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#Cubs and Hammel face Pirates

Jason Hammel takes the mound at Wrigley Field on Friday to open the Cubs’ three-game series against the Pirates. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Soler LF

Russell SS

Ross C

Hammel P

At 25-8, the Cubs are off to their best start through 33 games since the team went 26-7 to open the 1907 season.

#Cubs Minor League report

Thursday’s games

Dan Vogelbach hit a solo home run in Iowa’s 7-2 loss to Nashville. Miguel Montero was 0-for-3 in his third rehab game. Albert Almora had two hits and scored a run. He’s hit safely in nine straight games. Michael Wagner took the loss, giving up three runs over four innings.

Mark Zagunis hit a solo home run in Tennessee’s 5-4, 10-inning loss to Montgomery. Tyler Skulina gave up four runs over five innings. Bijan Rademacher had two hits and one RBI.

Trevor Clifton gave up four hits over six scoreless innings and struck out 10 in Myrtle Beach’s 3-0 win over Winston-Salem. Jason Vosler had two hits, including a solo home run, and a double.

Kyle Twomey gave up four earned runs over five innings in South Bend’s 5-0 loss to Lansing. Donnie Dewees had one of South Bend’s two hits in the game.

#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Drew Rucinski gave up two runs over five innings In Iowa’s 4-2 win over Nashville. Miguel Montero was the designated hitter and went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Albert Almora had two hits, both doubles, and scored two runs.

Tennessee lost, 8-1, to Montgomery. Paul Blackburn gave up four runs over six innings. He had given up one earned run over 38 innings prior to Wednesday’s game. Mark Zagunis had two hits.

Cael Brockmeyer hit a solo home run in Myrtle Beach’s 5-1 loss to Winston-Salem. Zach Hedges gave up two runs over six innings. It was his fifth straight quality start.

Justin Steele gave up two hits over five scoreless innings in South Bend’s 2-0 win over Dayton. Steele struck out six. Andrew Ely was 4-for-4 with three doubles. Jesse Hodges had three hits.

#Cubs Game 1 lineup vs Padres

Kyle Hendricks will start the first game of the Cubs doubleheader against the Padres on Wednesday. Ben Zobrist leads off. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist 2B

Heyward CF

Bryant RF

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Hendricks P

*If you’re looking ahead to the Cubs vs. Pirates, here are  the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.85) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.60)
Saturday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 1.13) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (1-2, 4.68)
Sunday: LHP Jon Lester (4-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (3-3, 3.78)


#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Arismendy Alcantara had two hits, including a three-run homer, in Iowa’s 8-5 loss to Nashville. Miguel Montero went 0-for-3 in his first rehab game. Shane Victorino had two hits, including a triple, and one RBI.

Tennessee lost, 4-3, in 11 innings to Montgomery. Duane Underwood started and gave up two runs over five innings. Kelly Dugan had two hits, including a solo home run.

Jonathan Martinez gave up one run over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-2 win over Winston-Salem. Jason Vosler had two hits and two RBI. Gleyber Torres had three hits and stole a base.

South Bend split a doubleheader against Dayton. In the first game, Carson Sands threw five shutout innings in a 2-0 win. Ryan Kellogg took the loss in the second game, 5-4. Eloy Jimenez had three hits in the two games. Eddy Martinez hit a home run in the first game and Donnie Dewees homered in the second game.

#Cubs and Lester vs. Padres

Let’s try again. Jon Lester is scheduled to start Tuesday night for the Cubs who hope Mother Nature cooperates. The series was delayed because of rain on Monday. Lester and the Cubs will face the Padres at Wrigley Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs are off to their best 30-game start since opening their 1907 World Series title season with wins in 24 of their first 30 games. It’s the best 30-game start for any club since the 1984 Tigers won 26 of their first 30 games.

The Cubs have scored 184 runs, the most in the Majors. They’ve given up 82 runs, the fewest in the Majors. Their plus 102 run differential is the highest thru 30 games by any team since 1903, the year of the first modern World Series.

The Cubs have won 11 of their last 12 games, including seven straight. Over the last dozen contests, Cubs’ starters are 7-0 with a 1.76 ERA.


#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Dan Vogelbach hit a pair of home runs and drove in four runs in Iowa’s 10-3 win over Omaha. Jake Buchanan got the win, giving up three runs over seven innings. John Andreoli had three hits. Shane Victorino and Taylor Davis each had two hits and two RBIs.

Tennessee lost, 2-1, to Montgomery. Rob Zastryzny gave up one run over seven innings and did not get a decision. Victor Caratini had two hits and a stolen base.

Myrtle Beach had the day off and returns to action Tuesday against Winston-Salem.

South Bend’s game was postponed because of rain, and was to be made up as part of a doubleheader Tuesday, weather permitting.

#Cubs vs Padres ppd – DH on Wed

Monday night’s game between the Cubs and Padres was postponed because of inclement weather, and the two teams will play a split doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game will begin at 12:05 p.m. CT, and be followed by the regularly scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. CT.

Jon Lester (3-1, 1.58 ERA) will start Tuesday for the Cubs against the Padres’ Cesar Vargas. On Wednesday, Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.10 ERA) will start the first game and be followed by John Lackey (4-1, 4.02 ERA) in the night game.

This was the first game postponed by the weather for the Padres this season. The Cubs have already had two games in late April rescheduled because of the weather, and will play a make-up game July 7 against the Braves and a make-up split doubleheader Aug. 16 against the Brewers.

Separate tickets are required for each game Wednesday. The gates will re-open approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Tickets to Monday’s game at Wrigley Field will be honored for the 12:05 p.m. CT game on Wednesday. No ticket exchange is necessary.

#Cubs Kalish visits patients

Cubs outfielder Ryan Kalish stopped to visit patients in the Center for Advanced Care at Advocate Illinois Masonic.  Kalish and his girlfriend gave hats and t-shirts to the patients and families they met and he signed autographs, took photos, and talked baseball.


#Cubs Zobrist named co-Player of the Week

On Monday, the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist was named co-NL Player of the Week with the Mets’ Bartolo Colon. Zobrist led the Majors with 15 RBI in seven games last week. He was tied for second among NL hitters with four home runs and eight runs scored, while collecting 22 total bases and posting an .880 slugging percentage. Zobrist, 34, hit .360 on the week (9-for-25) and posted a .455 on-base percentage. He had at least one RBI in six consecutive games, including a two home run, four-RBI game Friday against the Nationals. Zobrist also drove in four runs Thursday.

With 11 RBI in a three-game span, May 4-6, Zobrist became the first Cubs player to accomplish the feat since Sammy Sosa drove in 16 from Aug. 10-12, 2002.

This is the third career weekly honor for Zobrist and his first as a member of the Cubs. He has twice been named American League Player of the Week as a member of the Rays.


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