Astros' Lee says he may retire after 2012 season

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carlos lee swinging.jpgAstros outfielder Carlos Lee told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com Thursday that he might retire after the 2012 season, when his current contract runs out.

“I don’t know if I’m going to play after this contract is up. I’m
ready to go home,” said Lee.  “We spend so much time away from our family.  I can’t spend
any other time with my kids. I get home at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock and
they’re sleeping and they get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school
and I see them 10, 15 minutes. I want to be able to spend time with my
kid where they’re still young and healthy. I want to enjoy them.”

Lee is owed $18.5 million this season and the same sum in both 2011 and 2012.  The 33-year-old has a disappointing .204 batting average and a .248 on-base percentage through 103 at-bats this season, so he may have been venting because of his poor start.  But the family issues are certainly understandable.  Lee makes his offseason home in Panama, where he was born.  He has two sons
and two daughters.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.