Street and Battery Place in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the ZIUA USA Romanian Day Festival.

  •  Broadway between 86th Street and 96th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 23rd Annual Broadway Spring Festival.

  •  7th Avenue between 36th Street and 42nd Street, 42nd Street between 7th Avenue and 3rd Avenue, and 3rd Avenue between 42nd Street and 47th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 3:30 pm to 6 pm for the United for Peace and Justice International Planning Committee Demonstration.

  •  Broadway between Worth Street and 14th Street and Worth Street between Lafayette Street and Centre Street in Manhattan will be closed from 4 pm to 7 pm for the May 1st Coalition Parade.

  •  The following streets in Manhattan will be closed from 8 am to 4 pm for the March of Dimes: Columbus Avenue between 61st Street and 65th Street; Lexington Avenue between 65th Street and 23rd Street; and Madison Avenue between 23rd Street and 26th Street. The curb lanes and sidewalks will be closed on 65th Street between Broadway and Central Park West; 65th Street between 5th Avenue and Lexington Avenue; and 23rd Street between Lexington Avenue and Madison Avenue.

  •  Court Street between Union Street and West 9th Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Gowanus Canal CBC Court Street Festival.

  •  The following streets in Staten Island will be closed from 9 am to 3 pm for the March of Dimes: Richmond Avenue between Platinum Avenue and Christopher Lane; Christopher Lane between Richmond Avenue and Victory Boulevard; Victory Boulevard between Christopher Lane and Richmond Avenue; Richmond Avenue between Eton Place and Platinum Avenue.

The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.

This information will be available on the DOT web site at:

TLC Releases FHV Accessible Dispatch Service RFP for Service to the Boroughs

Request For Proposals (RFP) for the creation of a For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) Wheelchair Accessible Dispatch System. This system will allow wheelchair users whose trips originate in Brooklyn, the Bronx , Queens and Staten Island to call 311 to request (on a 24/7 basis) a wheelchair-accessible FHV at the regular pre-established fare, and with the highest standards of service in a reasonable timeframe.

At present, there is no coordinated or practical way to ensure the provision of quality For-Hire services for persons who use wheelchairs. The goal of this RFP is to create a centralized dispatch service that will direct FHVs or their accessible equivalents to wheelchair users who need them. Passengers calling 311 will be connected with a dispatcher who will be able to determine the closest available FHV.

The TLC releases this RFP as a complimentary solution to the parallel RFP that was released last week for medallion taxicabs that will service wheelchair users whose trips originate in Manhattan. The two dispatch programs, which are both scheduled to commence in March 2012, will work in tandem to provide equivalent wheelchair accessible services to those who need them throughout the five boroughs.

“We’ve made it a priority to increase the number of safe, reliable options for everyone who requires accessible modes of transportation” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith. “The dispatch system, which will make better use of our existing resources, is an important step toward accomplishing our shared goal of increased access. We are going to continue to work with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the community to exchange ideas and continue to look for new ways to improve access.”

“The TLC has spent considerable time and effort working with the taxi and FHV industries and the disability advocacy community on learning the best ways to match the availability of our wheelchair-accessible taxicabs and for-hire vehicles with the people who need them,” said TLC Commissioner Yassky. “And now is the time to make use of the lessons learned to create a system that is practical, efficient, and works for all stakeholders.”

“We are happy to support the Accessible Dispatch program, as we hope it will provide increased access to our city’s taxi and for-hire vehicle fleets for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids,” said Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities Commissioner Matthew Sapolin. “My office was created with a mandate to advocate for people with disabilities, which we do each and every day. As such, we will continue to aggressively pursue long term accessibility solutions for our city’s transportation system.”

“I welcome this proposal for a wheelchair accessible taxi and for-hire vehicle dispatch system to be offered to New Yorkers with disabilities,” said Council Member G. Oliver Koppell, Chair of the Council’s Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse & Disability Services Committee. “However, we view the proposal as a first step toward the ultimate goal of an accessible taxi fleet.”

When the Administration announced plans for an improved Taxicab and FHV Accessible Dispatch System several months ago, we were pleased to welcome and highlight the support and participation of such industry organizations as the Metropolitan Taxi Board of Trade, the Greater New York Taxi Association, the Livery Roundtable, and the NY Taxi Workers Alliance.

Highlights of the RFP include:

  •  The dispatcher must respond to trips originating in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island and ending anywhere in the five boroughs, Westchester and Nassau counties, and the three regional airports;
  •  The dispatch system will be supported through a fee levied on the FHV industry;
  •  All drivers who operate a wheelchair-accessible FHV will be trained in passenger sensitivity and wheelchair assistance;
  •  Instead of many providers of accessible service, there will be one dispatcher responsible for providing this service
The dispatcher will be responsible for conducting passenger and driver satisfaction evaluations via focus groups, and to collect data to gauge the system’s performance on an ongoing basis.

The Medallion Taxicab and For-Hire Vehicle Accessible Dispatch program is a part of the Bloomberg Administration’s comprehensive initiative to provide more and better transportation options for persons with disabilities. Another facet of this initiative was unveiled in tandem with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on December 15, 2010, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, MTA Chairman/ CEO Jay Walder and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn together launched a pilot program to issue pre-paid debit cards to Manhattan Access-A-Ride customers who do not require wheelchair accessible transportation. These system users would instead hail medallion taxicabs at a significant savings as compared to rides they had previously taken in wheelchair accessible vehicles. The MTA anticipates a nearly 70% reduction in per trip costs for the serving the participants in this program, while providing a comfortable and convenient alternative.

To date there are 401 customers enrolled in the program who have taken 5,912 trips (2,125 trips in March alone).

The FHV RFP will be officially released today, with responses due no later than June 3, 2011. It may be viewed through WWW.NYC.GOV/TAXI.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in 1971, and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of almost 200,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and For-Hire Vehicles, their drivers, and the businesses that operate and support their industries. It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States.

To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules, regulations and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official website at WWW.NYC.GOV/TAXI or call 311 in New York City, or 212-NEW-YORK from outside of New York City.

Pelfrey aims to build as Mets hit Philly

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia- In his last start, Mike Pelfrey finally pitched like the ace the Mets expected him to be after winning 15 games last season. Now he's hoping to string together two consecutive solid starts for the first time this year.

On Friday, Pelfrey (1-2, 7.23 ERA) will oppose Philadelphia's Vance Worley, subbing for the injured Joe Blanton, as the Mets and Phillies begin a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

After four poor outings to begin 2011, Pelfrey overcame an illness to pitch his best game of the young season in his last outing, holding the D-backs to one run in seven innings. Before the game, Pelfrey became ill and it continued throughout the game, as the 27-year-old right-hander needed to drink tea and take Pepto-Bismol in between innings to keep his stomach calm.

Mets manager Terry Collins finally saw what pitching coach Dan Warthen had been telling him Pelfrey was capable of.

"Dan's been saying, 'Hey, it's going to get better. He's got it. It's going to get better,'" Collins said afterward. "Tonight, I thought he showed that. He threw some four-seamers tonight, used his sinker at times. I thought his split was really good tonight. [He] threw some breaking balls early in the count. I think this was a big relief for him and a big win for him."

