Carlos Gonzalez forced out of game with sprained middle finger

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It has been a hellish week for the Rockies, losers of seven of their last eight games. They lost starter Roy Oswalt to a hamstring injury in the second inning this afternoon, then lost outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a right hand injury in the ninth inning just as they were ready to escape the Arizona heat.

With one out in the ninth inning, Gonzalez swung at and fouled off the first pitch he saw from Diamondbacks reliever Josh Collmenter, an 88 MPH cut fastball. He grimaced on the backswing, then immediately dropped the bat and paced around the home plate area, shaking his hand. Manager Walt Weiss and a trainer came out to find out more about Gonzalez’s pain. After a couple minutes of deliberation, Gonzalez walked off the field and was pinch-hit for with Todd Helton, who eventually struck out for the second out. Michael Cuddyer then struck out to end the game, a 6-1 victory for the first-place Diamondbacks.

Troy Renck reports that Gonzalez sprained the middle finger on his right hand. Fortunately for the Rockies, x-rays came up negative and the outfielder is listed as day-to-day.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.