Rangers acquire Garza from Cubs for 3 players

ARLINGTON, Texas — Matt Garza was traded to Texas from the Chicago Cubs, giving the Rangers a pitcher they have long coveted.

The deal completed Monday night gives the Rangers a boost to a starting rotation plagued by injuries.

Texas sent the Cubs rookie pitcher Justin Grimm, top prospect third baseman Mike Olt and Class-A pitcher C.J. Edwards. There will also be a player to be named later.

Garza, a 29-year-old right-hander who can be a free agent after the season, is 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA his last six starts.

He had been scheduled to start Monday night for the Cubs at Arizona.

Nationals

ECKSTEIN FIRED AS HITTING COACH: In Washington, the slumping Washington Nationals fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein, who paid the price for the team’s offensive woes this season.

Washington entered play Monday stuck in a three-game losing streak and a disappointing 48-50 record. The team is tied for 28th overall in runs and ranks 27th in batting average.

Eckstein was hired as the Nationals’ batting coach before the 2009 season. He was the longest-tenured hitting coach in the NL East.

He was replaced Monday by Rick Schu, who for the past four years has been the team’s minor league hitting coordinator .

Schu has 16 years of coaching experience. While with Washington, he has worked with several current Nationals, including Bryce Harper. Before coming to the Nationals, Schu spent parts of four seasons as Arizona’s hitting coach.

Dodgers

Suit alleges that Puig lied about smuggling plan: In Miami, a lawsuit seeking $12 million from Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig says he and his mother lied to Cuban authorities about a plan to smuggle the player out of the country.

The suit filed in Miami by Miguel Angel Corbacho Daudinot lists Puig and his mother Maritza Valdes Gonzalez as defendants. Corbacho Daudinot is serving a seven-year sentence of “prolonged detention and torture,” which he alleges was caused by Puig and Gonzalez saying he was trying to hatch a plan to smuggle Puig out of Cuba.

Corbacho Daudinot was convicted in 2010.

Puig attempted to defect several times before signing with the Dodgers last year. The $12 million Corbacho Daudinot seeks is equal to the signing bonus Puig received in his $42 million, seven-year deal.

White Sox

Konerko COMES off 15-day DL: In Chicago, the Chicago White Sox brought back first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko from his rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list before Monday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Konerko is in the lineup and batting fifth as Chicago’s designated hitter against Tigers starter Max Scherzer.

Konerko was placed on the DL July 3 with a lower back strain and has played one game since June 25. He played three games during his rehab stint.

In 67 games for Chicago, Konerko is hitting .249.

with seven home runs and 30 runs batted in.

Braves

Heyward back in lineup, Maholm on DL: In New York, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is back in the lineup after missing six games with a right hamstring injury, and starting pitcher Paul Maholm placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised left wrist.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has Heyward batting second and playing center field Monday night against the New York Mets.

Usually a right fielder, Heyward shifted to center for his first game since July 11 because B.J. Upton is on the DL with a muscle strain in his right leg. Upton ran for the first time since his injury.

Maholm initially injured the wrist while batting in his start at Miami on July 10. He walked off the mound Saturday after aggravating it in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox. Maholm flew back to Atlanta Sunday and had an MRI.

Gonzalez thinks Maholm would only miss two starts.

Rockies

Pomeranz recalled from Double-A Tulsa: In Denver, the Colorado Rockies recalled left-hander Drew Pomeranz from Double-A Tulsa and optioned infielder Josh Rutledge to Triple-A Colorado Springs.t

Pomeranz will start Monday’s series opener against the Miami Marlins.

Pomeranz will be making his second stint with the Rockies after beginning the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He was recalled on June 30 and was 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA in three starts before being optioned on July 12 to Double-A Tulsa.

The centerpiece to the 2011 trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland, Pomeranz has struggled in the majors. He is 4-13 with a 5.37 ERA in 29 career starts.

Rutledge is hitting .211 with six home runs in 67 games this season.