* Arismendy Alcantara extended his Wrigley Field hitting streak to six games with a fifth-inning, two-run homer. He’s hit five home runs in his last 10 games, after hitting three in his first 40 contests.
* Luis Valbuena has driven in a run in three straight games, and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.
* With a run-scoring single to left field in the first inning, JORGE SOLER has recorded at least one RBI in five of his first six big league games. He’s hit safely in all six games (.500/11-for-22) since his promotion Aug. 27.
* Jake Arrieta picked up his eighth win of the season, giving up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out four over six innings. He has given up one or no earned runs in 13 of his 22 starts, and is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA (13 ER/64 IP) in 10 starts at Wrigley Field this year.
* Before he left the game with a left ankle sprain, Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to nine games (.406/13-for-32) with a first-inning single to left field. He has hit safely in 25 of his last 27 games dating to Aug. 1, going 40-for-103 (.388) during the stretch.
* Rafael Lopez (0-for-1) made his Major League debut, grounding out to first base in the eighth inning.
Led by Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach, the Cubs’ Nos. 7 and 11 prospects, Class A Daytona defeated Dunedin, 11-1, Tuesday in Game 1 of their Florida State League semifinals series.
Vogelbach scored the first run of the game in the second and then built on the lead with a two-out, two-run homer in the third. Schwarber broke the game open the next inning with a two-out, opposite-field grand slam, which gave Daytona a 9-0 lead.
Schwarber, ranked No. 75 on MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 Prospects list, finished the game 1-for-5 with a run and four RBIs. He primarily has played left field since the Cubs made him the fourth overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, but served Tuesday as Daytona’s designated hitter.
Vogelbach went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Outfielder Billy McKinney, the Cubs’ No. 8 prospect, added two hits and two runs.
The best-of-three series continues Wednesday with Game 2 at Dunedin. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET. If necessary, Game 3 would be played Thursday at Dunedin at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro had to leave Tuesday’s game with a left ankle sprain suffered in an awkward slide at home plate in the first inning. Castro had singled with one out and one on in the first and was on second base when Jorge Soler singled to left against the Brewers and Yovani Gallardo. As he slid into home, his left ankle bent awkwardly underneath him. He was able to walk off the field under his own power but was obviously limping. Initial tests showed no fracture. Castro was still being evaluated.
– Carrie Muskat
Kris Bryant finished his first full season in professional baseball with 43 home runs, most in the Minor Leagues, but was not called up when rosters expanded.
“I told him the other day, ‘You did everything you could possibly do as a first-year professional to impress and make us proud as an organization,'” the Cubs’ Theo Epstein said. “We’re just as proud with the way he handled himself off the field as we are with the accomplishments on the field.”
Now, the Cubs want Bryant to prepare for a seven-month season in 2015, not the shorter Minor League slate of games.
“I think he’s close enough that he can start setting his sights on the big leagues,” Epstein said. “Whenever that time comes, we don’t know, but it’s getting closer.”
Bryant has made smooth transitions at each level, and last season, went from the Rookie League to short-season Boise to high Class A Daytona to the Arizona Fall League, where the third baseman was named Most Valuable Player.
“He’s as advanced and mature and professional a prospect as we’ve had,” Epstein said. “He’s a thoughtful, cerebral, well adjusted mature guy. If anyone can jump into the big league picture in the middle of the season and not miss a beat, it’s Kris Bryant.”
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo has a low back strain, and will be sidelined indefinitely. The Cubs are not saying Rizzo is shutdown for the rest of the season, however, Rizzo was prepared if he doesn’t play again.
“If I’m shut down, I’m shut down,” he said. “My main concern is coming back healthy next year.”
Rizzo felt the tightness in his lower back last Tuesday during the Cubs rain delay in Cincinnati. He underwent an MRI Tuesday.
“I’m happy the MRI showed something so I’m not going crazy,” Rizzo said.
– Carrie Muskat
Dae-Eun Rhee threw seven scoreless innings in Iowa’s 11-1 win over Oklahoma City in the season finale. Rhee struck out 11 and scattered six hits. Ryan Kalish had four hits and Eli Whiteside and Elliot Soto each had three. Kris Bryant singled and drove in his 52nd run for Iowa. He finished his first full season in the Minors with a .325 average, a Minor League best 43 home runs, and 110 RBIs.
Tennessee ended its season with a 5-1 loss to Chattanooga. Addison Russell posted his 18th multi-hit game. The Smokies were 0-for-10 with RISP.
Daytona had Monday off, and and opens the Florida State League North Championship Tuesday against Dunedin. Rob Zastryzny was scheduled to start.
Kane County lost, 6-5, in 12 innings to Peoria, ending the regular season with a franchise best 91-49 record. Mark Zagunis had two hits, and a stolen base.
Boise beat Salem-Keizer 6-5 on a walk-off RBI single by Jason Vosler. Gleyber Torres had three hits, including a double and a triple, and two RBI. Game 1 of the best of three Northwest League Division series begins Tuesday against Hillsboro.
Jake Arrieta gets the start Tuesday night as the Cubs play host to the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:
The Cubs added seven players to the roster on Tuesday for the final month of the season. The list includes:
Jokisch and Lopez were selected, and had to be added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster. Outfielder Justin Ruggiano was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot. The Cubs now are at 40 on the 40-man.
* Welington Castillo had two hits, including a two-run home run, to snap an 0-for-9 stretch. His three RBI tied a season-high (also April 11 at St. Louis), and his 11 homers and 37 RBI are both career bests.
* Luis Valbuena hit a solo homer in the eighth, his fourth in his last seven games.
* In his Wrigley Field debut, Jorge Soler had two hits, both doubles. He is the third player in the last 100 years to record an extra-base hit in each of his first five career games and the first to do so since Will Middlebrooks of the Red Sox in 2012. Soler is the first NL hitter to turn the trick since Enos Slaughter with St. Louis in 1938.
* In his second start since joining the Cubs, Jacob Turner picked up th ewin. He tied a career high with seven strikeouts, and gave up five hits over 6 1/3 innings. It was his third quality start this year and first since May 24.
* Chris Coghlan had two hits, including a double in the third that was his 13th extra-base since Aug. 1. He has 19 doubles since the start of July after tallying just three between May and June.
* Starlin Castro had two hits, and has hit safely in all eight games since returning from the bereavement list, Aug. 26, including four multi-hit efforts.
* The Cubs and Brewers combined for six double-plays (four by Milwaukee).
* Logan Watkins delivered a pinch-hit single in the seventh. In six pinch-hit opportunities, Watkins has three singles.
* Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth to record his ninth-consecutive save and 23rd overall.
* Iowa romped 11-0 over Oklahoma City to finish its season, 74-70. Dae-Eun Rhee tied his career-high with 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings. David Bote hit a two-run single, and Ryan Kalish and Eli Whiteside each hit two-run doubles. Kalish finished with four hits and three RBIs. Kris Bryant went 1-for-4 with an RBI and team-best three runs scored in his final game. Bryant’s 43 home runs on the season lead all of Minor League baseball. He is vying to become the second Cub in the last four years to accomplish that feat. Bryan LaHair hit a Minor League-best 38 in 2011. This is Iowa’s first winning season since 2010.
* Double-A Tennessee closed its season with a 5-1 loss Monday to Chattanooga. Dustin Geiger drove in the Smokies’ only run in the seventh when he drew a bases-loaded walk.