#Cubs vs Nationals starts Thursday

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field on Thursday to open a 10-game homestand, beginning with the Nationals. Here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52) vs. RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79)
Friday: RHP John Lackey (3-1, 4.32) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.55)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 0.84) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.35)

*On Sunday, the Cubs and Advocate Health Care will “Pink Out” the Budweiser Bleachers to promote breast cancer prevention awareness while celebrating moms and women everywhere who are survivors. Guests in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pink “Save Second Base” T-shirt, and everyone inside the ballpark will be invited to stand to honor cancer survivors in the fourth inning. Breast cancer survivors will participate in festivities including ceremonial first pitches, singing the national anthem, forming a symbolic pink ribbon around the pitcher’s mound, meeting Cubs players as they take the field at each position and leading the seventh inning stretch.

Honorary Bat Girl Molly Oliver, who won Major League Baseball’s nationwide contest, will deliver the lineup card to the umpires. The Cubs will join other MLB teams that day in wearing pink Mother’s Day jerseys and caps, which will be authenticated, collected and auctioned by Cubs Authentics at http://www.cubs.com/authentics. Net proceeds from the auction benefit Cubs Charities.

Here are highlights for the upcoming series vs. the Nationals:

Thursday:
National anthem: John Vincent

Friday:
First pitch: Percussionist Sunny Ortiz from American rock band Widespread Panic
National anthem: Wayne Messmer

Saturday:
First pitch and seventh inning stretch: Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald
National anthem: Nate Klinger

Sunday – Mother’s Day:
First pitches, national anthem and 7th inning stretch: Breast cancer survivors
Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under

 

#Cubs Lester vs. Bucs in series finale

Jon Lester will wrap up the Cubs series in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Jason Heyward is not in the lineup for the third straight game to nurse a sore right wrist and Ben Zobrist makes his first start in the outfield. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

La Stella 2B

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

*Looking ahead to the Cubs’ series against the Nationals, here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52) vs. RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79)
Friday: RHP John Lackey (3-1, 4.32) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.55)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 0.84) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.35)

#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Ryan Williams gave up one run over six innings in Iowa’s 2-1 win over Nashville. Arismendy Alcantara hit a two-run homer in the seventh and stole a base.

Tennessee had the day off and opens a five-game series against Mississippi on Wednesday.

Jonathan Martinez gave up one run over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-2 win over Winston-Salem. Gleyber Torres hit a solo home run in the first, Shawon Dunston had three hits — all for extra bases as he hit two doubles and a triple — while Jason Vosler had two hits.

Matt Rose hit a solo home run in South Bend’s 5-4 loss to Wisconsin. Ryan Kellogg gave up five hits over six scoreless innings.

0502Wrigley

#Cubs Szczur to DL

Matt Szczur was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of a mild right hamstring strain and Ryan Kalish called up from Triple-A Iowa. Szczur was injured during a double steal attempt Monday night in the fifth inning. He was on third base when David Ross, who was on first, broke for second. Szczur headed home, then stopped as the throw came in and started again, which is when he injured the hamstring. He told the media in Pittsburgh that he didn’t think the injury was too severe. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday. Christian Villanueva was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Kalish.

Also, Jason Heyward was not in the Cubs’ lineup Tuesday for the second straight game, nursing a sore wrist.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Willson Contreras hit his first home run of the season in Iowa’s 5-1 loss to Nashville. Pierce Johnson took the loss, giving up four runs over three innings. Arismendy Alcantara had two hits, and has hit safely in 13 of 19 games so far. Felix Pena struck out four over two scoreless innings in relief.

Tennessee split a doubleheader at Biloxi, losing 3-2 in the first game and winning the second, 4-1, in extra innings. Tyler Skulina started the first game and gave up zero earned runs over five innings. Mark Zagunis hit a game-winning home run in the eighth of the second game and Kelly Dugan added a pinch-hit, two-run homer. Victor Caratini had two hits in the second game. Corey Black picked up his second save in Game 2.

Myrtle Beach beat Winston-Salem, 3-2, in 11 innings. Yasiel Balaguert hit his third home run, a two-run shot in the first. He has three multi-RBI games in his last six games. Jake Stinnett started and gave up one run — unearned — over five innings.

Carson Sands gave up three hits over six scoreless innings in South Bend’s 3-0 win over Wisconsin. Sands struck out four. Eloy Jimenez had two hits, including a double, and a stolen base. Jesse Hodges had two hits and on RBI.

0502Wrigley

#Cubs lineup vs Pirates: Arrieta starts

Jake Arrieta takes the mound Tuesday night for the Cubs in Game 2 of their series against the Pirates. No Jason Heyward for the second straight day. He’s dealing with a sore wrist, which first bothered him in Arizona in early April. Here’s Tuesday’s lineup:

Fowler CF

Soler LF

Bryant RF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Arrieta P

On Monday, Arrieta was named NL Pitcher of the Month for April after going 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA. He’s the first Cubs pitcher to win each of his first five starts in a season since Greg Maddux started 5-0 in 2006.

#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

The weather interfered with all four Cubs affiliates games.

Drew Rucinski gave up four runs over five innings in Iowa’s 4-3 loss to Colorado Springs in the first game of a doubleheader. The second game was postponed because of inclement weather. John Andreoli had two hits, one RBI and a stolen base. Willson Contreras hit two doubles.

Tennessee’s game at Biloxi was postponed because of rain. The game was to be made up Monday night as part of a doubleheader.

Myrtle Beach’s game against Salem was postponed because of bad weather, and was to be made up as part of a doubleheader in early June.

South Bend’s game at Cedar Rapids was cancelled because of rain. The South Bend Cubs return home Monday against Wisconsin.

0502Wrigley

Bryant back in #Cubs lineup

Kris Bryant tested his right ankle early Sunday, and was pronounced good to go in the Cubs’ series finale against the Braves. Bryant suffered a mild ankle sprain last Thursday while running the bases. He admitted he didn’t tape his ankle prior to the game, something he normally does.

“The baseball gods are telling me to continue to tape my ankle,” Bryant said.

He started in left field Sunday, mainly because manager Joe Maddon wanted to get Tommy La Stella into the game.

 

How did the injury happen?

“I had a really bad angle going into second, so I tried to make up for it coming around second and cut the corner a little too tight and the ankle went the other way,” he said. “It wasn’t terrible. I’ve dealt with a lot worse.”

— Carrie Muskat

 

#Cubs lineup vs Braves: Bryant’s back

Kris Bryant tested his right ankle Sunday morning, and was pronounced ready to go for the Cubs’ series finale against the Braves. Bryant will start in left field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

La Stella 3B

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Lackey P

*Bryant admitted his ankle wasn’t taped on Thursday when he hurt his ankle running the bases. He says he’ll get it taped Sunday.

 

#Cubs Minor League report

Saturday’s games

Iowa’s game against Colorado Springs was postponed because of rain. The two teams will try to play a doubleheader Sunday.

Paul Blackburn gave up four hits over five scoreless innings in Tennessee’s 2-1 loss to Biloxi. Mark Zagunis had two hits and Jeimer Candelario, playing first base, had one RBI.

Erick Leal gave up four runs over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 4-3 loss to Salem. Daniel Lockhart had one RBI.

Adbert Alzolay gave up one run over five innings in South Bend’s 5-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Daniel Spingola extended his hitting streak to 13 games, going 2-for-4. Donnie Dewees had three hits and one RBI. Eddy Martinez drove in two runs.

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