Game of the day: Arizona at Milwaukee, 4:10 p.m. There are seven holiday matinees scheduled for Monday afternoon, and this matchup of National League contenders is the best of the bunch. The Diamondbacks are three games behind San Francisco in the National League West, and continue to remain in the hunt despite an up-and-down June. Right-hander Daniel Hudson (9-5) has been Arizona’s best pitcher this season, and Hudson will go for his seventh straight win on Monday. Hudson hasn’t taken a loss since May 12, and the Diamondbacks have won eight of his last nine starts. Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum (7-3) has been slowed recently by a hip injury, but his ERA still sits at a solid 3.16.
Other game to watch:
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. No team seems willing to take control of the National League Central, and the Reds and Cardinals are two of the four teams who are packed together at the top. Right-hander Johnny Cueto (5-2) will start for Cincinnati, coming off six straight starts in which he has gone at least seven innings and allowed three or fewer runs. Right-hander Chris Carpenter will pitch for St. Louis after he threw perhaps his best start of the year in his last outing Wednesday against Baltimore. After starting the year 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA through his first 15 starts, Carpenter is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last two.
Games you should have seen:
Toronto 7, Philadelphia 4. The Blue Jays exploded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Phillies starter Cliff Lee to complete an improbable comeback after falling into an early 4-0 hole. Toronto snapped Lee’s scoreless streak at 34 innings when John McDonald’s groundout scored Rajai Davis in the third. Eric Thames, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion all homered off Lee in the decisive eighth inning.
Boston 2, Houston 1. After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning, Kevin Youkilis was unintentionally walked to score the go-ahead run. Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett allowed one run on five hits over eight innings pitched, striking out 11 and walking none. The Red Sox have won four straight, while Houston is a major league-worst 29-56.
Stat you should know: .317/.387/.567. White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko’s batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage entering Sunday when the 2011 all-star teams were selected. Konerko ranks fifth in the AL in batting, eighth in on-base percentage and fifth in slugging, yet was not selected to the American League all-star team. Konerko is also fourth in the league with 21 home runs and third in the league with 62 RBI. He is one of five players up for the American League Final Vote.
Star of the day: Cubs right-hander Rodrigo Lopez allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings Sunday in Chicago’s 3-1 win over the crosstown-rival White Sox. In his third start of the season and his second start after a month’s stint in the bullpen, Lopez earned his first win since Sept. 22, 2010.
Chatter: “Seems like the Yankees always take care of all the all-star voting every year, so it’s just disappointing to not see more Red Sox on that team.” — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, lamenting the fact that six New York Yankees, including four starters, were selected to the All-Star Game. Four Boston players were selected to the American League squad.