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#Cubs Arrieta named NL Player of Week

Cubs Minor Leaguers Chesny Young, Paul Blackburn and Ian Happ also honored

*Jake Arrieta, who threw his second career no-hitter last Thursday, was named National League Player of the Week for April 18-24. Arrieta struck out six and walked four in the Cubs’ 16-0 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Arrieta posted his second no-no 10 regular season starts after he threw the first. According to Elias, only two pitchers in ML history have gone fewer starts between no-hitters: Johnny Vander Meer, who did so in consecutive starts in 1938, and Warren Spahn, who had five starts separating his two.

*Tennessee’s Chesny Young and Paul Blackburn were named the Southern League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. In seven games last week, Young batted .480 (12-for-25), scored four runs, drove in two and stole seven bases. Blackburn won both of his starts last week, and did not give up an earned run over 15 innings. He held opponents to a .184 average. In four games so far, Blackburn has a 0.35 ERA.

*Ian Happ has been named the Carolina League’s Player of the Week for his efforts during the week of April 18-24. Happ, 22, opened the week hitting two home runs in a 4-for-5, four RBI game at Winston-Salem. He posted a .429/.600/.905 slash line with three home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored and nine walks in seven games last week.

 

#Cubs homestand highlights

The Cubs open a six-game homestand Tuesday, playing host to the Brewers for three games, then the Braves for three.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Jake Arrieta will be recognized for his second career no-hitter, achieved last Thursday in Cincinnati in a 16-0 win over the Reds.

There will be a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game as well for former Cubs pitcher and 17-year MLB veteran Milt Pappas, who passed away last week.

Before Thursday’s game against the Brewers, several Cubs players will receive their 2015 Esurance MLB Awards. Arrieta was named Best Starting Pitcher and Best Breakout Player; Kris Bryant was named Best Rookie; and Joe Maddon was named Best Manager.

Promotional Items:
On Friday, up to the first 10,000 early arriving fans will receive a Cubs “Minors to Majors” T-Shirt presented by Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

On Saturday, up to the first 10,000 fans will receive a Ron Santo Replica Statue presented by TransUnion.

Guests and Entertainment:
On Tuesday, former NFL players and current NFL Network personalities Kurt Warner and Mike Mayock will throw ceremonial first pitches, while Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Melissa Stark will lead the seventh inning stretch. Former players and current NFL Network personalities Maurice Jones-Drew and Ike Taylor will throw first pitches and lead the stretch Wednesday.

Music artist and producer Warren G will throw a first pitch and lead the stretch on Friday.

WWE Superstar and Chicago native Danielle Moinet, aka “Summer Rae,” will throw a first pitch Saturday.

On Sunday, WWE 16-time World Champion Ric Flair will throw a ceremonial first pitch with his daughter, Charlotte, who is the current WWE Women’s Champion.

Noteworthy:

Manager Joe Maddon is once again supporting Chicago nonprofit organizations through his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game, Maddon represents a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his post-game press conference. On Friday, Maddon will represent Action for Healthy Kids, who fights childhood obesity, undernouri0417Wrigleyshment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives.

 

#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Tim Federowicz and Kristopher Negron each hit home runs in Iowa’s 13-5 loss to Oklahoma City. Jake Buchanan, making his first start for Iowa, took the loss, giving up seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Brad Markey gave up three runs over six innings and Jacob Hannemann had three hits, including a home run, and a stolen base in Tennessee’s 9-4 win over Mobile. Chesny Young also had three hits.

Tommy Thorpe gave up one run over 5 1/3 innings in Myrtle Beach’s 4-2 win over Carolina. Yasiel Balaguert had two RBIs. Thorpe has given up two earned runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

Eloy Jimenez hit a walk-off RBI single in the 10th, one of his three hits in the game, in South Bend’s 7-6 victory over Fort Wayne. Carson Sands started and did not get a decision, giving up six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. Donnie Dewees had two hits, including a triple, and two RBI.

#Cubs Rizzo hits 2 HRs

Anthony Rizzo is on a roll.

The Cubs first baseman hit two home runs Sunday, connecting on a pair of two-run shots in the first and third innings. He now has five in five games for the second time in his career, and eight for the season, which matches his career high for one month. He also hit eight homers in April 2013 and in July 2014.

Both of Rizzo’s home runs Sunday came on 94 mph fastballs from the Reds’ Alfredo Simon. The second blast was on the first pitch from Simon, and Rizzo is now 6-for-9 with five homers on the first pitch.

It’s the 10th multi-homer game of Rizzo’s career.0407Riz

Rizzo now has 109 home runs as a Cub to move into sole possession of 18th place on the team’s all-time home run list, passing Shawon Dunston (107). Only four left-handed hitters have more home runs than Rizzo in Cubs history: Billy Williams (392), Bill Nicholson (205), Mark Grace (148) and Leon Durham (138).