Thursday's 4-3 win by the Nationals snapped a six-game winning streak by the Mets. They have still won seven of their past 10 games and averaged 6.5 runs per game during the winning streak.

Mets: Bay's return equals success

The biggest reason for the Mets' six-game winning streak has been their offense, as they averaged 6.5 runs per game during the streak and outscored their opponents 33-14. Leading the potent Mets bats was Jason Bay, who hit .391 one home run, three RBIs and a .440 on-base percentage during the streak.

 Ike Davis is riding a career-high 10-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .472 with three home runs, five doubles and eight RBIs.

Phillies: April history in the making?
 The Phillies have a chance to post their best mark for wins in April. With 16 wins this month, the Phillies are one victory shy of tying the club mark for wins in the month, with two games remaining. The club record was set with 17 wins in 1993. The last time the Phillies won 15 or more games in April was in 2008 (15) and '03 (16).

 With Wednesday's 8-4 win over Arizona, the Phillies are 9-0 in day games this year. They are the only Major League club yet to lose a day game.

 Shane Victorino (12-for-39, .308 batting average) and Ryan Howard (13-for-32, .406) have fared well against Pelfrey in their careers.

Worth noting
 Pelfrey is 6-4 with a 5.08 ERA in 14 career outings against the Phillies.

 Mets catcher Ronny Paulino is expected to join the Mets for the weekend series against Philadelphia. Paulino, who is from the Dominican Republic, initially missed most of Spring Training because of problems with his visa and was later put on the disabled list after being diagnosed with a blood irregularity. He then suffered from a sore left oblique that hindered his return to the Mets.

Blue Jays out to solve Yankees' Garcia

Yankee Stadium- When the Yankees' No. 1 choice for their rotation spurned them this past offseason, they set their sights on three older pitchers whom they hoped could once again realize some of their former glory.

Two of those starters -- Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia -- have pitched better than most could have expected through their first few starts. On Friday, Garcia will look to continue that trend when he and the Yankees begin a three-game home series against the Blue Jays, who will be led by left-hander Ricky Romero.

On Wednesday, it was Colon who pitched like the former American League Cy Young Award winner he is, throwing eight innings of one-run ball. Garcia -- a two-time All-Star -- will look to match his teammate and build off his own impressive outing, when he took a no-decision after stifling the Orioles for six shutout innings on Sunday. Garcia struck out a season-high seven in that outing.

Opposing Garcia is Romero, who has suffered three straight losses despite sporting an ERA of 3.00.

Romero's last start, on Sunday against the Rays, was nearly flawless, as only one pitch -- an 0-2 fastball that Ben Zobrist belted for a two-run homer -- did most of the damage. Other than that, Romero was dominant, allowing five hits while striking out 10.

"I felt great," Romero said. "After you give up the two runs and you put up zeros after that, I think you leave the game feeling pretty good. When you're going good, you can throw any pitch for a strike and you know they're going to swing and miss, or make an out. That's how I felt."

That one pitch proved costly, however, and Romero has received only four runs of support from Toronto's offense in his past four starts.

Blue Jays: Bautista, Lind continue hot streaks

The heart of Toronto's order continued to mash on Thursday, as Jose Bautista has now reached safely in 21 of his 22 games this season and Lind hit his third home run in three days, including a two-homer game on Tuesday. Bautista is hitting .360 with eight home runs and 13 RBIs on the season, while Lind hit .471 (8-for-17) with three homers and eight RBIs in the Blue Jays' four-game series against the Rangers.

 Juan Rivera also extended his hitting streak to seven games on Thursday after going 1-for-3 with two walks. The streak comes after Rivera hit .103 in his first 12 games.

 Carlos Villanueva has held opponents to an .093 (4-for-43) batting average and has allowed only one hit to right-handed hitters in 23 at-bats this season.

Yankees: Cano red-hot
Robinson Cano had his 13-game hitting steak snapped on Monday, but the All-Star second baseman has still hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games and 19 of 22 overall this season. He has also homered in four of his last six games. Cano is only 2-for-16 with one home run in his career against Romero.

 Garcia is 6-5 with a 6.10 ERA in 14 career starts against Toronto, but only two current Blue Jays (Jose Molina and Corey Patterson) have more than 15 at-bats against the right-hander.

Worth noting
The Yankees have won 21 of their last 35 home games against Toronto. ... Romero is 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA in six career starts against New York.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mets' winning streak snapped at six

Nationals Park, Washington DC- One day after rallying in the ninth inning to beat the Nationals, the Mets could not find the same magic in a 4-3 loss Thursday night.

The loss ended the Mets' Major League-best winning streak at six. They still took the series by winning the first two games, and they now head to Philadelphia for three games against the first-place Phillies.

New York averaged 6.5 runs per game over its winning streak, but its hitters struggled against Nationals starter Livan Hernandez, who allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in eight innings. Hernandez, who has more starts against the Mets than any other club with 37, kept the Mets off-balance with his sinker and curve.

Mets starter Chris Capuano labored through 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts and no walks on 96 pitches.

Mets first baseman Ike Davis singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. Catcher Josh Thole, who entered the game with just four hits in his past 26 plate appearances, tied a career high with three hits.

Washington took a 1-0 lead on Jayson Werth's ground-rule RBI double in the third. The Mets answered in the fourth when Jose Reyes led off with a double and scored on a fielder's choice by David Wright.

Capuano began to labor in the fourth, when he faced eight batters and allowed two runs on four hits. Ian Desmond did the most damage with a one-out triple, later scoring on a single by Jerry Hairston Jr. Hernandez helped his own cause when his squeeze bunt scored Hairston to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead.

Reyes cut the margin to one on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but Desmond hit his third homer of the season in the bottom half of the inning to give the Nationals a 4-2 lead. Davis' RBI double pulled the Mets back within one in the sixth, but they could not get any closer.

Patient Yankees overwhelm White Sox

Yankee Stadium- Brett Gardner's home run sparked what developed into a six-run fifth inning as the Yankees coasted to a 12-3 victory over the White Sox on Thursday.

Having been held hitless into the frame by starter Edwin Jackson, the Yankees, starting with Gardner, paraded 12 batters to the plate in the 32-minute half-inning, with runs being driven in by six different hitters.

The offensive outburst proved to be more than enough support for ace CC Sabathia, who picked up his second victory of the season.

New York scored twice without the benefit of a hit in the third inning, as Jackson walked four batters -- including a bases-loaded free pass to Nick Swisher -- and allowed a sacrifice fly to Robinson Cano.

Swisher would go on to collect three hits -- including a two-run homer, his first -- but the fifth-inning carnage all began with Gardner's solo shot, his third of the season.

It continued as the next three Yankees would piece together a makeshift cycle: Eduardo Nunez doubled, Curtis Granderson ripped a run-scoring triple and Swisher snapped an 0-for-19 skid with an RBI single.

