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#Cubs lineup vs Cardinals

Dexter Fowler is back  in the Cubs lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Cardinals. Plus, Kris Bryant is feeling better and will start at third base. Jake Arrieta gets the start in a rematch of a May 7 game against John Lackey. Here’s the Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Coghlan LF

Castro SS

Baxter RF

Arrieta P

Russell 2B

* According to MLB Network’s stats geeks, Anthony Rizzo has slashed his strikeout rate from 18.8 percent last season to 12.0 percent this season by taking fewer at-bats to two strikes. He reached two strikes 53.6 percent of the time in 2014; this year he’s going to two strikes only 44.3 percent of the time. Rizzo cut his miss percentage before two strikes from 24.1 percent of swings to 20.3 percent this season (22.4 percent league average).

* The Cardinals pitchers are 10-3, 2.43 ERA in last 13 games.

* Arrieta is coming off a complete game victory over the Twins. He is 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA over his last four starts.

* Anthony Rizzo is batting .371 (13-for-35) with eight extra-base hits (.829 SLG) over his last nine games.

* Chris Coghlan is a career .583 hitter (7-for-12) lifetime vs. Lackey.

#Cubs Minor League report: Iowa sweeps DH, Davis 2 HRs

Thursday’s games

Iowa swept a doubleheader against Omaha, winning the first game, 3-2, in 10 innings on Kyle Schwarber’s walk-off RBI double and posting a 1-0 win in the second game. Mike Olt went 3-for-4 in the first game, including his first home run. Neil Ramirez gave up one hit and struck out a batter in two-thirds of an inning in relief. It was his first rehab outing with Iowa. Schwarber hit a triple as well as his double in the first game. Christian Villanueva drove in the only run Carlos Pimentel needed in the second game. Pimentel gave up three hits over six scoreless innings, striking out nine.

Taylor Davis hit two solo home runs to lead Tennessee to a 2-1 win over Mobile. Billy McKinney had three hits and Tayler Scott picked up the win in relief.

Myrtle Beach lost, 2-1, to Carolina. Tyler Skulina gave up one run on four hits over three innings. Daniel Lockhart and Pin-Chieh Chen each had two hits.

South Bend opened the second half with a 4-3 win over Lake County. Zach Hedges gave up two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. Jason Vosler and Kevin Encarnacion each homered. Gleyber Torres had two hits.

Justin Steele gave up one run on three hits and struck out six over six innings in Eugene’s 3-1 win over Boise. Justin Marra and Eloy Jimenez each had two hits.

Mesa scored three runs in the first and held on for a 6-4 win over the Angels. Pedro Silverio gave up two runs over four innings.

#Cubs Bryant pulled because of flu-like symptoms

Even the best ones get sick. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Thursday’s game after two innings because of flu-like symptoms.

The Cubs rookie struck out in the first inning, and was batting .278. He has played every game since called up from Triple-A Iowa on April 17, and was 3-for-10 in his last three games. The third baseman has thrived at Wrigley Field, batting .327 coming into Thursday’s game.

The Cubs began the game short-handed because shortstop Starlin Castro was at a Chicago hospital for the birth of his second child. Addison Russell started at shortstop, and Jonathan Herrera was at second but moved to third when Bryant was pulled.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs sign 2nd round pick Dewees

The Cubs signed second-round pick Donnie Dewees on Thursday, and now have signed 25 of their selections. Dewees’ bonus with the Cubs was reportedly $1.7 million, according to’s Jonathan Mayo. The outfielder was a semifinalist for the 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, and named the Atlantic Sun Conference player of the year. A redshirt sophomore, Dewees batted .422 with 88 runs, 12 doubles, eight triples, 18 home runs and 68 RBIs in 60 games for North Florida this year.

On Thursday, the Cubs also announced the signing of fourth-round pick Darryl Wilson and fifth round pick Tyler Petzmeier. Others to sign include infielder Matt Rose (11th round); left-hander Kyle Twomey (13th), right-hander Kyle Miller (19th), outfielder Alex Bautista (22nd), infielder Sutton Whiting (24th), catcher Ian Rice (29th), catcher Tyler Payne (30th), outfielder Daniel Spingola (31st), right hander M.T. Minacci (33rd) and outfielder Donnie Cimino (37th).

#Cubs Schwarber, Edwards named to Futures Game

Cubs prospects Kyle Schwarber and Carl Edwards Jr. were named to the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played on July 12 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Schwarber, 22, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft, already has had a whirlwind first half. He began at Double-A Tennessee where he batted .320 in 58 games with 13 home runs, 10 doubles and 39 RBIs, and was promoted to the big league team June 16 for a six-game stint to be the designated hitter in Interleague games.

The promotion was perfectly timed for the Ohio native, who got his first start in Cleveland June 17 and had about 40 family and friends present. He tripled for his first big league hit, and finished 8-for-22 in six games with a home run and six RBIs. Schwarber was promoted to Triple-A Iowa, and made his first start Tuesday.

Edwards, 23, compiled a 2.66 ERA in 13 games at Tennessee, striking out 36 over 23 2/3 innings before he was promoted to Iowa. The right-hander, who the Cubs acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade, had a 3.27 ERA in seven games, striking out 12 over 11 innings.

Tennessee hitting coach Desi Wilson will be on the U.S. team coaching staff.

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau,, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25 players currently on each team. Ken Griffey Sr. will manage the U.S. Team, while Tony Perez will be the skipper of the World Team.

Last year, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez were both named to the Futures Game, and Baez hit a two-run homer for the World team.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs injury updates: Wada, Fowler and more

* Tsuyoshi Wada, who came out of his start Monday after two-plus innings because of soreness in his left shoulder, did play catch on Wednesday but Cubs manager Joe Maddon said they were still uncertain as to whether he’ll make his next start Saturday.

