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8/24 Castro to return Tuesday

Starlin Castro, who has been on the bereavement list, will rejoin the Cubs on Tuesday in Cincinnati. Castro had returned to the Dominican Republic to be with family after a car crash killed a relative and three friends. Logan Watkins was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to open a roster spot for Castro.

– Carrie Muskat

8/24 Final: Cubs 2, Orioles 1

* In his first career start against the Orioles, Tsuyoshi Wada took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Steve Pearce connected for a lead off solo home run. Wada struck out a career-high eight batters. He gave up one earned run on one hit over 7 1/3 innings. Wada also picked up his first ML hit with the first hit of the day for either team, a swinging bunt single in the third inning. With three scoreless innings to start the game, Wada has posted a 1.13 ERA (3 ER/24 IP) through the first three innings of his eight starts this season.

* The Cubs starting lineup featured five rookies (Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Logan Watkins, Matt Szczur, and Tsuyoshi Wada) for the first time since Oct. 3, 2012 against Houston at Wrigley Field. The Cubs last started five rookies before rosters expand on Sept. 1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 18, 2012, in Cincinnati (Steve Clevenger, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Cardenas, Brett Jackson, and Brooks Raley).

* Cubs pitching held the Orioles to just one hit Sunday. The last time the Cubs held their opponents to one hit was June 13, 2010 vs. the White Sox (1-0 Cubs victory).

* Chris Coghlan is batting .306 (19-for-62) when leading off an inning that isn’t the first.

* Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run in the fifth. He has multiple hits and a stolen base in each of his last two games, and seven hits in his last four games (.438/7-for-16).

* Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI double, and leads the Cubs with 52 extra-base hits and 70 RBI. Rizzo has hit safely in eight of his last nine games at Wrigley Field, going 11-for-32 (.344) during the stretch.

* With the win, the Cubs completed their third sweep of the season, and first since June 30-July 2 in Boston.

8/24 Minor matters – Saturday’s games

Jorge Soler was 5-for-5 with two RBIs and Kris Bryant hit his 20th home run to back Chris Rusin and lead Iowa to a 10-7 win over Reno. Soler scored three runs, hit a double and a triple. Bryant reached base six times, going 2-for-2 with four walks. He now has hit 42 home runs this season. Andrew Ely homered in his second game with Iowa. He hit four in 25 games in Mesa. Rusin gave up five runs over seven innings.

Lars Anderson and Albert Almora each hit home runs in Tennessee’s 15-7 loss to Jacksonville. Almora finished with three hits.

Daytona swept a doubleheader against Lakeland, winning the first game, 4-2, and taking the second game, 4-0. Dan Vogelbach and Kyle Schwarber homered in both games. Nathan Dorris threw 5 2/3 shutout innings in the second game. Schwarber is 19-for-42 in his last 11 games with 13 extra-base hits.

Jeffrey Baez hit his fifth home run in Kane County’s 2-1 win over Clinton. Ben Wells got the win, giving up one run over six innings.

Boise lost, 4-1, to Vancouver. Jesse Hodges had the only extra base hit with a double, his 10th.

Mesa lost, 14-3, to the Brewers. Ricardo Marcano had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs.

8/24 Renteria to the rescue

On Tuesday, the Cubs grounds crew was short-handed and couldn’t get the tarp on the field fast enough to handle a sudden downpour at Wrigley Field. On Saturday, the crew was quick and efficient, but needed help from Cubs manager Rick Renteria and bench coach Brandon Hyde, who rescued a fallen worker from underneath the tarp.

Rain halted play at the start of the third inning Saturday between the Cubs and Orioles, and as the crew was pulling the tarp across the infield at Wrigley Field, one of the workers stumbled and fell, and was caught underneath. The crew didn’t stop, and the tarp was pulled over him.

Renteria and Hyde saw what happened from the dugout, and went to the worker’s aid.