That was it for Jackson, who yielded to Tony Pena and would be charged with six runs on four hits, having walked five, struck out two and thrown one wild pitch.

After a hit, Alex Rodriguez slugged a run-scoring double to deep right field, and an intentional walk set up a Russell Martin RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada.

Pena left with discomfort in his right elbow, bringing the lineup back to Gardner, still with no outs. Will Ohman finally recorded the last three outs of the inning in order to stop the bleeding.

The breezy victory was a nice change for Sabathia, who entered the game having allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his five previous starts, with only one win and three no-decisions to show for it.

The big left-hander held the White Sox to three runs -- none earned -- in seven innings, scattering six hits while striking out six and walking one in a 100-pitch effort.

All three of Chicago's runs off Sabathia came in the seventh, as Eduardo Nunez made a two-out throwing error and Brent Lillibridge singled on a ball off Eric Chavez's glove.

Alexei Ramirez picked up an RBI single and Carlos Quentin followed with another run-scoring hit, before being hung up but waiting long enough for the third run to score.

Online customer service enhancemen​t for TLC driver licensees!

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is pleased to announce a new service that will allow holders of TLC driver licenses to pay their license renewal fees online with a credit card. This new service enhancement, a component of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s NYC Simplicity initiative, will improve processing times, speed the transaction and add convenience to the renewal process. NYC Simplicity is focused on simplifying all interactions between people and organizations and City government.

“Our goal with NYC Simplicity is to provide easier and simpler ways for all New Yorkers to engage their government,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith. “Our cab drivers are a vital part of our transportation network, providing hundreds of thousands of reliable trips every day. Allowing online payment of their license renewal fees will help us provide the high level of customer service they deserve.”

“This innovation allows any of our current licensees to pay license renewal fees online, potentially shaving as much as a week off the time it takes from application to license if all other requirements are met,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky, “but more importantly, it saves them the time, trouble and expense of paying by mail or in person.”

The TLC worked closely with the design team of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) on the project, as it has on many other customer service-based projects, some of which have been realized, with others still in the proverbial pipeline.

“Technology empowers City agencies to better serve New Yorkers – in this case the more than 100,000 TLC-licensed drivers who help move the city daily,” said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post. “With quick and secure payments through online license renewal, drivers can spend more time on the road – and less time standing in line.”

"This is a great innovation and will go a long way in making life a little easier for taxi drivers for whom spare time is a rare commodity after working 60-hour weeks,” said Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the 15,000-member New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “Renewing online will save a day driver from losing shift time when every hour counts or let a night driver spend some extra hours at home before setting out for work. NYTWA will offer free computer access and assistance to all drivers looking to renew online."

This new service enhancement is available to driver licensees who are Master Card, Visa, AMEX or Discover Card holders and who are eligible to renew their license by mail. This new service enhancement will be available on the morning of April 28 and can be accessed at:

Renewing driver license applicants may continue to send their renewal license fee payments directly to the TLC through the standard lockbox process using money orders or certified checks via U.S. Mail or by visiting our Licensing facility where they can pay by money order, certified check or a Master Card, Visa, AMEX and Discover card. To avoid long lines and wait times, renewing licensees should renew as early as possible, either online or through the lockbox. It’s easy, safe and convenient.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in 1971 and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of almost 200,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, their drivers, and the businesses that operate and support their industries. It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States.

To find out more about this payment option, or the TLC, or to review its rules, regulations and procedures, we encourage you to visit the agency’s official website at  or call 311 in New York City, or 212-NEW-YORK from outside of New York City.

Royal Wedding Timetable

London, England- Royal officials released an estimated schedule Thursday for the April 29 royal wedding of Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton at London's Westminster Abbey.

Bring the umbrella? UK forecasters Monday warned of showers later in the week as the city readies for the impending nuptials. Rain on a wedding day is thought to be good luck in some cultures, representing cleansing or stronger unity in the marriage -- so predictions for precipitation in London on Friday could bode well for Prince William and his bride-to-be.

  • 0830 BST (0730 GMT; 3:30 a.m. EDT): Guests begin arriving at Westminster Abbey.
  • After 10 a.m. BST (1030 GMT; 530 a.m. EDT): The royal family begin to take their places at the Abbey, with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the last to arrive. Prince William heads to the Abbey joined by his best man, Prince Harry.
  • 1100 BST (1000 GMT; 6:00 a.m. EDT): The bride arrives at the Abbey; the ceremony begins.
  • 1215 BST (1115 GMT; 7:15 a.m. EDT): William and his new wife emerge from the Abbey and depart in the 1902 State Landau, a carriage, and travel to Buckingham Palace.
  • 1325 BST (1225 GMT; 8:25 a.m. EDT): The newlyweds and their families make their appearance on the palace balcony.
  • 1330 BST (1230 GMT; 8:30 a.m. EDT): The royals watch a flypast before returning inside for the queen's reception.

Weekend Service Advisories

All times until May 10, 2011
242 St-bound 1 trains skip 238 St.

All times until August 2011
242 St-bound 1 trains skip Dyckman St.

11:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Apr 29 – May 2
Free shuttle buses replace 2 trains between 241 St and East 180 St.

Transfer between the shuttle bus and 2 trains at East 180 St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

1 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
4 trains skip Fulton St in both directions.
To/From this station, take the 2, 3, A, C, or J shuttle instead.

Note: J shuttle trains run between Chambers St/Brooklyn Bridge and Fulton St.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
4 trains run local between 125 St and Brooklyn Bridge in both directions.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
No 5 trains between East 180 St and 149 St-Grand Concourse — Take the 2 instead.

Note: During this time, shuttle trains run every 30 minutes between Dyre Av and East 180 St.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

6 AM to 11:30 PM, Saturday, Apr 30 and 8 AM to 11:30 PM, Sunday, May 1
5 trains skip Fulton St in both directions. To/From this station, take the 2, 3, A, C, or J shuttle instead.

Note: J shuttle trains run between Chambers St/Brooklyn Bridge and Fulton St.

6 AM to 11:30 PM, Saturday, Apr 30 and 8 AM to 11:30 PM, Sunday, May 1
5 trains run every 20 minutes between 149 St-Grand Concourse and Bowling Green.

Note: Trains run local between 125 St and Brooklyn Bridge in both directions.
12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains skip Whitlock Av and Morrison Av-Soundview.

All times until October 2011
6 trains skip Elder Av and St Lawrence Av in both directions.

6 AM to 7 PM, Saturday, Apr 30
Times Sq-bound 7 trains skip 111 St, 103 St, 90 St and 82 St stations.

11 PM Fri to 6 AM Sat, Apr 29 – 30, 11 PM Sat to 7 AM Sun, Apr 30 – May 1 and 11 PM Sun to 5 AM Mon, May 1 – 2

207 St-bound A trains skip 72 St, 81 St, 86 St, 96 St, 103 St, 110 St and 116 St stations.

10:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Apr 29 – May 2
Free shuttle buses replace A trains between Beach 90 St and Far Rockaway.

A trains replace the S shuttle between Broad Channel and Rockaway Park.

