#Cubs prospects named to AFL

Ian Happ and Eloy Jimenez, the top two prospects in the Cubs organization, according to MLB.com’s rankings, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. They’ll be joined by catcher Victor Caratini, ranked No. 15 on the top 30 Cubs list, and four pitchers, including right-hander Duane Underwood, who is ranked sixth.

The other pitchers on the Mesa roster include right-handers James Farris, Ryan McNeil and Stephen Perakslis.

Jimenez was named the Midwest League Most Valuable Player, Prospect of the Year, and an end of the season All-Star. He has led the league in doubles, slugging percentage, OPS, and RBIs and was among the top five in batting average and extra base hits.

Happ, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2015 Major League Draft, played at Class A Myrtle Beach and also Double-A Tennessee this season.

#Cubs and Hammel face Pirates

Jason Hammel will start Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Tommy La Stella is back, and starting at second base. La Stella was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and right-hander Spencer Patton optioned to Iowa, although Patton may not need to join the Minor League team. Rosters expand on Thursday.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Heyward RF

Russell SS

La Stella 2B

Contreras C

Hammel P

La Stella opted to go home rather than report to Triple-A Iowa when he was optioned to the Minor League team on July 28, and the Cubs gave the infielder time to decide what to do. La Stella eventually reported to Double-A Tennessee on Aug. 17, and played in two games before joining Iowa. In six games with Iowa, he was 6-for-23 (.261) with two doubles.

#Cubs and Hendricks face Pirates

Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Tuesday in the Cubs’ second game of a three-game set against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Hendricks leads the Majors with his 2.19 ERA. He has not given up more than three earned runs since May 17. That’s a streak of 17 consecutive starts allowing three-or-fewer earned runs. It’s the second-longest streak by a Cubs pitcher over the last 20 years (Arrieta, 29 straight).

Here’s the lineup:

Baez 2B

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Heyward RF

Russell SS

Montero C

Szczur CF

Hendricks P

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Iowa lost, 3-2, in 11 innings to Nashville. Chris Coghlan went 3-for-4 with three doubles and scored a run. Joe Smith also threw a scoreless inning in his second rehab outing. John Andreoli and Jeimer Candelario each hit a double and drove in a run. Josh Collmenter started, and gave up two runs over five innings.

Tennessee lost, 3-0, to Birmingham. Tyler Skulina gave up one earned run over 6 2/3 innings. Ben Carhart had two hits and has hit in seven straight games.

Myrtle Beach had the day off.

South Bend beat Great Lakes, 2-1. Connor Myers hit a solo homer in the third. Roberto Caro smacked a walk-off RBI single in the ninth.

Eugene won its franchise record 50th game, a 4-2 win over Tri-City. Tyson Mmiller gave up one earned run over five innings. Kevonte Mitchell had two hits, both doubles, and one RBI.

Mesa lost its final regular season game, 4-3, to the Athletics in 12 innings. Brian Matusz started, and struck out one over one inning.

#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Iowa lost, 7-2, to Omaha. Stephen Fife gave up seven runs over four innings. Jeimer Candelario had a hit, and is batting .354 this month.

Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two earned runs over six innings in Tennessee’s 11-5 win over Birmingham. Lane Adams was 3-for-3, and four RBI plus two stolen bases. He has hit safely in 11 straight games.

Myrtle Beach beat Wilmington, 8-7. Erick Castillo had three hits. Yasiel Balaguert and Ian Rice each drove in a run.

South Bend lost, 2-0, to Great Lakes. Duane Underwood gave up two runs over 3 2/3 innings.

Eugene beat Salem-Keizer, 6-5. Kevonte Mitchell and Tyler Payne each hit home runs, and Jose Gonzalez had two hits, both doubles, and scored two runs.

Mesa lost, 5-3, to the Athletics. Jhonny Bethencourt had two hits and one RBI.

**
The Cubs and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans have signed a four-year extension of their Player Development Contract. The agreement will keep the Pelicans as the Class A affiliate through the 2020 season.

#Cubs and Arrieta face Pirates

Jake Arrieta takes the mound on Monday for the Cubs, who open a homestand against the Pirates. Arrieta is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA (6 ER/27 1/3 IP) over his last four starts. The right-hander is 8-2 with a 1.63 ERA in 12 starts against the Pirates, including last season’s Wild Card win.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Soler LF

Heyward RF

Contreras C

Baez SS

Arrieta P

#Cubs Minor League report

Saturday’s games

Jake Buchanan gave up five hits over six innings in Iowa’s 4-0 win over Omaha. Kristopher Negron had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Chris Coghlan went 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Tennessee lost, 4-2, to Birmingham. Zach Hedges gave up one earned run over six innings. Kelly Dugan had three hits and Lane Adams drove in two runs.

Myrtle Beach beat Wilmington, 7-1, for its sixth straight win. James Pugliese struck out a season-high nine over six scoreless innings. Charcer Burks had three hits, including a leadoff home run, and finished with two RBI.

South Bend lost, 7-2, to Great Lakes. Eddy Martinez hit a solo homer. Dillon Maples pitched in relief, and has not given up an earned run over seven innings in his last four outings.

Eugene rallied to score six runs in the sixth to beat Salem-Keizer, 14-9. Bryan Hudson gave up eight runs over five innings and got the win. Trent Giambrone had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Jose Paniagua had two hits, including a three-run blast.

Brian Matusz gave up one run on one inning in Mesa’s 6-4 win over the D-backs. Edgar Rondon had two hits and one RBI.

#Cubs and Hammel face LA

Jason Hammel starts Saturday for the Cubs against the Dodgers. Hammel is 6-1 with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star Break, the third-lowest ERA of any pitcher in the NL behind teammate Kyle Hendricks (1.52) and Cincinnati’s Dan Straily (1.98).

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Russell SS

Soler LF

Contreras C

Baez 2B

Hammel P

*In case you missed it, Jon Lester faces Brock Stewart (0-2, 11.25) on Sunday in the series finale.

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Jeimer Candelario went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a solo home run and drove in three runs in Iowa’s 6-5 win over Omaha. Tommy La Stella and Chris Coghlan both went 2-for-4.

Tennessee’s game vs. Jackson was cancelled because of rain and will not be made up. The Smokies face Birmingham Saturday.

Jeremy Null gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-0 win over Wilmington. Yasiel Balaguert and Ian Rice both went 2-for-4 with one RBI.

South Bend lost, 2-0, to Great Lakes. Jose Paulino gave up one run over six innings.

Eugene beat Salem-Keizer, 6-4. Wladimir Galindo went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Mesa had the day off, and will play the D-backs on Saturday.

#Cubs and Montgomery face LA

Mike Montgomery will make his second start of the season for the Cubs on Friday night when  they face the Dodgers. Last Saturday vs. the Rockies, Montgomery took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before departing one out later after giving up a solo homer to Nick Hundley. Montgomery got a no-decision in the Cubs’ 9-2 victory. Here’s the lineup for Friday’s game at Dodger Stadium:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Soler LF

Montero C

Montgomery P

The Cubs have won 22 of their last 27 games, and the starting pitchers are 18-2, 2.04 ERA in those 27 contests.

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