“I just didn’t think it was good for him to be under the tarp and just reacted,” Renteria said Sunday. “Brandon went in there and lifted it and got him out.”

Weren’t they nervous going under there?

“I didn’t think about it to be honest with you,” Renteria said. “The guy needed to get out of there.”

– Carrie Muskat

Tsuyoshi Wada gets the start against his former team on Sunday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Orioles. Wada spent two seasons in the O’s Minor League system. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Baez SS
Rizzo 1B
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Alcantara CF
Watkins 2B
Szczur RF
Wada P

8/22 Minor matters – Thursday’s games

Junior Lake hit his first home run in the big leagues and the Minors since June 17 but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 7-2, to Reno. Dan Straily started, and gave up two runs on four hits over six innings. Jonathan Mota had two hits.

Tennessee lost, 8-4, to Montgomery. Lars Anderson and Charles Cutler each had two hits. Ivan Pineyro gave up seven runs over 2 1/3 innings.

Bijan Rademacher, Jacob Hannemann and Kyle Schwarber each homered in Daytona’s 5-4 win over Clearwater. Schwarber extended his hitting streak to eight games with a solo blast. Rob Zastryzny picked up the win, giving up one earned run over seven innings.

Jonathan Martinez threw five shutout innings in Kane County’s 7-3 win over Clinton. He struck out seven. Jacob Rogers finished with four hits.

Boise beat Vancouver, 5-3, in 13 innings. David Bote delivered the game-winning two-run double in the 13th.

Alex Santana threw six shutout innings in Mesa’s 6-0 win over the D-Backs. Rubi Silva had two hits.

8/22 Cubs lineup

Logan Watkins, called up Thursday from Triple-A Iowa, gets the start on Friday in the Cubs Interleague opener against the Orioles. It’ll be a big start for Jake Arrieta, who will be facing his former team for the first time. Here’s the lineup:

Alcantara CF
Baez SS
Rizzo 1B
Valbuena 3B
Coghlan LF
Sweeney RF
Watkins 2B
Baker C
Arrieta P

8/22 Arrieta vs. O’s

Jake Arrieta was drafted by the Orioles and came up through their system, and on Friday, he was scheduled to make his first start against them as the Cubs opened an Interleague series.

“It’ll be fun to face guys I played with for a long time,” Arrieta said. “I know they’re going to come out and compete as best as they possibly can and I’m sure they expect the same from me.”

Arrieta guessed that the last time he faced the Orioles hitters was in Spring Training scrimmages.

“I don’t know if there’s an edge or not,” he said. “I know if I execute pitches, I like my chances. If I make a lot of mistakes, their success will go up. I think it’s going to be a good one.”

This is the third series between the Cubs and Orioles, and second at Wrigley Field. Baltimore took two of three in Chicago June 24-26, 2008, after the Cubs went 2-1 at Camden Yards in June 2003.

– Carrie Muskat

8/22 Kane County sets mark

Class A Kane County set a single-season franchise record for home wins following Thursday’s 7-3 victory over Clinton, which was their 51st at home. The Cougars have surpassed the 2001 team which compiled a 50-20 home mark en route to winning the Midwest League championship. The Cougars have now won 84 games this season and are 51-15 at home, which leads both Major League and Minor League Baseball. With 11 regular season games remaining, the Cougars must win five more games to break the franchise record for most wins in a season, set by the ’01 Cougars which went 88-50 during the regular season. Kane County is riding a season-high 11-game win streak.

* PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Fans can purchase tickets for the Cougars’ first home playoff game, to be held at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. CT. That will be Game 2 of a best-of-three series in the Midwest League Playoff’s opening round. The Cougars will play the Western Division second half wild card winner, which will be determined later this season.

8/21 Vitters to DL

Infielder Josh Vitters, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2007, was placed on Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list thursday. Vitters suffered a broken ring finger on his right hand while reaching for second base on an awkward slide on Wednesday. He was batting .213 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs, and 38 RBIs in 112 games with Iowa.

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