12:01 AM to 6:30 AM, Sat & Sun, Apr 30 – May 1 and 12:01 AM to 5 AM, Mon, May 2
Downtown A trains skip 50, 23 and Spring Sts.

6:30 AM to midnight, Sat & Sun, Apr 30 – May 1
Downtown C trains skip 50, 23 and Spring Sts.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
Manhattan-bound D trains run on the N line from Stillwell Av to 36 St.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
205 St-bound D trains run local from West 4 St to 34 St.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2
Downtown E trains skip 23 St and Spring St stations.

11:30 PM Fri to 6:30 AM Sat, Apr 29 – 30, 11:30 PM Sat to 6:30 AM Sun, Apr 30 – May 1 and 11:30 PM Sun to 5 AM Mon, May 1 – 2

Manhattan-bound E trains skip 65 St, Northern Blvd, 46 St, Steinway St and 36 St.
J Line
 3:30 AM Sat to 10 PM Sun, Apr 30 – May 1
 No J trains between Crescent St and Jamaica Center.

Free shuttle buses make station stops along the J line between Crescent St and 121 St, then connect to the E line at Jamaica-Van Wyck station.

Take the E train for service between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av or Jamaica Center.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information, read station signs.

12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 30 – May 2

Stillwell Av-bound N trains run on the D line from 36 St to Stillwell Av.

12:01 AM to 6:30 AM, Sat & Sun, Apr 30 – May 1 and 12:01 AM to 5 AM, Mon, May 2

Brooklyn-bound N trains run over the Manhattan Bridge from Canal St to DeKalb Av.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information,  read station signs.

5 AM to midnight, Sat & Sun, Apr 30 – May 1

Manhattan-bound R trains skip 65 St, Northern Blvd, 46 St, Steinway St and 36 St.

6:30 AM to midnight, Sat & Sun, Apr 30 – May 1
Brooklyn-bound R trains run over the Manhattan Bridge from Canal St to DeKalb Av.

This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. For help with planning your trip, please call 718-330-1234 from 6 AM to 10 PM. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use the free 711 relay or your preferred relay service provider to contact us. For more information,  read station signs.

11 AM to 7 PM, Sunday, May 1
Manhattan-bound R trains skip Whitehall St — Use Rector St station instead.

Nationals hope to catch fire to counter Mets

Nationals Park, Washington DC- At the conclusion of the first series between the Mets and Nationals this year, the Mets walked out of Citi Field disheartened by a four-run Nationals rally in the top of the ninth inning that seemed to sum up all of their misfortunes. Now, the Mets are turning that feeling on its head and using this week's series in Washington to find their team identity, including inching closer to .500.

Having won six in a row, the Mets will turn to Chris Capuano to keep the train moving. Capuano, whose signing with the Mets included plenty of uncertainty, aims to keep his hot hand coming off his best effort of the young 2011 season. The last time the left-hander took the mound, he picked up the victory after firing seven innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts in the Mets' 9-1 win over the Astros on April 21.

It was that start that began the current winning streak, a run that has seen Mets starters earn the win in four of the victories. In all, they are pitching to a 2.16 ERA during their winning streak, their longest since winning eight in a row from June 10-17, 2010. The quality pitching extends beyond the winning streak -- Mets pitchers have accrued a 2.66 ERA over their past nine games and have gone at least six innings in seven of their past nine games.

Capuano hopes to keep that trend going. The southpaw lasted at least six innings in two of three starts, tossing 5 2/3 innings in the other. Capuano surrendered 11 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings in those first two starts before turning things around his last time out.

Countering Capuano will be Livan Hernandez, whom the Nationals will need to rebound from a rather mediocre start. Hernandez went six innings on April 23, but gave up seven runs (four earned) on nine hits and walked four in a loss to the Pirates. The right-hander had allowed just two earned runs in his previous 13 2/3 innings, picking up consecutive wins.

At the very least, Hernandez is a likely candidate to continue the Nationals' streak of their starters going at least five innings. Washington is the only club in baseball to have its starters last at least five innings in every game. The current 23-game streak is the longest such run since Nats pitchers went at least five frames in 28 straight games from May 31-July 1, 2009.

Thursday's start for Hernandez marks the 38th time he will take the ball against the Mets -- the most of any active player.

Mets: Murphy heating up

Daniel Murphy was simply in the competition for the second-base job during Spring Training. However, if Murphy keeps hitting the way he has over the last week, the in-season competition may finally come to an end. Murphy, who went 2-for-2 Wednesday night with a game-tying pinch-hit home run and a two-run double in the ninth, is 10-for-23 with two home runs and seven RBIs since April 20. The second baseman has lifted his average to .315 and boasts an OPS north of .800.

Nationals: Pudge's days in D.C. numbered?
The emergence of Wilson Ramos may ultimately spell the end of Pudge Rodriguez with the Nationals. The 21-year veteran's arrival in Washington prior to 2010 was seen as a boost to the club's young catching depth chart. But with Ramos' development and other clubs' need for catching experience, notably the Red Sox, could the future Hall of Famer's time be up? Rodriguez, who is hitting .194 in 11 games this season, could be sent to Boston if the Red Sox lack confidence in Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Worth noting
Consistent offense has eluded Washington all season. The Nationals are hitting .227 as a team, have scored just 90 runs in 23 games and are hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position as a team over their last seven games. But for the Nationals, the math is simple. If they score three runs or more, they are 10-5. If they do not cross that threshold, they are 0-8.

White Sox need Jackson to find top form

Yankee Stadium- Two starts into the season, Edwin Jackson had a perfect record and was coming off a 13-strikeout performance. Now, he's just trying to get back on track.

After back-to-back losses and an especially rough outing his last time out, Jackson, who's 2-2 with a 4.88 ERA, will take the hill for the White Sox in Thursday's series finale against CC Sabathia and the Yankees.

Jackson's last start was his worst since last April, as he completed only 5 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits to the Tigers.

Jackson -- who has given up 30 hits in his last 17 2/3 innings -- also walked four in his most recent outing, struggling with his command.

"He hung a lot of sliders," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Jackson after that start. "That's usually his pitch. With two strikes, you can almost tell the guy it's coming it's so good. Today, he got under a lot of them."

It won't get any easier for Jackson, as he enters Thursday 2-5 with a 4.83 ERA in 15 career outings (11 starts) against the Yankees.

Sabathia, on the other hand, has had tremendous success against the White Sox throughout his career. The 30-year-old left-hander, who spent the first 7 1/2 seasons of his career in the American League Central, is 16-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 career starts against Chicago. His 16 victories against the White Sox are his second most against a single team, trailing only the 17 he has earned against Kansas City.

Sabathia, who's 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA overall, is coming off his first win of the season, an eight-inning start against the Orioles in which he allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven. After that outing, O's manager Buck Showalter said Sabathia continues to be one of the game's elite starters.

"He's become a complete pitcher," Showalter said. "I think I told you all before what a complete pitcher he is. Holding runners, secondary stuff -- he's a tough challenge."

