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#Cubs face Phillies in Game 2

Jake Arrieta made his 2014 season debut on May 3 and now is 21-10 with a 2.52 ERA (80 ER/285 1/3 IP) in 44 starts since that date. The right-hander will start Saturday in the second game of a three-game series against the Phillies at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta’s 2.52 ERA is the fifth-lowest mark in the National League since May 3, 2014, while his .556 opponents’ OPS is second-lowest (only Clayton Kershaw is better at .539). Arrieta’s 300 strikeouts are fifth-most in the NL.

Arrieta’s 11 victories are tied for second-most in the NL with the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha. With a win on Saturday, Arrieta could become the first Cubs pitcher to exceed 11 wins in a single season in five years, when Ryan Dempster won 14 in 2010. Since the beginning of 2014, Arrieta is 13-2 with a 2.30 ERA (38 ER/149.0 IP) in 23 starts following a Cubs loss.

He’s a big part of the Cubs success. In 11 home games in July, Cubs starting pitchers have a 1.92 ERA (15 ER/70 1/3 IP) and have not given up a home run the last 64 1/3 innings at Wrigley

Here’s Saturday’s lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Denorfia LF

Castro SS

Ross C

Arrieta P

Russell 2B

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report: Hannemann 4 hits

Friday’s games

Christian Villanueva had three hits and one RBI and Mike Olt had two hits and an RBI in Iowa’s 5-3 loss to Memphihs. Carlos Pimentel gave up two runs over five innings. Matt Szczur also had two hits.

Tennessee beat Chattanooga, 8-4. Jacob Hannemann had four hits, including a double and two triples, and two RBI. Albert Almora hit his fourth home run, and drove in three runs. Ryan Williams got the win, giving up two runs over five innings. He struck out six.

Myrtle Beach lost, 5-0, to Lynchburg. Michael Heesch gave up five runs over three innings. Chesny Young had a hit, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.

Tommy Thorpe threw six shutout innings, giving up two hits, in South Bend’s 6-2 win over West Michigan. Jeffrey Baez had three hits and Gioskar Amaya had two RBI.

Matt Rose, Donnie Dewees and Alex Bautista each homered in Eugene’s 6-5 loss to Salem-Keizer. Ryan Kellogg took the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits over two innings. Dewees connected in his second straight game. Ho-young Son was 4-for-4 with two doubles.

Jose Paniagua had two hits and three RBI in Mesa’s 5-4 loss to the Athletics. Michael Foster had two hits and one RBI. Javier Baez went 1-for-3 in his second rehab game with the team.

#Cubs lineup vs Phillies

Jon Lester will open the Cubs homestand against the Phillies on Friday. The Cubs rotation is 8-4 with a 1.98 ERA over the last 20 games, dating to June 30, and the Cubs have won 12 of the 20 games. This series begins a stretch where the Cubs will play last place teams in 16 of their 23 games (Phillies, Rockies, Brewers, White Sox). The Phillies have won five of their last six games, and the bullpen is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in that stretch. All Lester needs is a few runs. The Cubs are averaging 2.7 runs of support per start for Lester, fifth worst in MLB.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Castro SS

Ross C

Lester P

Russell 2B

* According to MLB Network research, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have seen the most 95 plus mph fastballs in the league, and both have performed better than average:

Bryant: 269 pitches 95 mph or more: .333 batting average/.667 slugging percentage (18-for-54 with 3 home runs)
Rizzo: 238 pitches 95 mph or more: .280 batting average/.420 slugging percentage (14-for-50 with 1 home run)

#Cubs Minor League report: Baez makes rehab start

Thursday’s games

Mike Baxter hit a two-run homer but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 3-2, to Round Rock. Felipe Paulino took the loss, giving up two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings. Matt Szczur had three hits and a walk.

Tennessee scored three runs in the eighth to beat Chattanooga, 4-1. Jacob Rogers had two hits and one RBI, and starter Rob Zastryzny gave up one run over five innings. Zac Rosscup struck out three and walked one in one inning in his second rehab outing.

