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#Cubs Minor League report: Antigua, Almora, Burks & more

Saturday’s games

Austin Barnes hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth to lead Oklahoma City to a 1-0 win over over Iowa. The game was stopped for 2 hours 19 minutes because of rain. Carlos Pimentel started, and gave up five hits and walked two over five innings, striking out four. Javy Baez was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. He’s hit in seven straight games (12-for-25).

Jeffry Antigua gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 6-3 win over Jackson. Albert Almora had two hits, including a two-run homer, his first of the year. Tommy La Stella had two hits, including a double. Antigua picked up his second straight win and first quality start.

Paul Blackburn gave up one run over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 3-2, 12-inning win over Carolina. Jeimer Candelario had three hits, including a double, Mark Zagunis had two hits, including a triple, and Ben Carhart had two hits. James Pugliese picked up the win in relief.

Ryan Williams did not give up an earned run over six innings in South Bend’s 10-4 win over Great Lakes. Gioskar Amaya and Justin Marra each homered and Charcer Burks had two hits and five RBIs. Williams picked up his fourth quality start.

#Cubs lineup and roster move

* Jon Lester gets the start on Saturday when the Cubs face the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF
Bryant 3B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Coghlan LF
Soler RF
Ross C
Lester P
Russell 2B

* The Cubs added a fresh arm on Saturday, adding Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Iowa and optioning Matt Szczur to the Minor League team. Szczur had driven in the game-winning run in Friday’s 11-10, 12-inning win over the Pirates.

“Matt was wonderful,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He understood. Of course, he didn’t like it but he understood it. That’s just the way it has to be. We had to thicken up the ‘pen and there were no other options.”

The Cubs may make another move on Sunday. Tsuyoshi Wada is finished with his rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa, and might be an option.

* A key moment on Friday came in the sixth when the Pirates had the bases loaded with two outs. Maddon called on lefty Zac Rosscup to face Andrew McCutchen. That would seem to go against the norm. Rosscup is a lefty, McCutchen is a right-handed hitter.

“I’m not concerned left or right, right or left,” Maddon said. “There’s guys who are neutral and guys who are reverse. There are pitchers who get both sides well and guys who get the opposite side better. It’s been pounded into our mindset for too long that it has to be righty on righty and lefty on lefty. For me, [Rosscup] falls into the category of getting anybody out.”

Rosscup had struggled in Milwaukee, but Maddon had a talk with the lefty after that.

“I said, ‘Listen, man, I’m telling you now, I have confidence in you with anybody at any time. Just know that. Just know that, I’ll put you in against anybody at any time,'” Maddon said. “And he came through. Don’t forget, this guy is a real novice and he’s going to keep getting better. When he understands the moment and can control the moment, he can be really, really good.”

* Maddon doesn’t let himself get caught up in the emotion of the game. One of the ways he handles that is by writing on the top of his notes: “Do not be a fan.”

“I think it becomes stressful when you become a fan,” he said. “If you remain a manager, it doesn’t become stressful.”

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

John Andreoli and Rubi Silva each hit home runs to lead Iowa to a 6-5 victory over Nashville. Eric Jokisch gave up one earned run over six innings for the win. Javier Baez had three hits and two RBIs, and is batting 11-for-22 over the last six games.

Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora and Dan Vogelbach combined for seven hits, six runs, four doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBIs in Tennessee’s 9-4 win over Montgomery. Felix Pena picked up the win, giving up eight hits over seven innings. He struck out eight. Tommy La Stella began a rehab assignment with the Smokies and was 0-for-4.

Myrtle Beach beat Carolina, 7-3. Duane Underwood threw five shutout innings, and Mark Zagunis and Pin-Chieh Chen each had three hits and two RBIs.

South Bend lost, 1-0, to Great Lakes. Trevor Clifton posted a quality start in the loss, striking out seven over six innings. He gave up one run on four hits and walked three. South Bend totaled four hits, including two by Charcer Burks.

Final #Cubs 11, Pirates 10, 12 innings

It was a crazy day at Wrigley Field. It took the Cubs 5 hours 1 minute on Friday to beat the Pirates, 11-10, in 12 innings. The two teams combined for 30 hits, and there were 16 pitchers used who threw a total of 496 pitches.

* ANTHONY RIZZO (3-for-7, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) belted his team-leading eighth homer while tying a season-high in hits (also done, April 24 at Cincinnati & May 5 at St. Louis). He hit his first homer off a lefty this season. He now has hit in eight straight games.

* KRIS BRYANT (1-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, HR, 4 RBI, SF) hit a three-run homer in the third and finished with a career-high four RBI. He’s hit four home runs in his last seven games after not connecting in his first 20 games of the season. Bryant has driven in 14 runs in the last 11 games.

* DEXTER FOWLER (2-for-6, 2 R, RBI, SF, SB) is batting .385 (10-for-26) with four stolen bases in seven games against the Pirates this season. He posted his 12th multi-hit game of the season.

* MATT SZCZUR’S (2-for-7, 2B, 3 RBI) walk-off RBI-single in the 12th inning gave the Cubs the victory. He drove in a career high three RBI.

* KYLE HENDRICKS started and did not get a decision. He gave up five runs on eight hits and one walk over 5 2/3 innings. He’s now 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA (10 ER/16.0 IP) in three starts against Pittsburgh this season.

* Jorge Soler (1-for-3, 4 BB, RBI) is batting .298 (28-for-94) vs. NL Central teams.