White Sox: Vizquel starts at hot corner

 On Wednesday, Omar Vizquel became the oldest player to start or appear at third base since Julio Franco did so in 2007, according the Elias Sports Bureau. Vizquel, who is 44 years and three days old, started at third, going 0-for-3 in Chicago's 3-1 loss. Franco was 48 years and 282 days old on June 1, 2007, when he started third for the Mets.

With Wednesday's loss, the White Sox have not won three straight games in the Bronx since June 15-18, 2000.

Yankees: Just enough offense
It wasn't quite an offensive onslaught, but the Yankees' six-hit performance on Wednesday broke a two-game stretch in which they were held to four or fewer hits. In getting three hits on Monday and four Tuesday, New York amassed its lowest total in back-to-back home games since Sept. 17-18, 2000, against Cleveland. The Yankees recorded five hits in the first of those two games and one in the second.

 With Wednesday's win, Joe Girardi became the ninth manager in Yankees history to reach 300 regular-season victories.

Worth noting
 The Yankees need to win Thursday's series finale to avoid losing their first home series of the season.

Pineda rolls on as Mariners top Tigers

Comerica Park, Detroit- With rookie Michael Pineda throwing smoke and the middle of their batting order suddenly on fire, the Mariners pulled off a rare series road sweep at Comerica Park with a 7-2 victory Thursday.

Pineda opened more eyes with his fifth straight quality start, holding the Tigers to four hits over six innings while improving to 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his fledgling career.

More surprising was the offensive support for Pineda and his fellow Mariners hurlers, as Miguel Olivo and Justin Smoak continued their recent surge from the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in manager Eric Wedge's lineup.

It added up to the Mariners' first road sweep since April 10-12, 2009 at Oakland, and their first sweep at Comerica Park since 2003. Seattle has won seven of its past 11 games to climb back to 11-15 heading into a three-game set at Boston.

Olivo slugged his second home run of the series -- this one a legitimate poke over the left-field fence -- and went 2-for-5 from his newfound cleanup role. But he was once again more impressed with Pineda, after the big youngster struck out a career-high nine and gave up only a pair of runs in the second inning.

"He's unbelievable," Olivo said. "He's one of the top pitchers in the league right now."

Tigers catcher Alex Avila was equally impressed from the opposite side, even after hitting the two-run double that wound up being Pineda's lone problem.

"The guy was nasty," said Avila. "Anywhere from 94-99 mph with the fastball, he's got a slider, a split-finger. Just a nasty, nasty guy. And he threw strikes. That's the biggest thing. A lot of guys have command issues, but he was able to throw strikes with all three [pitches]. He's pretty good."

Even Pineda seems taken aback by his immediate success. The 6-foot-7, 260-pounder became the first Mariners rookie to win four games in April while also extending his franchise record to five straight quality starts to open his career.

"I'm a little surprised," said the Dominican native, who is just learning English along with the Major League routine. "It's pretty good. I'm 22 years old and four wins in the big leagues. But I'm working for this. I'm working all the time to be a great pitcher on the mound."

The Mariners' turnaround has been fueled by an improved offense, which racked up 12 hits, their fourth double-digit total in the past five games.

A three-run home run by utility infielder Luis Rodriguez ended any drama in the eighth, and the offense has also been aided considerably by better production in the middle of the order from Smoak and Olivo.

Smoak laced a run-scoring double in the fourth inning and has gone 4-for-11 with eight RBIs and two home runs in three games back since the death of his father. He now has at least one hit in each of his last 10 starts, though his string of three straight games with a home run against the Tigers ended Thursday.

Olivo went 7-for-13 in the series with his first two home runs, raising his average from .176 to .230 in the three-day span.

"In baseball, you need to just wait for your time," said the veteran catcher. "Everybody has trouble, then you get a little hot and try to keep it that way. I just need to do what I'm doing right now."

Wedge laughed when asked if he'll keep Olivo in the No. 4 spot for a while.

"Yeah, he's done a pretty good job in that role," said Wedge, who believes the entire offense is emerging from its early struggles.

"They're moving in the right direction," he said. "It just doesn't happen overnight. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes with these guys. You baby step in the right direction, you put up better at-bats, make more productive outs and then you start to see some results. And that's what I think you're seeing."

Meanwhile, Pineda imposed his will from the outset, striking out the side in the first inning on a series of 95-97 mph fastballs despite the chilly, 49-degree weather at Comerica Park, then finishing off the frame with a wicked slider that got Magglio Ordonez swinging.

But after making it four straight strikeouts with a tough nine-pitch whiff of Miguel Cabrera to start the second, Pineda ran into trouble as lefties Brennan Boesch and Avila both doubled, Avila's shot to right driving in a pair of runs.

Pineda walked two in the that inning while throwing 30 pitches, but steadied himself after that and wound up going six innings before being lifted at 101 pitches.

"The thing that was most impressive to me is he was around the plate pretty good," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "His control's pretty good, and for a big arm like that, throwing that hard, sometimes it's hard to control it. That was pretty impressive."

David Pauley and Jamey Wright then finished things off with three scoreless innings of relief. Those two veterans have been impressive on their own, Pauley lowering his ERA to 1.10 and Wright to 0.79.

Long-awaited start brings win for Vogelsong

PNC Park, Pittsburgh- Ryan Vogelsong earned the victory in his first Major League start in nearly seven years and Aaron Rowand drove in three runs, leading the Giants to a 5-2 triumph Thursday over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Vogelsong (1-0) worked 5 2/3 innings and struck out eight, matching a career high. A non-roster Spring Training invitee who replaced injured left-hander Barry Zito in San Francisco's rotation, Vogelsong surrendered four hits and both of Pittsburgh's runs. Having spent the previous three years in Pittsburgh's bullpen, Japan and Triple-A, Vogelsong started his first Major League game since Sept. 29, 2004.

Rowand's two-run double was the biggest hit in the Giants' four-run third inning, which exceeded the number of runs they scored in five of their previous six games.

The Giants received significant help from Pittsburgh to generate their third-inning rally. Given their recent offensive struggles, they were more than willing to accept charity.

Mike Fontenot singled to lead off the third inning, ending a personal 0-for-17 skid against right-handed pitchers. First baseman Lyle Overbay, who endured a horrid inning, dropped Eli Whiteside's foul popup on a hit-and-run attempt. Overbay glanced at Fontenot, which was enough to cause the error. Karstens compounded the miscue by nicking Whiteside with a pitch.

Overbay pounced on Vogelsong's sacrifice-bunt try and threw too late to third base in an attempt to force out Fontenot. That loaded the bases for Rowand, who lined a 1-2 pitch down the left-field line. One out later, the Pirates intentionally walked Aubrey Huff to reload the bases and set up an inning-ending double play, which they nearly got on Pablo Sandoval's grounder to shortstop. But the slimmer, faster Sandoval beat the relay to first base, enabling Vogelsong to score. Rowand came home as Sandoval stole second base and catcher Ryan Doumit's throw flew into center field.

