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#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Iowa lost 9-4 to New Orleans. Drew Rucinski gave up five runs over five innings and is 5-12 with a 6.18 ERA. Albert Almora Jr. had two hits and two RBI. Pierce Johnson pitched two innings in relief, and has not give up a hit in his last two outings.

Ian Happ and Victor Caratini hit back to back home runs in the 10th to lead Tennessee to a 7-6 win over Birmingham. Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a run in his ninth game with the Smokies. He has reached in six of 10 plate appearances in his last two games.

Trevor Clifton threw seven scoreless innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-0 win over Frederick. Clifton struck out six and gave up one hit, a single leading off the eighth. Jeffrey Baez hit two home runs, both solo shots.

Ryan Kellogg threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in South Bend’s 2-0 win over Fort Wayne. Carlos Sepulveda had two hits and stole a base.

Eugene returns to action after the All-Star break with a game against Vancouver.

Mesa topped the Giants, 3-1. In his first appearance with Mesa, Stephen Fife gave up one hit over three innings. Michael Cruz had two hits, both doubles, and one RBI.

#Cubs and Lackey face Marlins

Cubs right-hander John Lackey faces the Marlins in the series finale on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Contreras LF

Heyward RF

Montero C

Baez SS

Lackey P

The Cubs have won 13 of their last 19 games, including a 12-6 mark since the All-Star break. They’ve also won five straight home series for the second time this season.

#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Trevor Cahill struck out six, gave up two hits and walked two over four innings in Iowa’s 1-0 loss to Omaha. It was Cahill’s fourth rehab appearance. He’s given up seven runs over 14 1/3 innings, walking nine and striking out 19. Logan Watkins and John Andreoli each had two hits.

Michael Wagner gave up one run over seven innings in Tennessee’s 9-1 win over Birmingham. Bijan Rademacher and Chesny Young each homered. Jorge Soler went 1-for-4 with two walks and scored twice. He has a .342 OBP in eight games. Young was 4-for-5 with two RBI and Rademacher finished with three hits and three RBI.

Myrtle Beach beat Frederick, 5-4, in 13 innings. David Bote hit a game-winning RBI single in the 13th. Daniel Spingola had two hits, including a solo homer. Jake Stinnett started and gave up one earned run over 5 2/3 innings.

Jose Paulino gave up zero earned runs over seven innings in South Bend’s 5-2 win over Great Lakes. Matt Rose hit a two-run homer in the second. Eloy Jimenez had three hits.

It’s All-Star break time for Eugene.

Mesa’s game was postponed because of rain. The Cubs will play the Giants on Wednesday.

#Cubs and Hammel face Marlins

Jason Hammel will start Tuesday night against Jose Fernandez at Wrigley Field in the second game of this three-game series against the Marlins. Kris Bryant, who is 0-for-9 in his last two games, is not in the starting lineup for a breather. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF
Contreras C
Rizzo 1B
Zobrist 2B
Heyward RF
Russell SS
Coghlan LF
Baez 3B
Hammel P

Fernandez defeated the Cubs on June 26 in Miami, giving up one earned run over seven innings while striking out 13. He’s 12-5 for the season, and 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA over his last five starts.


#Cubs Contreras visits kids

The Cubs’ Willson Contreras took time Tuesday to visit patients and their families at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. He brought them hats and gifts. Contreras took photos and signed autographs for them, as well


#Cubs Rizzo visits kids at hospital

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo visited patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, and brought them hats, mini bats, teddy bears, and smiles. Rizzo posed for photos and also asked the patients to sign his jersey.

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Jeimer Candelario, Juan Perez and Kristopher Negron each homered to back Rob Zastryzny in Iowa’s 13-0 win over Omaha. Zastryzny struck out six over five perfect innings. Perez hit a grand slam and finished with five RBI. Negron hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBI. In his first appearance with Iowa, Justin Grimm struck out three and gave up one hit in one inning.

Tennessee beat Birmingham, 3-2, scoring all three runs in the ninth. Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two runs over six innings. Jorge Soler went 0-for-4 in his ninth rehab game.

James Pugliese gave up three runs over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-4 win over Frederick. Donnie Dewees had two hits, two RBI, two stolen bases and scored two runs.

Justin Steele gave up three hits and struck out seven over five scoreless innings in South Bend’s 5-1 win over Great Lakes. Eloy Jimenez had two hits, both doubles, and two RBI. Eddy Martinez had two hits and one RBI.

It’s the All-Star break for Eugene. Outfielders Chris Pieters and Robert Garcia and pitchers Jose Paulino, Jared Cheek and Jesus Castillo were selected to represent the team. Castillo was traded on Monday to the Angels for pitcher Joe Smith.

Mesa had Monday off and will play the Giants on Tuesday.

#Cubs and Hendricks face Marlins

Kyle Hendricks will start Monday night when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Marlins. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Baez 2B

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Contreras C

Szczur LF

Hendricks P

*The Cubs went 12-14 in July, the first sub .500 month since September 2014 (12-13). Here are the leaders for July:

RBI: Addison Russell 22; Anthony Rizzo 21

Home runs: Rizzo 5; Bryant and Russell 4 each

Batting average: Javier Baez .325; Bryant .309; Rizzo .282

Wins: Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks, 3 each

ERA: Hendricks 1.07

Innings pitched: John Lackey 32; Jake Arrieta 31.1; Hammel 27

Strikeouts: Lackey 30; Arrieta 28; Hammel 27

The Cubs did lead the NL in walks (96) and the .332 on-base percentage ranked second in the NL.

#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Jake Buchanan gave up three runs over 5 2/3 innings in Iowa’s 8-3 win over Omaha. Albert Almora Jr. had two hits and one RBI, and was batting .333 since returning to Iowa. Juan Perez had two hits and one RBI. Armando Rivero struck out five over two innings.

Tennessee lost, 6-2, to Birmingham. Tyler Skulina gave up six runs over six innings. Ian Happ had two hits, and is batting .285.

Jeremy Null gave up one run over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 3-1 win over Salem. Bryant Flete had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Charcer Burks smacked a leadoff homer in the first.

Adbert Alzolay scattered five hits over six innings and struck out seven in South Bend’s 2-1 win over Great Lakes. Eddy Martinez had two hits. Eloy Jimenez drove in his 70th run of the season.

D.J. Wilson went 4-for-4 with an inside the park home run in Eugene’s 7-6 win over Boise. Bryant Hudson gave up three runs over five innings. Wladimir Galindo had two hits, including a solo homer.

Mesa lost, 11-5, to the Angels. Junior Marte gave up four runs over 3 1/3 innings.

Matusz to make#Cubs debut vs Mariners

Brian Matusz will make his Cubs debut on Sunday night when the team closes its three-game Interleague series against the Mariners at Wrigley Field. This will be the lefty’s first big league start since July 1, 2012.

Matusz was traded by the Orioles to the Braves in late May and was released without seeing the field for Atlanta. He signed with the Cubs on June 14 and has been getting stretched out as a starter. He posted a 2.13 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A combined.

Matusz will be the seventh pitcher to start for Cubs this year. Four teams have used fewer starters: Blue Jays, Cardinals, Giants and Mets (six each).

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Contreras C

Coghlan LF

Matusz P

*Looking ahead to Cubs vs. Marlins series, here are the pitching matchups:

Monday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-7, 2.39) vs. LHP Adam Conley (7-5, 3.38)
Tuesday: RHP Jason Hammel (10-5, 3.23) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (12-5, 2.79)
Wednesday: RHP John Lackey (8-7, 3.69) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (8-8, 4.18)


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