#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Iowa’s game against Salt Lake was postponed because of rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday. Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler both were expected to play.

Tennessee had Tuesday off. The Smokies play host to Mississippi on Wednesday. Tyler Skulina is scheduled to start.

Myrtle Beach lost, 13-7, to Winston-Salem. Yasiel Balaguert was 4-for-4 with two RBI, and Rashad Crawford had three hits and scored three runs.

South Bend had Tuesday off and will play host to Burlington on Wednesday. Justin Steele is scheduled to start.

Eugene lost, 8-2, to Hillsboro. Bryan Hudson gave up one earned run over four innings. Chris Pieters hit a two-run homer in the first.

Mesa beat the Dodgers, 7-6. Andry Rondon gave up two earned runs over four innings. Jed Carter, the Cubs’ 15th round pick, made his pro debut. Isaac Paredes had four hits, all singles, and drove in a run.

#Cubs and Hendricks face Mets

Kyle Hendricks will close the Cubs’ three-game series against the Mets on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 1:20 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras LF

Heyward CF

Russell SS

Montero C

Baez 2B

Hendricks P

Hendricks, has a 1.50 ERA (10 ER/60 IP) in 10 games (nine starts) at Wrigley Field this season, the second-lowest home ERA in baseball (The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw has a 1.31 ERA in eight starts at Dodger Stadium).

Hendricks has given up three or fewer runs in each of his last 15 starts at Wrigley Field dating to Aug. 8 of last season. He owns a 2.29 ERA (23 ER/90 1/3 IP) and is 7-2 with just 18 walks, 88 strikeouts and a .202 opponent average in this stretch at home.

The Cubs have a day off Thursday, then bus north to Milwaukee to face the Brewers. Here are the pitching matchups for the weekend:

Friday: RHP Jason Hammel (8-5, 3.34) vs. RHP Jimmy Nelson (6-7, 3.39)
Saturday: RHP John Lackey (7-6, 3.75) vs. RHP Zach Davies (6-4, 3.79)
Sunday: LHP Jon Lester (10-4, 2.89) vs. RHP Junior Guerra (6-2, 3.06)

#Cubs Rizzo takes time for kids

Anthony Rizzo made his regular visit to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, and handed out Cubs items to the patients on the oncology floor. He also continued his tradition of having the patients autograph a jersey.


#Cubs and Arrieta face Mets

Jake Arrieta makes his first start of the second half on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

La Stella 3B

Bryant RF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Contreras LF

Heyward CF

Russell SS

Montero C

Arrieta P

Arrieta has had 10 days of rest since his worst outing in over a year, July 8, when he gave up six runs (his most since May 2015) over six innings, taking the loss against the Pirates. Arrieta has four losses over his last seven starts, going 3-4 with a 4.81 ERA in that span. He had four losses in his previous 39 starts combined (28-4, 1.59 ERA in that stretch).

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Trevor Cahill made his first rehab appearance and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings for Iowa, which lost, 12-7, to Salt Lake. Cahill threw 57 pitches, 30 strikes. Dan Vogelbach had four hits, including a home run. His .425 OBP leads the Pacific Coast League. John Andreoli had a triple and three RBI.

Tennessee beat Montgomery, 4-2. Paul Blackburn gave up one unearned run over six innings, striking out seven. Ben Carhart had two hits and Trey Martin had two RBI.

Gleyber Torres had four hits, including two doubles and a triple, and drove in three runs in Myrtle Beach’s 15-2 win over Winston-Salem. Jonathan Martinez gave up one earned run over six innings, striking out four. Torres is batting .275 overall, and 7-for-13 in his last three games. Yasiel Balaguert had four RBI. Jeffrey Baez also had four hits, including a double, and scored three runs. Charcer Burks had three hits and two RBI.

South Bend lost, 5-2, to Kane County. Ryan Kellogg gave up four runs over five innings. Bryant Flete had two hits, including a solo homer, and two RBI.

Oscar De La Cruz gave up two hits over four innings and struck out seven in his debut for Eugene, which beat Hillsboro, 6-4. Robert Garcia and Chris Pieters each had two hits.

