Sanchez on hot streak at the plate

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GLENDALE — The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.

Freddy Sanchez (Glendale Community College, 1998) second baseman, San Francisco Giants: Despite a 1-0 stumble against the Florida Marlins in which he went one for three with a walk, Sanchez has been heating up lately, building his average up to .294 after the Thursday loss to the Marlins.

The 33-year-old has hit safely in five straight games, going 10 for 21 in the span and raising his average 24 points. Over the last 10 games, he's gone 17 for 40 with five multi-hit games, highlighted by a four-for-six outing Wednesday. The game was notable in that the Giants lost, 7-6, in 12 innings on a sacrifice fly in which Giants starting catcher Buster Posey was run over at the plate by Scott Cousins and has subsequently been lost for the season due to multiple injuries.

For the season, Sanchez is hitting .294 with 16 runs, 16 runs batted in, 12 doubles, a pair of home runs and 10 walks.

After Thursday's loss, the Giants, the defending World Series champions, are 27-22 with a two-game lead in the National League West Division over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sanchez and Co., losers of three straight, will open up a road set tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) starting pitcher, Oakland Athletics: Despite sporting just a 1-4 record, McCarthy was turning in solid starts for the A's, going six or more innings in each of his last four starts and tallying quality starts in each of them.

However, McCarthy's comeback from a previous season of injury and minor league action hit a road bump as he was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list. The news came on May 20, as McCarthy went to the DL with a shoulder injury — a stress reaction in his right scapula.

"I didn't really feel this coming on until a few days before my last start. It just kind of turned into something where I couldn't recover," McCarthy told mlb.com in regard to an injury he's incurred three times in his career. "I've gotten hypersensitive to it, so when it came up last week I alerted them so that everyone was aware. I've gotten to the point where I can feel it right away. Coming out of my last start, we had it checked out and found it again.

"In the past, I've pitched with it for a while and usually I've stressed it way more than I've needed to and that leads to a longer period of rest, which usually means I'm out for the season. This one, if I can miss three or four starts — obviously that's optimistic — but I'd be happy. The goal is to not miss the entire summer again."

McCarthy's last start came on May 18 and saw him go seven innings and allow three earned runs on nine hits en route to a no decision.

The Athletics are 24-27 after a 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday. Oakland is in last place in the American League West Division, but just 2 ½ games behind the first-place Texas Rangers in the ultra-competitive division. Oakland begins a home series tonight against the Baltimore Orioles.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) relief pitcher, Washington Nationals: Slaten's days with a 0.00 ERA were halted May 11 against the Atlanta Braves when he gave up his first earned run of the season.

Since then, though, Slaten has struggled, as he was dealt a loss in his next appearance on May 12, giving up two hits, a run and two walks in 2 1/3 innings worth of work. He also gave up a run Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1/3 of an inning.

His ERA has ballooned from 0.00 to 2.31 over his last six appearances. For the season, the left-handed specialist is 0-1, as he's thrown 11 2/3 innings over 20 games, giving up 16 hits, three earned runs with eight strikeouts to seven walks with a 1.97 WHIP.

The Nationals have lost five in a row and entering Thursday were 9 ½ games out of first in last place in the NL East. Washington begins a three-game home series against the San Diego Padres today.

Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) relief pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers: Despite getting a trio of starts early in the season, Estrada has settled into a role exclusively coming out of the bullpen.

Estrada's fared well as of late, giving up one earned run over his last six appearances, which has added up to 8 1/3 innings. His last appearance came Monday when he threw a shutout inning of work during the Brewers' win over the Washington Nationals.

On the season, Estrada sports a 1-2 record with a 3.89 ERA over 12 games, four starts and 34 2/3 innings. He's struck out 29 to 11 walks with an excellent 1.18 WHIP.

Leading into Thursday, the Brewers were 2 ½ games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals with a 27-23 record.

Trevor Bell (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) relief pitcher, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Bell got in two innings' worth of work Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics and allowed one run on two hits and one walk, bumping his ERA up to 3.46 from 3.27.

Bell has made seven appearances since his April call-up to the big club and they've all come in relief.

Thus far, he's gone 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA through 13 innings pitched, having given up 14 hits and six walks, while striking out six.

Bell's Halos dropped to 26-26 after a Thursday loss, putting them a game behind first-place Texas in the AL West. The Angels take to the road today for a series against the Minnesota Twins.

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