Myrtle Beach lost, 7-3, to Lynchburg. Chesny Young had three hits. Daury Torrez gave up seven runs over five innings.

South Bend lost, 13-0, to Great Lakes. Michael Wagner gave up three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Donnie Dewees hit a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth to help Eugene beat Salem-Keizer, 2-1. It was Dewees’ first homer with the Cubs. Tyler Peitzmeier picked up the win in relief.

Dylan Cease gave up one hit and walked three over 2 2/3 innings in Mesa’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox. Michael Foster had two hits. In his first game, Javier Baez, coming back from a fractured finger, went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Iowa lost 4-0 to Round Rock. Frank Batista gave up one run on four hits and three walks over three innings, and took the loss. Christian Villanueva had a hit, and now has hit safely in seven straight games.

Tennessee blew a 7-1 lead and lost, 8-7, to Chattanooga. Pierce Johnson posted a quality start, striking out eight and giving up three runs over 6 1/3 innings. Jacob Hannemann, Billy McKinney and Stephen Bruno each had two hits.

Jonathan Martinez gave up eight runs over four innings in Myrtle Beach’s 10-4 loss to LYnchburg. Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits, including a triple, and Victor Caratini had three hits and three RBI.

South Bend lost, 5-2, to Great Lakes. Jake Stinnett gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Jeffrey Baez had three hits.

Matt Rose hit a two-run homer in Eugene’s 4-2 loss to Vancouver. Jose Paulino took the loss, giving up one earned run over three innings.

Thursday’s games

An error in the seventh helped Round Rock beat Iowa, 3-2, in Des Moines in the series finale. Mike Baxter hit a two-run homer for Iowa. Matt Szczur had three hits.

#Cubs Bryant No. 2 of MLB most popular jerseys

Kris Bryant jerseys are the second most popular in MLB, behind only World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. Bryant makes his debut appearance after three months in the Majors. He leads all rookies with 54 RBIs, and earns the highest ranking of a rookie on this list since MLB and the MLBPA began releasing jerseys sales rankings in 2010. Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo ranks 10th on the list.

The list is based on sales of Majestic jerseys from, the official online shop of Major League Baseball, between Opening Day 2015 and the 2015 All-Star Game.

In addition to the jerseys of Bumgarner and Bryant making their debut on the list, Reds third baseman Todd Frazier and Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer also have their jerseys in the top 20 for the first time. Players representing 12 different teams make up the top 20 most popular player jerseys, which includes eight infielders, four outfielders, two catchers, five pitchers and one DH.

Here’s the list of MLB Most Popular Player Jerseys, 2015 First Half

Based on sales from of Majestic jerseys between Opening Day & the All-Star Game

  1. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
  2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
  3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
  4. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
  6. Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
  7. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
  8. Matt Harvey, New York Mets
  9. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
  10. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
  11. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
  12. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  13. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  14. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
  15. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
  16. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  17. David Wright, New York Mets
  18. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
  19. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  20. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers

#Cubs play host to Phillies, Rockies

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field on Friday, opening a six-game homestand against the Phillies and Rockies. There are several promotions on the schedule. On Friday, the first 10,000 fans for the Cubs game vs. the Phillies will receive a Billy Williams Replica Statue presented by Pepsi. On Saturday, up to 10,000 fans will receive a Jorge Soler Cubs Debut Bobblehead presented by Illinois Pork Producers.

On Sunday, the first 5,000 children age 13-and-younger will receive a Cubs Replica Batting Helmet presented by Advocate Children’s Hospital. Plus, the first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases post gme.

On Tuesday, the Cubs invite all youth Scouts and their friends and families to Scout Night at Wrigley Field. Participants who purchase a ticket through the dedicated Special Group Nights page at will receive a Cubs-themed Scout Patch.

Let’s Give Charitable Campaign:

On Friday, manager Joe Maddon will continue his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative by representing the Cubs Scholars program, which offers quality scholarship and financial contributions for Chicago inner-city high school students. The program is designed to promote academic achievement and encourage post-secondary educational advancement. Each class of Cubs Scholars collectively receives $100,000 in scholarships and participates in a Cubs College Prep program, where they are paired with a Cubs associate who serves as a mentor as they prepare for college.