The Pirates opened the scoring in the first inning as Overbay drew a two-out walk and scored on Neil Walker's double. After the Giants jumped ahead, Pittsburgh narrowed the difference to 4-2 in the sixth as Walker singled, moved to third on Garrett Jones' single and came home on Doumit's groundout.

San Francisco countered in the seventh. Nate Schierholtz lined a two-out single, drew a wild pickoff throw from Karstens and scored on Rowand's single.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bumgarner's turnaround goes for naught vs. Bucs

PNC Park, Pittsburgh- Wasting Madison Bumgarner's resilient effort, the Giants mustered six hits and lost Wednesday night to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0.

Bumgarner (0-4) entered the game with a 7.79 ERA and was coming off a 2 2/3-inning effort, matching the shortest of his career. The left-hander rebounded by yielding one run in six innings while walking one and striking out seven.

But Bumgarner received no help from his offense as the Giants, who ranked 13th in the National League in runs scored entering the game, absorbed their first shutout defeat of the year.

The Giants are batting .146 (6-for-41) with runners in scoring position in their last six games, including an 0-for-4 effort on Wednesday.

Despite entering the game with an 0-2 record and a 10.13 ERA in four starts, Pirates starter James McDonald flummoxed the Giants, blanking them on four hits through six-plus innings. San Francisco advanced just two runners into scoring position against McDonald, a former Dodgers arm.

The Pirates didn't provide McDonald with much support, but it sufficed.

Neil Walker singled off Bumgarner's glove to open the second inning and moved to third base on Steve Pearce's double. Rowand nicely bluffed the runners into believing he had a play on Chris Snyder's subsequent shallow fly ball, which fell for a single. Walker scored while Pearce held at second. Bumgarner escaped further trouble by sandwiching strikeouts of Pedro Alvarez and McDonald around Brandon Wood's flyout. Bumgarner retired 15 of the final 18 batters he faced.

Pittsburgh added a run in the seventh. Alvarez and Wood singled off reliever Dan Runzler, who pounced on Lyle Overbay's sacrifice-bunt attempt and threw to third for a forceout. Guillermo Mota relieved Runzler and struck out Andrew McCutchen before Jose Tabata singled on a 1-and-2 pitch, scoring Wood.

Colon turns back clock, stopping White Sox

Yankee Stadium- Bartolo Colon continued to pitch from the fountain of youth and walked off to a standing ovation as the Yankees defeated the White Sox, 3-1, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

Making his second start for New York after beginning the season as the team's long reliever, the burly right-hander limited Chicago's bats to one run on seven hits in eight innings, putting together his longest start since September 2007.

The Yankees leaned on the long ball for their offensive output against White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, as Robinson Cano slugged a three-run homer off the left-hander in the first inning.

Cano's sixth homer of the season would have to be enough for the Bombers, who have been limited to just five runs through the first three games of this series, kept off balance by an assortment of offspeed pitches.

Buehrle completed seven innings, allowing six hits while walking two and striking out five.

While the Yankees have been waiting for a pitcher to challenge them with fastballs, the White Sox got more than their fill from Colon, who continues to showcase his strike-throwing form from a half-decade ago.

Working efficiently, Colon pitched out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the second inning, striking out Gordon Beckham looking before inducing flyouts from Omar Vizquel and Juan Pierre.

Colon faced the minimum over the next three innings but was touched for a run in the sixth, allowing a run-scoring single to Adam Dunn before getting the next two outs to strand two runners aboard.

In Chicago's eighth, Colon allowed a one-out infield hit to Carlos Quentin but then promptly induced a double-play grounder, sealing his line with a walk and six strikeouts.

The eight-inning start was the former American League Cy Young Award winner's longest since he went eight innings on Sept. 22, 2007, for the Angels against the Mariners.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the middle of the first inning by home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor.

Padres offense, Latos out of sync in loss

PETCO Park, San Diego- Looking to get a few extra swings in after Wednesday's game, or maybe just looking to blow off a little steam after another distressing loss, Will Venable headed toward the batting cage, bat in hand, only to be turned away.

The door was locked.

If nothing else, the moment provided a fitting metaphor for everything that currently ails the Padres, who wrapped up a seven-game homestand with a 7-0 loss to the Braves on a sun-splashed afternoon at PETCO Park.

Atlanta pitcher Tommy Hanson became the latest opposing pitcher to stymie the Padres (9-16), who were shut out for the seventh time this season and the third time on a seven-game homestand where they went 1-6 and scored a combined 10 runs.

"You've got to be mentally tough to get through some things," San Diego manager Bud Black said before the game when asked about his scuffling offense.

The Padres' mettle was tested again as Hanson (3-3) struck out 10 and allowed four hits -- two in the seventh, his last inning. The team is in danger of tying the franchise record of eight shutouts in one month, a record set in July 1976.

The Padres hit .174 in the seven games and struck out 66 times, which certainly masked all the good their pitching staff did (3.26 ERA) against the Phillies and Braves.

In the end, even at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park, you have to hit.

"We're trying to grind it out. I've seen it happen before; the tide will turn," San Diego second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "Good things will happen."

Nothing good happened in the second inning Wednesday when the Braves (13-13) got five runs off Padres pitcher Mat Latos (0-4), though an error by Brad Hawpe at first base ensured all five runs in the inning would be unearned.

Trailing, 1-0, Latos allowed a leadoff double in the second to Freddie Freeman but got Alex Gonzalez to pop out to Hawpe in foul territory. A single by Nate McLouth into center field sent Freeman to third base. When Latos struck out Hanson, it appeared he might get out of the inning.

Leadoff hitter Martin Prado, on what appeared to be a check-swing, hit a ball down the first-base line that Hawpe -- who had to reach across his body -- could not corral. The ball went into the outfield, allowing two runs to score.

Two batters later, Chipper Jones hit a two-run triple to center field for a 5-0 lead. An RBI double by Brian McCann capped the inning.

"He couldn't string pitches together. We have seen that this year," Black said of Latos. "There's inconsistency from hitter to hitter. Some good hitters got him. And when you make mistakes to those guys, they can capitalize."

Latos, who retired nine of the last 10 hitters he faced after that second inning, indicated that he still hasn't settled into the comfortable rhythm he had mechanically last season, when he won 14 games.

"I'm struggling to get there," Latos said. "It's a matter of getting my mechanics down."

San Diego catcher Rob Johnson saw a different pitcher after that second inning, which led him to believe Latos -- who has lost his last nine starts dating back to last season -- might not be far off.

"They had a couple of good swings but after that, I felt as if he was on top of his pitches," Johnson said. "I felt as if he was more aggressive with my mitt down in the zone."

All told, Latos lowered his ERA from 5.94 to 4.98, as he allowed one earned run in five innings with one walk and five strikeouts. His command was better than in his last start, when he walked five and allowed two home runs.

"He's got to trust his stuff," Black said. "We've got to get him aggressive ... throwing a ton of strikes."

That wasn't a problem for Hanson, whom Black said evolved into a pitcher who doesn't just rely on his fastball-curveball combination anymore to put away hitters. Black said he saw four good pitches Wednesday.

