#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Junior Lake hit a two-run walk-off single in the ninth to lift Iowa to a 3-2 win over Nashville. Lake finished with two hits in the game and drew a walk. Donn Roach started and gave up one run on four hits over seven innings.

Tennessee had Wednesday off and returns to action Thursday against Montgomery. Ivan Pineyro was scheduled to start.

Myrtle Beach’s game against Carolina was postponed after the Carolina team bus was involved in an accident. No make up date was set.

South Bend scored two runs in the ninth but it wasn’t enough in a 6-4 loss to Lansing. Gleyber Torres had three hits, including a double, and one RBI. Cael Brockmeyer hit a RBI double.

#Cubs extra bases: La Stella, James Russell

* Tommy La Stella, on the disabled list with right rib cage inflammation, was playing in extended Spring Training games in Mesa, Ariz. There was no timetable for the infielder’s return.

* Reliever James Russell is two appearances shy of tying Willie Hernandez for the most appearances in franchise history by a left-handed pitcher. Russell entered Wednesday’s game with 323 games played with the Cubs.

* Speaking of milestones, Anthony Rizzo needs one more double for 100 in his career.

#Cubs Bryant has all the “bells and whistles”

Kris Bryant, who hit his first big league triple Tuesday night to right field, expects more opposite field hits. So does Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

“That’s who he is,” Maddon said Wednesday of the rookie third baseman. “His left field foul line should be left center and then move it over from there. If he’s hooking the ball a lot, he’s not going to be happy.

“I was really happy to see the ball go that way,” Maddon said of the triple to right. “You’ll see a lot of home runs to right central. He’s one of those rare dudes who can hit the ball out to the opposite gap in any ballpark and you’ll see that this summer.”

Bryant’s ability to use the whole field also shows how advanced he is as a hitter.

“When a young hitter hits opposite field gap well, that really excites me,” Maddon said. “As a hitting instructor, the easiest thing to teach a hitter to do is to pull the ball. The more difficult one is the [opposite] gap hard. When a guy comes equipped with those bells and whistles, that’s really exciting and he has that.”

Bryant, who made his big league debut April 17, entered Wednesday’s game ranked among the top 16 in the National League with 19 RBIs.

— Carrie Muskat

D-Rose’s son is fan of #Cubs Jon Lester

After a Chicago Bulls NBA game, Derrick Rose met the media with his son, who was wearing a Jon Lester Cubs jersey. Lester was flattered.

“I’ve never had another [athlete’s] son wear my jersey,” Lester said Wednesday. “If his son wants to wear mine, that’s kind of cool.”0513RoseKid

#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Javier Baez and Christian Villanueva both homered in Iowa’s 6-3 loss to Nashville. Baez had two hits, including a solo homer in the sixth. Tyler Ihrig started, and gave up two runs over five innings.

Kyle Schwarber hit his sixth home run in Tennessee’s 7-6 win over Montgomery in the first game of a doubleheader. Dan Vogelbach had three hits and Wilson Contreras had two hits and two RBI. The Smokies were blanked in the second game, 10-0. Corey Black struck out six and gave up two runs over six innings.

Myrtle Beach’s game against Carolina was postponed. A make up date was not set. Several members of the Carolina team were hospitalized after their team bus was involved in an accident en route to the game on Tuesday.

Jeremy Null gave up one earned run over six innings in South Bend’s 5-3 win over Lansing. Yasiel Balaguert and Jason Vosler each had two hits and one RBI.

#Cubs lineup and pre-game notes for Wed 5/13

Jason Hammel gets the start Wednesday in Game 3 of the Cubs’ four-game series against the Mets. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Castro SS

Montero C

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Hammel P

Russell 2B

* Dexter Fowler has scored a run in five straight games, and was 6-for-18 with three doubles, one homer, a .478 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage in that stretch.

* Hammel has thrown 76 percent of pitches for strikes when he falls behind in the count (95 of 125) while allowing just one sharply struck ball. The league average strike percentage is 67.3 percent. Opponents are slugging .333 (9-for-27) against Hammel on hitter’s counts (.569 league average).

* Kris Bryant ranks fifth in the NL with 19 RBI since his debut on April 17.

* Mets starter Matt Harvey is coming off his first loss of the year. Last Friday night in Philadelphia, the “Dark Knight” allowed three runs over six innings in the Mets’ 3-1 loss. Harvey has had some trouble limiting damage, with a .333 opponents’ average (8-24 AB) with runners in scoring position. Batters are hitting only .205 in all other situations.

