#Cubs sign Joe Nathan

The Cubs added some depth on Tuesday, signing right-handed pitcher Joe Nathan to a Major League contract. Nathan won’t be joining the team immediately; he was placed on the 60-day disabled list as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in April 2015.

Nathan, 41, is a six-time All-Star who has earned 377 saves, eighth most in Major League history, in 15 seasons with the Giants, (1999-2000, 2002-03), Twins (2004-09, 2011), Rangers (2012-13) and Tigers (2014-15).

Nathan made one appearance with the Tigers last year before undergoing surgery.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Iowa gave up seven runs in the first two innings and lost, 9-3, to Reno. Kristopher Negron had two hits, including a double and a triple, and Taylor Davis had two hits. Shane Victorino was 0-for-2 and walked twice. He’s reached base in six of the seven games he’s played. Alex Sanabia started, and gave up seven runs over 1 1/3 innings.

Duane Underwood gave up three runs on three hits over three innings in Tennessee’s 12-4 win over Birmingham. Victor Caratini had three hits and two RBI and Mark Zagunis had two hits and two RBI. Kelly Dugan was 2-for-2 with two RBI.

Jake Stinnett gave up two runs on four hits over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 8-5 win over Frederick. Cael Brockmeyer and Charcer Burks each hit home runs. Gleyber Torres had two hits and two RBI. Stinnett struck out five in his third quality start of the season.

South Bend lost, 7-6, to Lansing. Ryan Kellogg gave up six runs over four innings. Sutton Whiting had two hits and Tyler Alamo had two RBI.

#Cubs Lester faces Pirates in finale

Jon Lester will close the Cubs’ series against the Pirates on Sunday against Gerrit Cole. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Baez 3B

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs have outscored opponents, 213-103, the best run differential in the Majors. Cubs starting pitchers also have pitched through the fifth inning in 43 regular season games, dating to Sept. 27 last year.

Anthony Rizzo has 11 home runs and 33 RBI in the first 35 games. According to Elias, only five other Cubs players since 1920 have hit that many home runs and had that many RBI in the first 35 games. That list includes Hack Wilson, Billy Williams, Dave Kingman, Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa.

*Looking ahead to Cubs at Brewers:

Tuesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP Chase Anderson

Wednesday: RHP John Lackey vs. RHP Jimmy Nelson

Thursday: RHP Jason Hammel vs. RHP Junior Guerra

 

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Albert Almora hit a walk-off RBI double in the ninth to give Iowa a 3-2 win over Nashville. Almora also hit a triple and now is batting .333. Willson Contreras hit a solo homer in the seventh. Ryan Williams gave up one earned run over six innings, striking out seven.

David Freitas had three hits, including a solo home run, and two doubles in Tennessee’s 12-5 win over Montgomery. Brad Markey gave up one earned run over four innings. Carlos Penalver had two doubles and two walks.

Erick Leal gave up two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in Myrtle Beach’s 8-3 win over Frederick. Yasiel Balaguert, Charcer Burks and Gleyber Torres each hit home runs.

Adbert Alzolay gave up two runs over six innings and Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run homer in South Bend’s 15-2 win over Lansing. Jimenez also hit a double and is batting .295.

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Albert Almora hit a walk-off RBI double in the ninth to give Iowa a 3-2 win over Nashville. Almora also hit a triple and now is batting .333. Willson Contreras hit a solo homer in the seventh. Ryan Williams gave up one earned run over six innings, striking out seven.

David Freitas had three hits, including a solo home run, and two doubles in Tennessee’s 12-5 win over Montgomery. Brad Markey gave up one earned run over four innings. Carlos Penalver had two doubles and two walks.

Erick Leal gave up two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in Myrtle Beach’s 8-3 win over Frederick. Yasiel Balaguert, Charcer Burks and Gleyber Torres each hit home runs.

Adbert Alzolay gave up two runs over six innings and Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run homer in South Bend’s 15-2 win over Lansing. Jimenez also hit a double and is batting .295.

Congrats to #Cubs newlyweds Brian & Micci

It was a perfect day for a wedding. The bride wore a white dress and sheer veil. The groom wore a No. 13 Cubs jersey with his last name, “Orth,” on the back. The setting was the top of the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field on Friday during the Cubs’ game against the Pirates. Shortly before Addison Russell hit a three-run homer in the fourth, Brian and Micci Orth of Highland, Ind., were married. They had about 100 friends in attendance among the 37,479 at the game. The cupcakes were a perfect touch.

Thanks for Brian Corbin for the photos.

#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)

 

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