“There’s still some soreness,” Maddon said of Wada. “We’re not prepared yet to say yes or no on the next start. We’re going to wait a little while longer to evaluate all that. It’s better, from what I was told, but we want to be very certain about that.”

Among the Cubs’ options for Saturday’s game against the Cardinals are Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood, who are currently in the bullpen. Maddon said they also are looking at the Triple-A Iowa roster.

“There’s a couple different directions we can go,” Maddon said.

The starters at Iowa include right-hander Donn Roach (7-1, 2.29 ERA) and Carlos Pimentel (5-4, 3.45 ERA), although neither is on the Cubs’ 40-man roster.

* Dexter Fowler, who sprained his left ankle Monday, did not start Wednesday for the second straight day but was available to pinch hit.

“We’re going to take it day by day,” Fowler said. “I’ve sprained my ankle before and I’m going to go out there today [during batting practice] and run around and see how it feels.”

* The Cubs have shut down Jacob Turner after two starts because of soreness in his right elbow. Turner last pitched on June 14 for Double-A Tennessee, giving up two hits over five scoreless innings.

* Javier Baez was headed to the Cubs complex in Mesa, Ariz., to resume his rehab. Baez has been sidelined since June 7 with a fractured middle finger on his left hand. He was batting .314 in 37 games at Triple-A Iowa before he was injured.

* Zac Rosscup, on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation since June 17, expected to go to Arizona on Friday and continue his rehab there.

* The Cubs lead the Majors in one-run games (30) and the most wins in one-run games with 18. What’s the key? Maddon said he remembers when the Orioles led the Majors in that category.

“At that time, it spoke to two things,” Maddon said. “I thought they played hard all the time, a bunch of grinders, and I thought their bullpen was spectacular. I’ll put ourselves in the category of being grinders. On the flip side, our bullpen the last month has been outstanding.

“I think at the end of the day, to win one-run games, I talk about present tense and focus and those kinds of things, that combined with players who just don’t quit and a bullpen that can hold it down [it works].”

The Cubs’ ‘pen has posted a 1.49 ERA and .196 batting average against since May 23.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup: Hendricks goes for 1st home win

Kyle Hendricks starts Wednesday night as the Cubs face the Dodgers in Game 3 of their four-game series at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Denorfia RF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Castro SS

Coghlan LF

Szczur CF

Hendricks P

Russell 2B

* Hendricks lost to the Twins on Friday after allowing a career-high seven runs (six earned) over five innings. The Cubs have won four of Hendricks’ five home starts this season, but he does not have a “W” at home.

* Anthony Rizzo is batting .357 (10-for-28) with four homers, two doubles, and six RBIs in his last seven games.

* Dexter Fowler is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. He was injured MOnday.

* The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig has hit .486 with six extra-base hits and 13 runs scored in nine career games at Wrigley Field. With a hit, he’d join Neil Walker and Ray Lankford as the only players in the last four decades to hit safely in each of their first 10 games at Wrigley.

* With Joc Pederson’s next home run, the Dodgers rookie will join Dave Kingman (1972) and Albert Pujols (2001) as the only NL rookies with at least 20 home runs by the All-Star break since 1933.

* The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez is batting .169 with two extra-base hits and one run scored in his last 17 games.

* Chris Coghlan owns MLB’s longest active games played streak at 133 consecutive games played entering Wednesday. The streak began on July 23 of last season.

* Kris Bryant has hit seven of his 10 homers at Wrigley Field this year. He owns a .622 SLG in 28 home games compared to a .371 SLG in 33 games on the road.

#Cubs Minor League report: Null All-Star MVP

Tuesday’s games

John Andreoli hit a solo home run in Iowa’s 4-2 loss to Omaha. Felipe Paulino gave up two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, while striking out six.

In Tuesday’s Southern League All-Star game, Tennessee’s Dan Vogelbach hit a three-run homer in the second to help the North team. Wilson Contreras also had a hit and Felix Pena threw a scoreless inning and struck out one. Frank Batista gave up one hit in one inning. Other Smokies at the All-Star game included Corey Black and P.J. Francescon.

Myrtle Beach’s Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis each had two hits in their All-Star game, played Tuesday night. Duane Underwood Jr. also represented the Pelicans.

South Bend’s Jeremy Null picked up the win and was named game MVP in the Midwest League All-Star game after giving up one hit and striking out three in the first. The game was played in Peoria. Cael Brockmeyer, Charcer Burks, Gleyber Torres and James Farris represented the South Bend team.

Eugene lost, 4-2, to Boise. Ian Happ, the Cubs’ first-round Draft pick, was 2-for-3 with a double and has a hit in his first five games with the team.

Jesus Carmago gave up one run on three hits over five innings in Mesa’s 8-4 win over the D-Backs. Andruw Monasterio hit a triple and drove in three runs and Wladimir Galindo also drove in three runs.

Schwarber, Olt play for Iowa #Cubs

Kyle Schwarber was 0-for-4 and Mike Olt 0-for-3 in their first games with Triple-A Iowa Tuesday night. Iowa lost, 4-2, to Omaha. Schwarber was just starting his stint with the Triple-A team after his six-game call-up to the big league team in which he was 8-for-22 (.364) with a home run, triple and six RBIs as the designated hitter. This was Olt’s first game after going 4-for-9 with Double-A Tennessee on a rehab assignment. Reliever Neil Ramirez also has joined Iowa as part of his rehab but he did not pitch Tuesday.

#Cubs Lester host kids at Wrigley

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester hosted a group of pediatric cancer patients and their families on Tuesday, and met with them during batting practice. Lester gave each child a NVRQT drawstring bag full of goodies, took photos, signed autographs, and brought teammates Jason Motte and David Ross over to say hello.



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