"It was just one of those days when all four of my pitches were working. I was getting outs with all four of my pitches," Hanson said. "I kept them off balance pretty good."

Hanson, who retired 16 of 18 hitters at one point, allowed a single to Jorge Cantu in the first inning and then an infield single to Hudson in the fifth. By the time Hawpe and Venable reached base with singles in the seventh inning, the outcome was decided.

"I don't know how to explain it," said Venable of the Padres, who are now 4-11 playing at home this season. "But I take responsibility in not doing my job. And I know there's some guys who would probably say the same thing.

"I know we're working, though. That's all you can do to make a change."

Brewers fall short in finale with Reds

MILWAUKEE -- Reds leadoff hitter Drew Stubbs belted a 10th-inning home run for a 7-6 win over the Brewers on Wednesday at Miller Park, a three-hour and 52-minute affair that gave everyone plenty to parse.

Why did the Brewers pitch to the reigning National League MVP with a base open in the sixth inning? What was their right fielder thinking when he let himself get picked off to end the ninth? Why didn't their closer return for a second inning of work in the decisive 10th?

Legitimate questions. But here's the much more important question ringing all over Milwaukee, from the manager's office at Miller Park to the corner bar down the street:

What in the world is wrong with Yovani Gallardo?

"I think me and Rick [Kranitz, Milwaukee's pitching coach] will have a conversation with him to see how he's doing and find out what's going on," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Because, this isn't 'Yo.'"

Gallado once again looked nothing like the pitcher who shut out the Braves on two hits earlier this month. He allowed six Reds runs on 10 hits and needed 101 pitches for five innings. In four starts since the shutout, he's surrendered 21 earned runs on 35 hits in 21 1/3 innings, and is averaging 20 pitches per inning.

Gallardo was in immediate trouble on Wednesday. Stubbs and Jay Bruce started the game with singles before reigning NL MVP Joey Votto hit a three-run home run, putting Gallardo in a 3-0 hole 10 pitches into his afternoon.

So Gallardo was asked the same question: What's wrong?

"I wish I could tell you," he said. "I don't know. I feel fine. I think it's just a matter of finding that rhythm, I guess."

In his first 84 career starts, Gallardo surrendered five home runs with multiple men on base. Over his last three starts, he's surrendered three. Gallardo allowed a pair of three-run homers against the Nationals on April 17, and then Votto's blast Wednesday.

It's not necessarily a velocity issue. Gallardo's fastball averaged 92.6 mph last season, according to the website, and was right at 92 mph through his first five starts in 2011. On Wednesday, he sat mostly around 91 mph until the fifth batter of the fourth inning, when Brandon Phillips took a 93-mph fastball for a ball.

It was Gallardo's only pitch above 92 mph. He was out of the game two batters into the sixth inning.

"Obviously, we all know it hasn't been a good start for me," he said. "I just have to keep moving forward. I know you guys keep hearing the same thing from me, but I can't go back and change anything."

He made it clear: "I feel 100 percent. There's no issues."

"He's too good to last long doing this," said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who handled Gallardo extensively during the pitcher's All-Star 2010 season. "I don't think it's time to hit the panic button or anything. I think he's fine."

Make no mistake, the Brewers are concerned.

"I got more concerned today because I didn't think he had his stuff today," Roenicke said. "That's the first time I think he's gone out there without good stuff. The last three outings were good stuff but no command, and today, he didn't have his command or his stuff."

Roenicke lauded Gallardo for "battling" after the first inning, using more changeups and curveballs to hold the Reds at four runs. That gave the Brewers a chance to tie the game at 4, when Rickie Weeks scored for the second time on a throwing error charged to shortstop Edgar Renteria.

Cue some of those opening questions.

In the sixth, left-handed reliever Mitch Stetter took over from Gallardo with two runners on base, and Jay Bruce executed a sacrifice bunt that opened first base with Votto coming to the plate.

Roenicke could have walked Votto and called for a right-hander to face Brandon Phillips with the bases loaded. Instead, Votto delivered a two-run single, only the second hit in 14 at-bats by left-handed hitters against Stetter this season.

"I don't want to load the bases and bring in a guy from the bullpen," Roenicke said. "If I'm bringing in a Kameron Loe, somebody that we know is not going to walk anybody and is really locked in, it's a little bit different. It was too early to bring him in that game.

"So, I thought about it, but I don't like to do that to a reliever. You throw Ball 1, and now you're in trouble because you can't hit a corner now. You have to throw it over the plate. And Phillips has been killing us."

The Brewers tied the game at 6 with two runs in the bottom of the inning, and it remained tied in the eighth, when the Brewers appeared poised to push ahead.

They had runners at second and third with one out when Reds manager Dusty Baker called for left-handed flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, even though the Brewers had three right-handed hitters coming up. Chapman hit Weeks with a pitch to load the bases, but he struck out Carlos Gomez on a slider and induced a groundout from red-hot Ryan Braun.

Braun finished 0-for-4 but he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning to set a franchise record. He has reached base safely in each of the Brewers' first 25 games, breaking Robin Yount's record set in 1983.

In the ninth, right-fielder Corey Hart managed the only Brewers hit off Chapman, a single to left field. Hart had two hits in his first start off the disabled list, but he was promptly picked off first base to send the game into extra innings.

Roenicke took the blame, saying Hart either missed a sign or was looking for a sign.

"We just loaded too much information to him at a time when he is newly with us and on base," Roenicke said.

On to the 10th inning, when Sergio Mitre (0-1) trotted in to pitch for the second time since he was struck on the right triceps by a line drive last week. He had looked very rusty in his first outing back, and closer John Axford had only thrown 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth inning after a 13-pitch save Tuesday night.

But Roenicke decided against using Axford for a second inning.

"He's been in four out of five days now," Roenicke said. "I just didn't want to do that to him."

Mitre recorded one out before Stubbs homered to straightaway center field.

"We fought hard for it," Baker said. "They fought hard for it. You know they're not going to quit, especially with the offense they have. We're not going to quit with the offense we have. We're pretty evenly matched. That was a good game to win."

Marlins let lead, chances slip against Dodgers

MIAMI -- A knack for doing the little things has helped the Marlins win their share of close games. Extra-inning games, however, are giving the team more trouble.

Andre Ethier's home run to lead off the 10th inning lifted the Dodgers to a 5-4 comeback win over the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon in front of 16,523 at Sun Life Stadium.

Entering the game in sole possession of first place in the National League East for the first time since May 4, 2009, the Marlins were positioned nicely for their first three-game sweep of the Dodgers since Sept. 6-8, 1999.

Their hopes for yet another dramatic win ended when Ethier, who is riding a 24-game hitting streak, delivered the decisive homer.

The drive to right marked the first run allowed by Brian Sanches, who had a 13 2/3 scoreless-innings streak. Sanches had allowed just one hit in 42 at-bats.

"I didn't know that the hitless streak and the runs streak would end with one at-bat," Sanches said. "Maybe a single and try to work out of it. But like I've been saying, if I go down, I'm going down being aggressive. I was aggressive. I was aggressive with the pitch.