On Saturday, the Cubs Wives will offer #WeAreGood T-shirts in the main concourse by Gate F. The shirts, inspired
by catcher Miguel Montero’s popular Twitter hashtag, will be available for a $25 donation benefiting Cubs Charities and
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

#Cubs Minor League report: Silva, Villanueva homer

Tuesday’s games

Rubi Silva homered in his fourth straight game and drove in two but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 6-5, to Round Rock. Christian Villanueva also homered, hitting his 13th of the season. Tsuyoshi Wada started, giving up six runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Tennessee swept a doubleheader against Birmingham. Wilson Contreras hit a two-run double in the first game, while Ivan Pineyro gave up one run over seven innings in the second game.

Cael Brockmeyer hit a grand slam to help Myrtle Beach beat Salem, 12-0. Jen-Ho Tseng threw five scoreless innings. Brockmeyer finished with five RBIs. Chesny Young extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Kevin brown had four hits.

Eloy Jimenez hit his third home run but it wasn’t enough as Eugene lost, 3-1, to Vancouver. Oscar De La Cruz gave up one earned run over six innings and took the loss.

Mesa beat the Indians, 8-1. Carlos Sepulveda had two hits and two RBIs. Michael Foster had three hits and a stolen base.
Erick Leal threw eight shutout innings in South Bend’s 5-0 win over Great Lakes. Leal struck out eight and scattered seven hits. Jeffrey Baez had three hits.

#Cubs vs. #Reds, Game 1

Kyle Hendricks will start the first game of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Kyle Schwarber is batting second, while Kris Bryant is fifth for the first time this season. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF

Schwarber C

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Bryant 3B

Denorfia CF

Herrera 2B

Hendricks P

Russell SS

* Dallas Beeler will start the second game, scheduled to begin at 5:10 p.m. CT.

* On Tuesday, the Cubs picked up their 50th win, thanks to Kyle Schwarber’s heroics. He hit a game-tying home run in the ninth and a game-winning homer in the 13th. According to Elias, he’s the first rookie to hit game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the ninth or later since the Cardinals’ Matt Adams did so in September 2013 and the White Sox’s Joe Crede did in August 2002.

Only two Cubs players have hit ninth inning home runs to send a game to extras and then hit the game-winning home run in extras. Andre Dawson did so May 8, 1990, vs. the Braves, and Dave Kingman did it May 14, 1978, in Los Angeles.

Schwarber is the first Cubs player since at least 1914 with a pair of four-hit games in his first 11 Major League games.

* The Cubs now are 10-4 in extra inning games, and the 10 wins are the most in MLB. Last year, they played 18 extra inning games and won eight.

* The Cubs have a 2.29 ERA in July, the lowest team ERA this month in MLB. Jake Arrieta leads the team with a 1.17 ERA this month, and Jon Lester has a 1.27 ERA this month.

#Cubs Lester and @NVRQT31 host event Aug. 13

Want to help a good cause? Join Jon Lester and his wife Farrah Aug. 13 at Metro Chicago, when they host NVRQT Night. The event will include a “3 Up, 3 Down event,” which is a unique take on the famous game show “Hollywood Squares.” The Lesters will join Cubs players Anthony Rizzo and David Ross, former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, Chicago native and former WWE wrestler CM Punk, comedian from E!’s “Chelsea Lately” Sarah Colonna, and other celebrities, coaches and teammates in the event. Actor John O’Hurley, best known for his role as J. Peterman on the hit television series “Seinfeld,” will serve as emcee.

Fans can watch, partake in live and silent auctions, and enjoy dinner and cocktails. Net proceeds from the event will benefit Lester’s NVRQT campaign, run by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF), which helps raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research.

The event starts at 7 p.m. CT at Metro Chicago, 3730 N. Clark Street, Chicago.

A limited amount of general admission tickets will be available for $200, and that includes food and beverages. For more information, visit


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