Ryan Williams gave up two runs over eight innings in Iowa’s 6-5 win over Omaha. Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run and Kristopher Negron drove in three runs. Williams struck out five and walked one, and now has a 3.86 ERA. He’s won each of his last four starts.
Brad Markey threw five shutout innings in Tennessee’s 2-0 victory over Mississippi. Anthony Giansanti had two hits and one RBI, and Jeimer Candelario had two hits and scored a run. Corey Black picked up his fourth save.
Gleyber Torres had three hits, including a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth, in Myrtle Beach’s 6-5, 13-inning loss to Wilmington. Jake Stinnett started and gave up four runs over five innings. Ian Happ had three hits, including a double, and stole a base.
South Bend had the day off and returns to action Monday at Dayton. Carson Sands is scheduled to start.
Cubs right-hander Neil Ramirez was reinstated from the bereavement list Sunday, replacing right-hander Spencer Patton who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Ramirez, who has a 4.50 ERA in six appearances this season, was placed on the bereavement list Thursday to attend his grandmother’s funeral. Patton allowed one run in his lone appearance for the Cubs on Saturday.
— Carrie Muskat
Jake Arrieta will close the Cubs series against the Nationals on Sunday at Wrigley Field. At 23-6, the Cubs are off to their best start through 29 games since the team was 24-5 to start the 1907 season. This is the best start for any NL team since the 1977 Dodgers went 23-6 to begin the year.
The Cubs have outscored their opponents this season by 101 runs (180-79), the best run differential in the Majors. Since 1900, it’s the second-highest run differential by any Major League team through 29 games.
The Cubs have won Jake Arrieta’s last 19 starts, extending a franchise record that surpassed 17-straight by Ed Reulbach (1906-07) and Pat Luby (1890-91). Only five pitchers since 1913 have had their teams win 20-consecutive starts made by them: Philadelphia’s Lefty Grove in 1931 (21-straight team wins), the New York Giants Carl Hubbell in 1936-37 (22), the Yankees Whitey Ford in 1950-53 (22), the Yankees Roger Clemens in 2001 (20) and Atlanta’s Kris Medlen in 2010-12 (23). Thanks to STATS Inc. for the info.
Here’s Sunday’s lineup:
Logan Watkins had three hits and scored a pair of runs in Iowa’s 5-4 loss to Omaha. Michael Wagner started and gave up two runs over three innings. Munenori Kawasaki drove in three runs with a double.
Tyler Skulina gave up two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 5-3 win over Mississippi. Kelly Dugan hit his fourth homer in his last five games, a two-run shot in the sixth.
Myrtle Beach split a doubleheader against Wilmington, winning the first game, 4-0, and losing the second, 2-0. Erick Leal won the first gme, giving up four hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Daniel Lockhart had three hits in the first game and was a home run shy of the cycle. Gleyber Torres had two hits in the first game as well.
Tyler Alamo drove in four runs in South Bend’s 6-3 win over Beloit. Alamo went 3-for-4 and is batting .345. Preston Morrison started and gave up one earned run over 5 1/3 innings. Donnie Dewees had two hits and one RBI.
Jason Hammel gets the start Saturday as the Cubs face the Nationals in Game 3 of their four-game series at Wrigley Field. The conditions are much different Saturday as the wind is blowing in and it’s chilly. Kris Bryant returns to third base. Here’s the lineup:
John Andreoli, Kristopher Negron and Willson Contreras each hit home runs in Iowa’s 13-7 win over Omaha. Drew Rucinski got the win, giving up six runs over 5 1/3 innings. Shane Victorino joined the I-Cubs and went 1-for-4 with a double and one RBI.
Tennessee lost, 6-3, to Mississippi. Paul Blackburn gave up three runs on three hits and two walks over seven innings. Blackburn has not given up a run in 37 innings. Mark Zagunis had two hits.
Myrtle Beach’s game against Wilmington was postponed because of rain. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
Adbert Alzolay gave up three hits over five scoreless innings in South Bend’s 6-1 win over Beloit. Eddy Martinez hit a solo home run.
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero said his back felt good Friday after a batting practice session in the cage the day before but wasn’t sure when he’ll be able to return. Montero, sidelined since April 25 with lower back stiffness, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday.
“It feels better,” Montero said Friday. “It’s coming along good. Obviously, I’m not going to rush it and I’m going to take my time with it and see.”
Will Montero need to go on a rehab assignment?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I only lost eight games, so it’s not really that much. It’s not up to me. If they ask me, I don’t think I really need a rehab. Like I say, it’s not my decision.”
As anyone who has has back problems knows, you have to continue to monitor it.
“I felt really good in the cage,” Montero said. “Obviously, I’m still thinking about it a little bit. For the most part, I don’t feel anything and feel pretty good. You don’t want to go out there and hurt it again, so you try to take your time.”
— Carrie Muskat
Albert Almora had three hits, including a triple, and one RBI in Iowa’s 4-1 win over Nashville. It was Almora’s fifth three-hit game of the season.
Duane Underwood gave up three runs over five innings in Tennessee’s 3-2 loss to Mississippi. Kelly Dugan hit a two-run pinch-hit home run in the fifth.
Myrtle Beach struck out 11 times in a 4-0 loss to Wilmington. Trevor Clifton gave up two runs over five innings.
Eddy Martinez hit a sac fly in the ninth to give South Bend a 3-2 win over Beloit. It was Martinez’s 14th RBI of the season. Kyle Twomey started, and gave up one run over six innings.
John Lackey gets the start Friday for the Cubs in Game 2 of their four-game series against the Nationals at Wrigley Field. Jason Heyward also is back in the lineup in right field. Here’s the batting order:
La Stella 3B
The Cubs are off to their best start through 27 games since the team was 23-4 to start the 1907 campaign. This is the best start to a season by a NL club since the 1986 New York Mets started 21-6. This is the best start for any Major League team since the 2003 New York Yankees began 21-6.
Cubs starting pitchers have pitched through the fifth inning in the last 35 regular season games dating to Sept. 27 of last season.
Ben Zobrist is batting .300 (15-for-50) with three doubles, three homers, 16 RBI and 10 walks compared to six strikeouts in his last 14 games since April 18. He has a .413 OBP and a .540 slugging mark in this stretch, contributing to a .953 OPS.
Zobrist, thanks to three RBI Wednesday in Pittsburgh and four RBI last night vs. Washington, has driven in at least three runs in consecutive games for just the second time in his major league career.
The Cubs will play a split doubleheader against the Brewers on Aug. 16 and face the Braves on July 7 to make up two games in April that were postponed because of rain.
The postponed April 27 game between the Cubs and Brewers will now be part of a split doubleheader at Wrigley Field on Aug. 16. The make-up game will be played at 12:20 p.m. CT, and will be followed by the regularly scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Separate tickets are required for each game and the gates will re-open approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Tickets to the April 27 game at Wrigley Field will be honored for the 12:20 p.m. Aug. 16 game. No ticket exchange is necessary.
The April 30 game between the Cubs and Braves that was postponed is scheduled to be made up July 7 at 7:05 p.m. CT. Tickets to the April 30 game will be honored for the July 7 game. No ticket exchange is necessary. The Ron Santo replica statue giveaway presented by TransUnion that was to be presented in April will now be distributed to the first 10,000 early arriving fans on July 7.
Tickets for the two make-up games are available for sale at http://www.cubs.com, by phone at 1-800-THE-CUBS, or at the Wrigley Field ticket windows.