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8/14 Cubs lineup

Edwin Jackson gets the start Thursday as the Cubs close their four-game series against the Central Division leading Brewers. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Baez 2B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Alcantara CF
Ruggiano RF
Castillo C
E. Jackson P

8/13 Cubs 4, Brewers 2

* Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games. He and the Braves’ Freddie Freeman are the only two players in the National League with 15 three-hit games. Castro’s 135 hits are tops among NL shortstops.

* Anthony Rizzo hit his second home run in as many games in the third. It’s the sixth time this season in which he’s homered in consecutive games (most previously done, July 20-22 at Arizona and vs. San Diego).

* The Javier Baez and Rizzo hit back to back homers in the third, the fifth time the Cubs have done that this year.

* Tsuyoshi Wada earned his second consecutive win, throwing 6 2/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball. He walked one and struck out five. He is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts.

* Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.09 ERA in their last seven games and recorded quality starts in each game.

* Chris Coghlan posted his third game with three or more hits. He batted .202 average in his first 44 games of the season, and now is batting .366 (48-for-131) with 16 doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI in his last 38 contests since June 30.

* Javier Baez hit his first-career homer at Wrigley Field, a solo shot onto Waveland Avenue in the third inning. Baez has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 10-for-31 (.323) during the stretch.

8/13 Back to back

Javier Baez hit his first home run at Wrigley Field leading off the third inning Wednesday night. He launched a 1-1 pitch from Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse over the left field bleachers and onto Waveland Avenue. Anthony Rizzo followed with his 27th blast of the season, and second in as many games. His homer went to right field. It’s the fifth time this season the Cubs have hit back to back homers, and first time Baez and Rizzo have done so.

– Carrie Muskat

8/13 Ice bucket challenge

Theo Epstein has received several requests to take part in the “ice bucket challenge,” and on Thursday, he’s going to give fans a chance to dump water on him and some of the players. During Thursday’s series finale between the Cubs and Brewers, fans will be asked to donate to the team’s 50-50 raffle, with proceeds going to ALS research. The Cubs will determine who gets to dump the bucket of ice water on Epstein. That will take place after the game. Among those who have challenged Epstein is Blackhawks president John McDonough.

8/13 Extra bases

* GM Jed Hoyer said the front office is currently debating September call-ups and who will play in the Arizona Fall League. Triple-A Iowa outfielder Jorge Soler is one player being considered for both. Soler, ranked No. 6 on MLB.com’s list of top 20 Cubs prospects, was injured much of the first half of the season but has been getting regular at-bats, and was batting .300 in 20 games.

“[Soler] has been playing great, and is locked in now, and great at-bats, great attitude, playing good defense,” Hoyer said. “We have to decide if he’s had enough at-bats or not.”

C.J. Edwards, ranked No. 7 on the Cubs’ top 20 list, was expected to pitch in the AFL, which starts Oct. 7.

As for September call-ups, Hoyer said who gets promoted may depend on whether Iowa makes the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

“They worked hard down there,” Hoyer said. “We don’t want to raid them and leave them with nothing if they do make the playoffs.”

* The Cubs were encouraged by Felix Doubront’s first rehab start with Triple-A Iowa. Doubront threw 80 pitches over four plus innings on Tuesday night against Las Vegas. He has been on the disabled list since July 31 with a left calf strain. The left-hander will make at least one more start for Iowa.

* Outfielder Justin Ruggiano did not start Wednesday because of some soreness in his right groin, but he was available to pinch-hit. Ruggiano was pulled from Tuesday’s game after seven innings.

* Outfielder Nate Schierholtz was released, and will be a free agent by Friday. Schierholtz was designated for assignment on Aug. 6 after batting .192 in 99 games with six home runs, 10 doubles and 33 RBIs.

– Carrie Muskat

8/13 Minor matters – Tuesday’s games

Felix Doubront gave up three runs over four innings and struck out seven in Iowa’s 6-5 loss to Las Vegas. Kris Bryant hit his 17th home run and now has 39 for the season in the Minors. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Doubront was making his first rehab start. Rafael Lopez had two hits, including a double.

Tennessee lost, 5-2, to Huntsville. Christian Villanueva hit a double for his first extra-base hit since Aug. 2. He drove in both of the Smokies runs.

Daytona lost the first game of a doubleheader against Brevard County, 5-1. Jacob Hannemann had two hits and drove in the only run. In the second game, Daytona beat Brevard County, 3-2, on a walk-off throwing error by pitcher Taylor Williams. Bijan Rademacher had two hits and Billy McKinney doubled and scored a run.

Danny Lockhart hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth to lead Kane County to a 4-3 win over Quad Cities. Jacob Rogers hit his 14th home run. Shawon Dunston had two singles and two stolen bases.

Boise beat Eugene 9-8 on a walk-off RBI single by Charcer Burks in the 10th inning.

Mesa’s game was postponed by rain — yes, it rains in Arizona — and was scheduled to play a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Indians.

8/13 Cubs lineup

Tsuyoshi Wada gets the start Wednesday night at Wrigley Field as the Cubs face the first-place Brewers in GAme 3 of their four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan RF
Baez 2B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Alcantara CF
Baker C
Lake LF
Wada P

Why Junior Lake and not Ryan Sweeney in the lineup? It’s a small sample size, but Lake is 6-for-15 (two home runs) vs. Lohse, while Sweeney is 2-for-7.

8/13 O.A.R. to perform Aug. 23

To help Wrigley Field continue its season-long centennial celebration, American rock band O.A.R. will perform an Extra Innings Show as part of a free music event presented by Budweiser. The event will take place Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT in the Red and Purple Lots on the west side of Wrigley Field. O.A.R. will take the stage for a 90-minute post game set immediately following the Cubs’ game against the Orioles that day.

This summer, O.A.R released their eighth studio album, The Rockville LP, and recently played at the 2014 All-Star game in Minneapolis. Fans will be able to sing along to some of O.A.R.’s most popular hits, including “Love and Memories,” “Lay Down,” and a Friendly Confines favorite, “This Town.” The song “This Town” has found a special home at Wrigley Field. The lyric, “This town, this night, this crowd,” has energized fans as the song plays while the Cubs are introduced before every home game.

The event is free to the general public and limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

8/13 Numbers game

Some numbers to think about:

Mike Trout vs LHP: 33-for-117, 9 doubles, 8 homers, 17 RBIs, 31 Ks, .282/.400/.564

Anthony Rizzo vs. LHP: 38-for-123, 3 doubles, 8 homers, 21 RBIs, 23 Ks, .309/.411/528

8/13 Bryant hits 39th HR

Kris Bryant hit his 39th home run of the season Tuesday, and has sole possession of the Minor League lead. It wasn’t enough for a victory, however, as Triple-A Las Vegas defeated Iowa, 6-5. Bryant, ranked No. 3 on MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 Prospects list, went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs.

Bryant began the day tied with Rangers’ No. 1 prospect Joey Gallo atop the Minor League leader board. Gallo led all Minor Leaguers with 40 home runs last season and is trying to repeat as home run champion, but he has been locked in a tight race with Bryant all summer.

The Cubs sent Bryant to Double-A Tennessee to begin the season and he bashed 22 home runs in the first half. He was promoted to Iowa in June and hasn’t stopped slugging in the Pacific Coast League. In 52 games since the promotion, the 22-year old is hitting .322/.434/.672 with 17 home runs and seven stolen bases.

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