"I have nothing to take back on the pitch. If I had to do it again, I'd do it again. He's a really good hitter, and at a hot time, he hits good pitches. He's done really well his whole career doing that. Obviously, a tough inning to a hard-fought game."

The Marlins fell to 1-3 in extra innings, and they are now 5-2 in one-run games.

"I didn't know he hadn't given up anything," Ethier said of Sanches' impressive start. "Glad I didn't know until now."

Ethier went 2-for-5, and he extended his streak in the fourth inning with a single off Anibal Sanchez.

"I got to tip my cap to the other teams, especially these guys. They came after me," Ethier said. "For the most part, they threw strikes and gave me a chance to put it in play. They're still coming after me and giving me the opportunity to put it in play."

Although the Marlins suffered a tough loss, they wrapped up a highly successful 7-2 homestand.

"It was kind of hard with the loss, and the way it happened today to be able to fully grasp the whole homestand," said Chris Coghlan, who had a three-run double in the second inning. "I think tomorrow, when you look back, it was a very successful homestand. Today, it was a game that we should have won.

"But we took one from them the first night that I would think they would have had the odds of winning, given the circumstances. I think as a whole, overall, we're fighting. We're not letting down. The pitching is doing a tremendous job. If we keep playing that way, we're going to be right where we need to be at the end of the year."

Another setback the Marlins had on Wednesday came in the seventh inning when Coghlan felt discomfort after an at-bat, and he was taken out due to a sore right shoulder.

Coghlan has been dealing with tendinitis in his shoulder since Spring Training, and he's played through. The pain got worse as the day progressed.

The team is off on Thursday, and Coghlan hopes to be in the lineup on Friday at Cincinnati.

The Marlins got off to a strong start on Wednesday, grabbing a four-run lead in the second inning. Then in the ninth inning, they were primed for their second walk-off win in the series, but they were unable to capitalize.

Greg Dobbs opened the ninth with a single off Matt Guerrier. It was Florida's first hit since Coghlan's double in the second. Ozzie Martinez pinch-ran for Dobbs, and Emilio Bonifacio dropped a perfectly-placed bunt that went for a single. Brett Hayes' sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third. But Guerrier struck out Scott Cousins, and pinch-hitter John Buck grounded out to short, setting up extra innings.

"We had our chances, but it didn't happen today," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Cousins tried to make contact in that situation, but he was rushing a little bit there. Then again, he's been doing a great job for us. That was a good game to play. They beat us today."

In the eighth inning, it was the Marlins' turn to turn away a Dodgers threat. They escaped a potentially disastrous inning, relying on one pitch thrown by Edward Mujica to put to rest a bases-loaded, one-out jam.

Clay Hensley walked the bases full. Mujica threw one pitch, and got Ivan De Jesus Jr. to tap into a 4-6-3 double play.

After the Marlins grabbed an early four-run lead, the Dodgers chipped back on Rod Barajas' three-run homer off Anibal Sanchez, who gave up three runs in five innings.

"That was my mistake," Sanchez said. "I hung a slider, and he made a good swing. That's something that happened."

Sanchez entered the game on a pitch limit of around 85 because he threw 123 in his last start -- his one-hitter vs. the Rockies.

"We fought to the bitter end, that's all you can do," Dobbs said. "You like to think that you're going to come out on top. That's the intent. You've got to believe that. But the reality is, we didn't today. No reason to hang our heads. We've played great in this homestand and the whole month."

Rollins leads Phillies' charge in finale win

Chase Field, Arizona- It all finally came around on Wednesday for the Phillies: Good pitching and timely hitting. And with it, they seized the final game of three-game series against the D-backs, with an 8-4 win at Chase Field.

With the victory, the Phillies snapped a two-game losing streak and ended a seven-game road trip through San Diego and Arizona with a 5-2 record. At 16-8, the Phillies go home to open a nine-game stand at Citizens Bank Park, starting with a three-game series against the Mets.

"Overall, yes, it was a good road trip," said Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who hit his first homer of the season in the game. "It would've been nice to get all of them, particularly after the way we started off. But we never get off the blocks in Arizona. I don't know why. No matter who's pitching for them, they find a way to beat us."

Not Wednesday, although the Phillies are now 20-27 lifetime at Chase Field. They had homers from Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard. They also added doubles by Rollins, Ben Francisco and Placido Polanco. Most of the heavy hitting came off D-backs starter and losing pitcher Joe Saunders (0-3), who allowed 10 of Philadelphia's 12 hits, their first six runs and didn't make it out of the sixth.

Polanco went 4-for-5 in the game, raising his average to .389.

"You're not going to pitch good in every game," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, referring to the three-hit shutout Ian Kennedy tossed at the Phillies on Monday night to beat Cliff Lee. "But you have to give them credit. They put some good swings on us. There just wasn't a margin for error."

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels was also able to pick up his club after consecutive losses by Lee and Roy Oswalt. Hamels improved his record to 3-1 by pitching seven innings of four-hit ball. All four D-backs hits were for extra bases. He walked one and struck out eight.

"I don't necessarily think it was a pickup," Hamels said. "It's just what we try to do. We try to go out and win as many ballgames as we can. You're not necessarily going to have good games all of the time. These are some of the best pitchers in the game. Just knowing that, you have to earn your end of the bargain and come away with the victory."

The outing was in stark contrast to one Hamels had here almost exactly a year ago. He threw six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits (four homers) and was charged with the loss.

This time, the D-backs hits off Hamels were a pair of doubles by Melvin Mora, Juan Miranda's pinch-hit triple and Chris Young's two-run homer. Young later hit his second homer of the day off reliever Antonio Bastardo. He had three in the series and has seven on the season.

Hamels said that last year's problems here against the D-backs was predominately because he was getting used to throwing his cut fastball, adding that pitch to his mix.

"It's a feel pitch," Hamels said. "When you're first learning how to throw it you don't necessarily have the feel. You throw it down the middle hoping that it breaks. Now I feel like I can throw it to corners or even let it break over the middle. When you do throw cutters down the middle they're going to hit them a long way."

In the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel rested struggling left fielder Raul Ibanez in lieu of John Mayberry Jr. Ibanez pinch-hit for Hamels in the eighth and whiffed for the 24th time, running his slump to 0-for-26 and 4-for-45.

Manuel put the 0-for-21 hitting catcher Carlos Ruiz back in the lineup after one day off, but Ruiz lasted only half an inning. He left after flying out to end the first because of spasms in his lower back.

Ruiz said after the game that he was a little worried about the injury, which is causing some tingling from his back down his right leg and will have it checked by team doctors on Thursday when the team is in Philadelphia. Manuel said he noticed Ruiz clutching at his back in the dugout during the middle of the inning and immediately lifted him.

Ruiz and Ibanez aside, after failing to score more than four runs in a single game since April 9, the Phillies scored at least five times in each of their last two games against the D-backs, 13 in all. That's good news, Manuel said.

"When you start hitting, guys relax and things start going good for them," he said. "Any time you get going and you put runs on the board and hit, you feel good about yourself."