* Jonathan Mota and Chris Valaika each had two hits in Iowa’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to New Orleans on Wednesday. Donn Roach gave up one hit over six shutout innings but did not get a decision. Kris Bryant was 0-for-3 with a walk and scored a run. Iowa was scheduled to play a doubleheader Thursday at New Orleans.
* Tennessee’s home opener against Pensacola Wednesday was postponed because of rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday. Corey Black was scheduled to start Thursday.
* Myrtle Beach’s game vs. Salem was postponed because of rain, and the two teams will play a doubleheader on May 6. Duane Underwood was scheduled to start Thursday at Winston-Salem.
* Cael Brockmeyer had two hits and one RBIs in South Bend’s 10-7 loss to Fort Wayne. Brockmeyer is batting .409 with six doubles and five RBIs in six games. Jake Stinnett started, and gave up five earned runs on three hits and seven walks over 2 1/3 innings.
Travis Wood threw seven shutout innings and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first, his first of the season, to lead the Cubs to a 5-0 victory Wednesday night over the Reds and clinch the series. Wood picked up his first win at Wrigley since May 18 when he beat the Brewers. Joe Maddon gave Wood and shortstop Starlin Castro the stars of the game. Castro turned a key double play in the eighth, and also had two hits and drew a walk. The Cubs have now homered in five straight games for the first time since an 11-game stretch, Aug. 16-27, last year.
* Neil Ramirez had to leave Wednesday’s game after throwing three pitches in the ninth. Maddon said the right-hander has “right shoulder discomfort” and will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
“The 90 mile an hour fastball was well below his thing, so something was obviously not well with him,” Maddon said, adding the news was “not real positive.”
The Cubs are currently carrying 13 pitchers.
* After an off day Thursday, the Cubs play host to the Padres at Wrigley Field. the pitching match ups will be:
Friday: Jason Hammel vs. James Shields
Saturday: Kyle Hendricks vs. Tyson Ross
Sunday: Jon Lester vs. Andrew Cashner
— Carrie Muskat
Arismendy Alcantara and Jonathan Herrera will switch positions but stay in the same spot in the batting order on Wednesday. Alcantara was to start at second, but now will play third base in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds. Herrera was to play third, but will start at second and bat ninth. Here’s the revised lineup:
T. Wood P
Travis Wood gets the start Wednesday night in the series finale against the Reds. It’s Jackie Robinson Day and all players will be wearing No. 42. Here’s the lineup:
Chris Valaika and Jonathan Mota each had two hits, and Mota and Kevin Brown each drove in a run in Iowa’s 3-2 loss Wednesday to New Orleans. Kris Bryant was 0-for-3, drawing a walk, and scored a run. He’s batting .333 so far. Donn Roach started and threw six scoreless innings, giving up one hit. Drake Britton took the loss.
* In other Cubs Minor League news, left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny was placed on Double-A Tennessee’s disabled list, retroactive to April 13, and lefty Jeffry Antigua was transferred from Triple-A Iowa to Tennessee.
Iowa’s game at New Orleans was postponed because of rain. The teams played a day game Wednesday (Kris Bryant is in the lineup) and a doubleheader on Thursday.
Tennessee had Tuesday off. The Smokies were to play host to Pensacola in their home opener Wednesday but nature intervened and that game was postponed because of rain. Tennessee will begin its home schedule now on Thursday night with Corey Black slated to start.
Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two runs over five innings to pick up the win in Myrtle Beach’s 5-3 win over Salem in the first game of a doubleheader. In the second game, Myrtle Beach totaled four hits and lost, 3-1. Billy McKinney drove in the only run.
Ryan Williams gave up one run on one hit and struck out seven over six innings in South Bend’s 3-2 loss to Dayton. Cael Brockmeyer hit his fifth double and scored a run. Gleyber Torres had his third multi-hit game.
The Cubs will celebrate Jackie Robinson day tonight at Wrigley Field. All players, coaches and both managers will wear No. 42 in his honor. Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier. Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. These game-used bases and No. 42 jerseys will be available through Cubs Authentics to benefit Cubs Charities.