* Starlin Castro (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, HBP) picked up his 10th multi-hit game. He drew two walks in a game for the first time since July 13 of last year vs. Atlanta.

* The last time the Cubs won a game when giving up four or more runs in more than one inning was Sept. 6, 2008, at Cincinnati (8th and 9th innings).

* The Cubs recorded their first five-game winning streak since June 3-7 of last season vs. the Mets (3-0) and Marlins (2-0).

* James Russell’s (2.0 IP, H, 2 BB) 323 appearances with the Cubs are tied with Willie Hernandez for the most in franchise history for a southpaw.

* Friday’s game marked their longest game of the season in time and innings.

#Cubs Minor League report

Thursday’s games

Tsuyoshi Wada gave up one run over seven innings and Javy Baez drove in three runs to lead Iowa to a 6-4 victory over Nashville. Wada gave up four hits and struck out six. He did not walk a batter.

Ivan Pineyro gave up one run on four hits over five innings in Tennessee’s 8-1 win over Montgomery. Wilson Contreras had three hits and three RBIs and Jacob Hannemann had two hits and three RBIs. In his first game with the Smokies, Billy McKinney had two doubles, one RBI and scored a run. Kyle Schwarber had three hits, his eighth multi-hit game.

Myrtle Beach’s game vs. Carolina was postponed. The two teams were to play Friday.

Gleyber Torres had two hits and one RBI in South Bend’s 8-6 loss to Lansing. Zach Hedges gave up four earned runs over five innings and took the loss. Cael Brockmeyer had three hits.

#Cubs lineup and pre game notes

Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Friday when  the Cubs play host to the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Castro SS

Castillo C

Soler RF

Szczur LF

Hendricks P

Russell 2B

* The Cubs have won a season-high tying four-straight games. A win Friday would give them the first five-game streak since June 3-7 last season.

* This is the fifth game in a stretch of 13 of 19 contests at home to close out the month of May.

* The Cubs are 19-15 (.559), fourth-best winning percentage in the NL behind St. Louis (.706), Los Angeles (.647) and New York (.571).

* According to Elias, Thursday’s 6-5 win was the third time in the last three seasons the Cubs have won a game in which they trailed by four or more runs. The team previously turned the trick, May 26, 2013, at Cincinnati (down 4-0, won 5-4) and Sept. 20, 2014, vs. the Dodgers (down 6-1 and 7-2, won 8-7).

* Six of the Cubs’ seven wins this month have been of the one-run variety. STATS Inc. says it’s the first time since May 17-June 3, 2003, that the Cubs have had a stretch in which six of seven wins have been by one-run. The Cubs are 10-6 in one-run games, and the 10 wins by a single run are tops in baseball, ahead of the Giants (9) and Astros (9).

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs promote McKinney, Darvill

The Cubs promoted outfielder Billy McKinney and utility player Wes Darvill from Class A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Tennessee on Thursday. In corresponding roster moves, outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen joined the Pelicans from Tennessee, Andrew Ely and Jordan Hankins were activated off the 7-day disabled list, and Ely was transferred to Class-A South Bend.

Also, infielder Chesny Young was promoted to Myrtle Beach from Class-A South Bend, and right-handed pitcher Ben Wells was released by the Cubs organization.

The Cubs acquired McKinney on July 4, 2014, when he was included along with Addison Russell and Dan Straily in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland.

#Cubs lineup vs. Mets Thu 5/14

Travis Wood will close the Cubs series against the Mets on Thursday at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Castro SS

Castillo C

Soler RF

Szczur LF

T. Wood P

Russell 2B

* This will be Wood’s seventh start, and it’s a good thing he’s at Wrigley. The lefty is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two home starts compared to 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four road starts.

* Manager Joe Maddon goes for career win No. 800 on Thursday. He has 799 wins, which rank eighth among active managers. He went 8-14 in 1996 and 19-10 in 1998 as interim manager of the Angels, and posted a 754-705 record in nine seasons at the helm of the Rays from 2006-14.

* The Cubs are vying for their first four-game sweep of the Mets at Wrigley since Aug. 6-9, 1992.

* The Cubs have won three straight after going 2-7 in their previous nine games. The Cubs are 18-15 (.545) this season and have the fourth-best winning percentage in the NL behind St. Louis (.697), Los Angeles (.667) and New York (.588).

#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Junior Lake hit a two-run walk-off single in the ninth to lift Iowa to a 3-2 win over Nashville. Lake finished with two hits in the game and drew a walk. Donn Roach started and gave up one run on four hits over seven innings.

Tennessee had Wednesday off and returns to action Thursday against Montgomery. Ivan Pineyro was scheduled to start.

Myrtle Beach’s game against Carolina was postponed after the Carolina team bus was involved in an accident. No make up date was set.

South Bend scored two runs in the ninth but it wasn’t enough in a 6-4 loss to Lansing. Gleyber Torres had three hits, including a double, and one RBI. Cael Brockmeyer hit a RBI double.

#Cubs extra bases: La Stella, James Russell

* Tommy La Stella, on the disabled list with right rib cage inflammation, was playing in extended Spring Training games in Mesa, Ariz. There was no timetable for the infielder’s return.

* Reliever James Russell is two appearances shy of tying Willie Hernandez for the most appearances in franchise history by a left-handed pitcher. Russell entered Wednesday’s game with 323 games played with the Cubs.

* Speaking of milestones, Anthony Rizzo needs one more double for 100 in his career.


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