A day after his teammate Noah Syndergaard wowed Wrigley fans with a 96.8 mph average fastball velocity, Harvey will bring his 95.6 mph fastball—the fourth-highest average fastball velocity (excluding cutters) among qualified pitchers. Harvey’s 7.6 strikeout to walk ratio (38 K, 5 BB) is third-best in the NL, trailing only teammate Bartolo Colon (40.0) and Max Scherzer (9.2). The fourth-ranked pitcher? Harvey’s opponent today, Jason Hammel, with a 7.0 strikeout to walk ratio (35 K, 5 BB).

* Hammel has made three consecutive quality starts, going 2-0, 2.14 ERA (21 IP, 5 ER). He earned the win last Friday in Milwaukee, allowing two runs over seven innings. Hammel is 5-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts at Wrigley Field as a Cub (2014-15).

Hammel has been efficient this year, with 72 percent of plate appearances ending in four pitches or fewer. That’s well above the MLB average of 65 percent.

* Anthony Rizzo is one of nine qualified batters with more walks (19) than strikeouts (17). And among that group, he is only one of two with a slugging percentage of at least .600, joining Mark Teixeira.

* Addison Russell has reached base safely in 15 consecutive games. He’s batting .296/.333/.519 with eight RBI in that span.

* Starlin Castro has eight RBI in his last nine games despite batting .211 (8-38 AB) in that span; six of those eight hits have driven in a run. Castro leads the Cubs with 20 RBI.

* Ten of Chris Coghlan’s 20 hits this season have been for extra bases, including four homers. He’s slugging .406 despite a .208 batting average.

A little trivia re: back to back #Cubs blasts

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered on consecutive pitches Monday night in the first inning. According to Elias, it’s the third straight season in which two Cubs hit back-to-back homers on consecutive pitches, and Rizzo has been involved in all three instances. On Aug. 1, 2013, against the Dodgers, Junior Lake and Rizzo turned the trick against Ricky Nolasco, and on Aug. 13, 2014, against the Brewers, Javier Baez and Rizzo homered off consecutive pitches from Kyle Lohse.

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Dallas Beeler gave up six runs over 4 1/3 innings in Iowa’s 13-7 loss to Colorado Springs. John Andreoli hit a triple and drove in two runs.

Jeffry Antigua gave up two hits over five shutout innings in Tennessee’s 4-0 win over Montgomery. Dan Vogelbach and Wilson Contreras each hit solo home runs. Antigua, Michael Jensen and P.J. Francescon combined for nine shutout innings.

Billy McKinney had two hits and three RBIs in Myrtle Beach’s 8-5 win over Winston-Salem. Mark Zagunis had two hits and one RBI.

Jake Stinnett gave up four runs over five innings in South Bend’s 7-4 win over Lansing. Yasiel Balaguert and Jesse Hodges each homered. Balaguert hit a two-run blast in the second. Gioskar Amaya and Chesny Young each had two hits.

#Cubs lineup and early notes for Tue 5/12

Jake Arrieta gets the start Tuesday night against the Mets in the second game of the four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Montero C

Soler RF

Castro SS

Coghlan LF

Arrieta P

Russell 2B

* Each of the Cubs’ last four wins have come by a one-run margin. The Cubs’ eight one-run wins this season are tied for second-most in MLB. Only the Giants have more.

* Noah Syndergaard makes his MLB debut for the Mets, taking the spot of the injured Dillon Gee. The 22-year-old Texan, who was acquired from Toronto in the December 2012 R.A. Dickey trade, was 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Las Vegas before the call-up.

* Arrieta lasted just 5 1/3 innings on Thursday in St. Louis, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits in the loss. Over his last three starts, Arrieta is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA (16.1 IP, 10 ER).

This stretch marks just the second time since joining the Cubs in July 2013 that Arrieta has allowed multiple runs in three
consecutive starts. He is 17-10 with a 2.90 ERA in 40 starts with Chicago; he had a 5.46 ERA in 69 appearances with the
Orioles (2010-13). Arrieta pitched well in two no-decisions against the Mets in 2014, allowing just one run over 11-and-two-thirds innings and striking out 11.

* Kris Bryant homered on Monday night, his second in the last three games. Bryant has 18 RBI in 23 games since his debut on April 17, sixth-most of any NL player. Despite the home runs, he is batting .167/.327/.333 with 24 strikeouts in his last 12 games.

* The Cubs bullpen has a 7.48 ERA over the last nine games.

#Cubs lineup vs Mets

Jon Lester opens the Cubs homestand on Monday night, facing the Mets for only the second time in his career. The lefty has faced the Mets once: on June 27, 2006 (his fourth career start) he beat the Mets after allowing two runs over five innings. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Castro SS

Coghlan LF

Ross C

Lester P

Russell 2B


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