Anthony DeSclafani outdueled Jake Arrieta Tuesday night as the Reds held on for a 3-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Welington Castillo made it interesting when he hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth. But Aroldis Chapman shut down the Cubs in the ninth. DeSclafani gave up two hits over seven shutout innings. Arrieta retired the first nine batters he faced, then served up five hits in the fourth, including RBI singles by Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd.
The Cubs had won their last two games in their last at-bats, and nearly pulled off some magic again.
“If we keep giving that kind of effort all year long, I’ll be very happy,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Good things are going to happen.”
* Next up: Travis Wood closes the Cubs series vs. the Reds on Wednesday night. The lefty is 2-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 career starts against Cincinnati.
— Carrie Muskat
* Chris Coghlan admits he was a little surprised when Cubs manager Joe Maddon approached him in batting practice Monday to ask if he could play third base. Coghlan played the position in college but had not been there in a Major League game since 2013 when he played eight games there with the Marlins.
“I guess maybe a little bit [surprised], just because we have so many infielders,” Coghlan said Tuesday.
However, the Cubs were short-handed, and on Tuesday, infielder Tommy La Stella was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9 with a right rib cage strain. Mike Olt has been dealing with a bruised right wrist since Saturday.
“I guess I was the last guy able to do it,” said Coghlan, who subbed at third in the eighth inning Monday. “I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I don’t have a problem doing it.'”
Coghlan was prepared. He has his own infielder’s glove.
“If you have good instincts, you can do a good job over there,” he said.
* Maddon does not believe Jon Lester’s ability to throw to first base will become an issue.
“Only if you permit it,” Maddon said. “There are things we can control, there’s things we can do, and that’s what I want us to focus on.”
Lester did throw to first Monday for the first time since April 2013, and was successful on his first throw, then overthrew first baseman Anthony Rizzo for an error on the next attempt. Maddon says he has some ideas on how to make it work.
“Would throwing to first base help control the running game? Of course,” Theo Epstein said Tuesday. “[Lester will] face things head on and find a way to control the running game.”
* On Wednesday, the Cubs will join MLB by hosting Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Uniformed players and personnel will wear Robinson’s retired No. 42 that day. Each base used at Wrigley will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. The game-used bases and No. 42 jerseys will be available through Cubs Authentics to benefit Cubs Charities.
The Cubs will present the ninth annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, which recognizes diverse business partners who exhibit and continue Robinson’s legacy. Finally, several Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars will be recognized on the field, and these students will have the honor of leading the seventh inning stretch.
* Maddon is happy with the information and scouting reports he’s getting from the Cubs baseball operations department. Said Maddon: “Our geeks are good.” … So far, having Miguel Montero, David Ross and Welington Castillo on the roster has worked. Maddon called them the “three-headed catcher.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs felt the bullpen needed more help than third base, and recalled lefty Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa Tuesday and placed infielder Tommy La Stella on the disabled list. La Stella is sidelined with right rib cage inflammation. Third baseman Mike Olt is limited because of a sore right wrist, injured when he was hit by a pitch on Saturday in Colorado, but was available to pinch-hit and play third if needed.
“You get to the point where toughness doesn’t matter and you have to start thinking about the team,” Olt said Tuesday. “It wasn’t ready to go [Monday] and wasn’t in a good spot where I felt I could get out there and really help the team. I had to put my toughness and competitiveness aside.”
Cubs fans would like to see third baseman Kris Bryant promoted to fill the void at third, but Theo Epstein said he didn’t want to speculate as to whether they’d add the team’s top prospect.
“It depends on what’s happening with the roster, what’s happening with his development,” Epstein said Tuesday. “We don’t know yet. Every day, check in with the trainers, the manager, development guys and see where we’re at.
“Right now we’re thinking about today’s game and that an extra reliever would really come in handy,” Epstein said.
Cubs relievers have totaled 21 2/3 innings in six games, and manager Joe Maddon wanted to be able to give some guys a breather.
“We do need some help in the bullpen,” Maddon said. “They’ve been very active the last few days.”
— Carrie Muskat