Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers optimistic about reaching deals with Weeks, Marcum


The Brewers have already settled on salaries for 2011 with arbitration-eligible players Prince Fielder ($15.5M), Carlos Gomez ($1.5M), Kameron Loe ($1.25M) and Manny Parra ($1.2M).

They have only two unsettled cases: Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum.

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers expect to reach agreements with both within the next few days.

Weeks requested $7.2 million and was offered $4.85 million when figures were exchanged earlier this month.  A 28-year-old with a decent glove and decent range at second base, he batted .269/.366/.464 with a career-high 29 home runs and 83 RBI last season.

Marcum asked for $5 million and was offered $3 million from the Brewers.  The right-hander posted a 13-8 record, 3.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 31 starts last season for the Blue Jays, striking out 165 batters against only 43 walks while pitching in baseball’s toughest division.  He was acquired this offseason for top infield prospect Brett Lawrie in a trade that should work out well for both sides.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.