Rizzo is the first Cubs player with eight home runs through the first 19 games of the season since Williams did so in 1970.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup vs Reds: Hammel time

Jason Hammel takes the mound Sunday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler both get a breather. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

La Stella 2B

Heyward CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Montero C

Szczur LF

Russell SS

Hammel P

*Looking ahead to Brewers at Cubs:

Tuesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs RHP Jimmy Nelson (3-1, 3.46)
Wednesday: RHP Jake Arrieta (4-0, 0.87) vs. RHP Taylor Jungmann (0-3, 8.47)
Thursday: LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 1.98) vs. RHP Zach Davies (0-2, 9.72)

#Cubs Minor League report: Almora, Happ each HR

Saturday’s games

Albert Almora had two hits, including a two-run homer, in Iowa’s 6-4, 13-inning loss to Oklahoma City. Almora was batting .379 with runners on base. Stephen Perakslis gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Paul Blackburn gave up zero earned runs over eight innings in Tennessee’s 5-2 win over Mobile. Mark Zagunis delivered the game-winning hit in the ninth. Blackburn’s ERA now is 0.35, and he’s given up one earned run over 26 innings.

Jake Stinnett gave up one run over 6 2/3 innings in Myrtle Beach’s 6-5 win over Carolina. Ian Happ hit a two-run homer with two outs in the fifth. He’s now batting .317.

Adbert Alzolay gave up one unearned run over six innings in South Bend’s 7-4 win over Fort Wayne. Carlos Sepulveda had three hits, including two doubles, and three RBI. Donnie Dewees had two hits, both doubles.

Arrieta rewriting #Cubs history

0422JakePitchJake Arrieta is 20-1 with a 0.86 ERA (17 ER/178 IP) with 33 walks and 173 strikeouts in his last 24 starts since June 21, which is the best 24-start stretch in Cubs history. It may be the best stretch in Major League history. Baseball historian Ed Hartig points out some facts during Arrieta’s streak:

*Arrieta is the first pitcher in franchise history to win 20 games in a 24-start stretch, passing the 19 wins turned in by Rick Sutcliffe during a stretch that ended 1985.

*Arrieta has given up 91 hits in this stretch, better than the previous low of 92 hits in 24 starts by Dick Drott that ended in 1961.

*Arrieta has served up 20 runs, half of the previous best of 40 runs in 24 starts by Grover Alexander that ended in 1920.

*Arrieta has allowed 17 earned runs, nearly half the prior best of 33 earned runs in 24 starts by Hippo Vaughn that ended in 1919.

*Arrieta has a 0.86 ERA, far lower than Hippo Vaughn’s 24-game run with a 1.43 ERA that ended in 1919.

 

#Cubs vs. Reds lineup and notes

John Lackey starts Saturday night in the third game of the Cubs’ series against the Reds. Lackey will try to join Jake Arrieta in winning his first four starts of the season, a feat previously not accomplished by a Cubs pitcher since Greg Maddux in 2006. The Cubs have not had two pitchers each win their first four starts in the same season since Hippo Vaughn and Phil Douglas each did so in 1918. Lackey has never done it in his career.

First pitch will be 6:10 p.m. CT from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Montero C

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Lackey P

The Reds have lost eight straight against the Cubs, and they’ve been outscored 65-14 in that span. It’s the Reds’ longest losing streak vs. the Cubs since 1945-46 (nine games).

Kris Bryant is 8-for-21 (.381 AVG) with 10 RBI against the Reds this season. All four of his home runs this year have come against the Reds.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Iowa beat New Orleans, 4-1, in the first game, which was a completion of a suspended game started on Thursday. In the second game, Iowa pitchers combined for a shutout in a 5-0 win. Ryan Williams got the win in the second game, giving up three hits over five innings. Willson Contreras had two hits and two RBI in the second game, extending a 12-game on-base steak.

Rob Zastryzny gave up one run over six innings in Tennessee’s 5-4 win over Mobile. Jeimer Candelario and Jacob Hannemann each homered. Zastryzny struck out six.

Ian Happ had two hits and one RBI in Myrtle Beach’s 6-3 loss to Carolina. Jeffrey Baez had two hits and one RBI.

Donnie Dewees had two hits and two RBI and stole a base in South Bend’s 7-6 win over Fort Wayne. Carlos Sepulveda had two hits. Casey Bloomquist threw four perfect innings of relief.

#Cubs host Race to Wrigley

The Cubs had great weather Saturday for the Race to Wrigley. Proceeds benefited Cubs Charities.0423Race1

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