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#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer in the sixth to lead Iowa to a 7-5 victory over Oklahoma City. Contreras is batting .335 and has hit in 12 straight games. Arismendy Alcantara had two hits, including a double, and Dallas Beeler earned the win in his first rehab appearance. He pitched two innings in relief.

Tennessee lost, 2-1, to Jackson. Tyler Skulina gave up two runs over four innings adn walked six. Cael Brockmeyer had two hits.

Jonathan Martinez gave up seven runs over 4 2/3 innings in Myrtle Beach’s 11-10 loss to Salem. Gleyber Torres had three hits, all doubles, one RBI and scored three runs. Jason Vosler had three hits and three RBI and Gioskar Amaya had three hits, including a double and a triple, and drove in three runs.

Preston Morrison gave up one unearned run over six innings in South Bend’s 2-1 loss to West Michigan. Ian Rice drove in the only run. Donnie Dewees hit a double.

Jimenez, Clifton earn #Cubs Minor League honors

The Cubs named Class A South Bend outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Class A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Trevor Clifton the Minor League player and pitcher of the month for May, respectively.

Jimenez, 19, batted .364 (40-for-110) with eight doubles, seven homers, 17 runs scored and 23 RBI in 28 games in May. He drew seven walks, contributing to a .407 OBP, and posted a 1.034 OPS. His .364 average and 23 RBI ranked second in the Midwest League, while his seven homers tied for second.

Clifton, 21, went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA (4 ER over 28 IP) in five May starts, striking out 35 batters while walking seven. He tossed three consecutive scoreless outings, May 12-24, giving up 11 hits over 17 innings. His 1.29 ERA and 35 strikeouts both ranked second-best in the Carolina League, while his three wins were tied for third most.


#Cubs and Lackey face D-Backs

John Lackey will open the Cubs’ weekend series against the D-Backs on Friday at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

La Stella 3B

Montero C

Baez SS

Lackey P

*Javier Baez is back in the lineup after a stellar day at second base on Thursday. Baez hit his third home run  of the season, and made two nice defensive plays.

*Cubs starting pitchers have a 1.17 ERA in the last seven games, giving up six earned runs over 48 1/3 innings. The Cubs also are 20-7 at Wrigley Field, and the only Major League team with 20 home wins.

*In case you missed it, here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series:

Friday: RHP John Lackey (5-2, 3.16) vs. RHP Archie Bradley (2-0, 6.11)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (6-1, 2.09) vs. LHP Edwin Escobar (0-1, 18.90)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (9-0, 1.56) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (2-5, 4.96)


#Cubs Szczur meets fans

Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur and his wife Natalie visited patients at Advocate Children’s Hospital at Lutheran General in Park Ridge, Ill., this week. One of the patients, Jesus, had a Cubs-themed B-day party and will be an honorary bat kid at a game June 22.

#Cubs Minor League report

Thursday’s games

Iowa’s game against Oklahoma City was postponed because of rain. No makeup date was announced.

Tennessee lost, 8-4, to Jackson. Paul Blackburn gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven. Mark Zagunis had two hits and two RBI. Victor Caratini had two hits.

Myrtle Beach lost a doubleheader against Salem. Jeremy Null took the loss in the first game, although he gave up zero earned runs over five innings. Jake Stinnett took the loss in the second game, giving up eight earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. Charcer Burks had two hits in the first game. Ian Happ had an RBI in both games.

South Bend lost, 4-3, to Fort Wayne. Eddy Martinez had two hits, including a solo home run, and Ian Rice had two hits and two walks. Ryan Kellogg gave up one run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven.

#Cubs and Hendricks vs. LA

Kyle Hendricks gets the start Thursday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Dodgers. First pitch will be 1:20 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF
Heyward RF
Bryant 3B
Rizzo 1B
Soler LF
Russell SS
Baez 2B
Montero C
Hendricks P

Ben Zobrist, who batted .406 in May, gets the day off.


#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Drew Rucinski gave up two runs over seven innings In Iowa’s 5-4 win over Oklahoma City. Willson Contreras had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, and drove in two runs. Dan Vogelbach had two hits, including a double. Albert Almora drove in two runs.

Tennessee lost, 4-3, in a five-inning rain-shortened game against Jackson. Duane Underwood gave up four runs over five innings and Mark Zagunis went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and finished with three RBI.

Erick Leal gave up one unearned run over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 6-3 win over Salem. Rashad Crawford had four hits and two RBI. Leal is 5-0 with a 1.97 ERA in his last five starts.

South Bend lost, 6-2, to Fort Wayne. Donnie Dewees had two hits, including a triple, and P.J. Higgins had two hits. Adbert Alzolay gave up five runs over four innings and took the loss.

#Cubs Schwarber making progress

Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who tore both the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Cubs’ third game of the season April 7 in Arizona, was examined in Dallas Tuesday and is making progress in his rehab.

“The reports are really good and he’s progressing nicely,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “He’s gone from two crutches to one crutch. Hopefully, some of his celebrations in the dugout will be less awkward.”

Schwarber had the surgery in Dallas, and this was the first time he saw the doctors since then.

“The doctors were happy at what they saw,” Hoyer said.


#Cubs and Lester face Dodgers

Jon Lester gets the start Wednesday night at Wrigley Field when the Cubs play host to the Dodgers for Game 3 of this four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Baez 3B

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs enter the month of June with a 6 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. It’s the first time the Cubs have begun the month with a lead in the division since 2008. The 6 1/2 game lead is currently the Cubs’ second largest ever entering June. In 1969, the Cubs had a 7 1/5 game lead.

The Cubs finished May 18-10, and the pitchers combined for a 2.81 ERA, second best in the Majors behind the Giants.

Ben Zobrist batted .406 in May. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are tied for second in the NL with 37 RBI apiece.


#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Dan Vogelbach hit a solo home run and Willson Contreras had two hits, including a triple, and three RBI in Iowa’s 11-6 win over Oklahoma City. Contreras is now batting .331 and has driven in 11 runs in his last four games. Vogelbach finished with three hits and two RBI. Logan Watkins added a double a two RBI. Munenori Kawasaki had three hits.

Billy McKinney hit his first home run in Tennessee’s 10-5 loss. Stephen Perakslis gave up three runs over three innings. Jacob Hannemann had three hits.

Myrtle Beach had Tuesday off and opens a four-game series at Salem on Wednesday.

South Bend lost, 5-1, to Fort Wayne. Kyle Twomey gave up one run on one hit and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. P.J. Higgins had three hits and Jesse Hodges had two hits, including a triple.


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