Jack Leathersich gave up one hit over one inning, striking out two, in Mesa’s 3-2 win over the A’s. He has given up one run and four hits over eight innings while striking out 16 and walking three. Dakota Mekkes and Marc Huberman each made their pro debuts. Huberman picked up the win in relief. Jhonny Pereda drove in two runs.

#Cubs Almora visits softball team

On Monday, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. visited children at the wheelchair softball field at California Park in Chicago. Almora played softball with the participants at Cubs Fantasy Camp for Kids with RIC’s Caring for Kids program, and helped with hitting, fielding, and pitching drills.



Davey’s Dugout kids at Wrigley. #Cubs

Prior to Monday’s game at Wrigley Field, Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez hosted a group of children from several elementary schools located in Belmont Cragin, part of his “Davey’s Dugout.” The kids had either never been to a professional baseball game, excelled academically this school year, or, are from families experiencing economic hardship. Martinez provided them with Cubs hats, “Davey’s Dugout” shirts, baseballs (which he autographed), and Cubs Cash.


#Cubs and Lester face Mets

Jon Lester gets the start Monday night when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Mets. First pitch will be at 6:05 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Baez 2B

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras LF

Russell SS

Szczur RF

Almora Jr. CF

Ross C

Lester P

The Mets swept the Cubs in New York June 30-July 3. They have not won a regular season game at Wrigley Field since May 19, 2013.

Anthony Rizzo is batting .380 and slugging .717 in his last 24 games.

The Cubs have lost Lester’s last four starts. He’s 0-1 with a 7.58 ERA (16 earned runs over 19 IP) in that stretch, including a loss to the Mets on July 3 when he gave up eight runs over 1 1/3 innings in shortest outing of his career.

Ben Zobrist is not starting for the second straight game. It’s part of Joe Maddon’s plan to give the veteran a breather. Zobrist didn’t get much of a break during All-Star week.


#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Iowa lost, 6-2, to Las Vegas. Brian Matusz started, and gave up two runs over five innings while striking out five. Mark Zagunis hit a solo homer in the seventh. Joe Nathan pitched for the second straight day and struck out one in a scoreless inning.

Tennessee rallied to beat Montgomery, 6-4. Michael Wagner gave up one run over four innings. Trey Martin had two hits, including a two-run homer, and finished with four RBI. Ian Happ had two hits and was batting .333 with the Smokies.

Andrew Ely hit a solo homer in Myrtle Beach’s 7-2 loss to Winston-Salem. Zach Hedges gave up three earned runs over six innings. David Bote had two hits and one RBI.

Carson Sands gave up four runs over 2 2/3 innings in South Bend’s 8-5 win over Kane County. Donnie Dewees had three hits and Bryant Flete hit a three-run homer in the third. Greyfer Eregua picked up the win, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

Eugene beat Tri-City, 7-6. Kevonte Mitchell had two hits, two stolen bases, and scored three runs. Michael Knighton picked up the win in relief, giving up one hit over three innings.

Mesa had the day off and will play the A’s on Monday.

#Cubs and Lackey vs. Rangers

John Lackey gets the start on Sunday in the series finale against the Rangers. Texas will counter with Cole  Hamels, who will be making his first start at Wrigley Field since throwing a no-hitter last year. Here’s the lineup:

Baez 2B

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras C

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Szczur LF

Almora Jr CF

Lackey P

The Cubs are aiming for their first interleague series sweep of at least three games since a three-game set vs. the Orioles, August 22-24, 2014.

Anthony Rizzo has an 11-game hitting streak, and is batting .409 (18-for-44). The streak is one shy of his career high, done last season. Rizzo has 55 hits and 30 RBIs in his last 40 games, and Elias says he’s the first Cubs player with that many hits and RBI in a 40-game stretch since Alfonso Soriano during the 2008 season.

Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel have recorded consecutive quality starts to begin the season’s “second half.” The Cubs starters did not have a quality start in the final 10 games heading into the break

Looking ahead, here are the pitching matchups vs. the Mets:
Mon: LHP Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01) vs. LHP Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38)
Tue: RHP Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.68) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56)
Wed: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11)



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