#Cubs Minor League report

Thursday’s games

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.

#Cubs Lackey faces Nats

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:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

La Stella 3B

Baez SS

Ross C

Lackey P

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.


#Cubs announce make-up games

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.


Arrieta’s Aces at #Cubs game

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta hosted some promising scholars from Orozco Academy and Patrick Henry Elementary (grades 6-8) who have achieved at a high level academically while maintaining a sparkling attendance record. Arrieta talked to the students about the importance of working hard and earning a degree. He also signed autographs, took photos (and selfies) with the children, and gave them Cubs hats, Arrieta’s Aces shirts, baseballs, and Cubs Cash for the game.


Patton called up to #Cubs

Cubs reliever Neil Ramirez was placed on the bereavement list Thursday and right-handed reliever Spencer Patton called up from Triple-A Iowa.

Patton, 28, has appeared in 36 games in the big leagues for the Rangers over 2014-15, and has a career 6.75 ERA, giving up 25 earned runs in 33 1/3 innings. The Cubs acquired him last Nov. 20 in exchange for Minor League pitcher Frandy De La Rosa.

In 10 games at Iowa this season, Patton had given up five hits, walked four and struck out 17 over 10 scoreless innings.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Hendricks opens series vs Nats

Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Thursday night when the Cubs play host to the Nationals in a showdown between the two teams with the best record in the National League. No Jason Heyward (wrist) for the fourth straight game. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

La Stella 3B

Bryant RF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Kalish LF

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Hendricks P

At 20-6, the Cubs are off to their best start through 26 games since the team was 22-4 to start the 1907 season.

The Cubs have outscored their opponents this season by 93 runs, 159-66, the best run differential in the Majors, and since 1900, the third-highest run differential by any Major League team through 26 games. The 1902 Pirates were at plus 103 and the 1905 Giants were at plus 96.

Hendricks will be making his 50th career start with the Cubs. He’s 32-17 in his first 49 games. The last time the Cubs won at least 32 of a pitcher’s first 50 starts with the team was 1984-86 when Chicago went 32-18 in Rick Sutcliffe’s first 50 outings.

According to Elias, Anthony Rizzo is the first Cubs player since Andre Dawson in May 1989 to have multiple extra-base hits in each of three-consecutive wins on one road trip. Rizzo went 7-for-14 in the three-game Pirates series with at least two extra-base hits in each game.


#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Dan Vogelbach had three hits, including a grand slam in the sixth, to lead Iowa to an 8-4 win over Nashville. Vogelbach finished with five RBI, and now has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. Jake Buchanan gave up one run over six innings for the win. He struck out six.

Kelly Dugan hit a three-run home run in Tennessee’s 8-7 loss to Mississippi. Rob Zastryzny gave up six runs over five innings. Carlos Penalver had two hits and drove in a run.

Zach Hedges gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings in Myrtle Beach’s 3-0 win over Winston-Salem. Cael Brockmeyer drove in two runs and Yasiel Balguert had two hits and one RBI, his 21st.

Andrew Ely had three hits in South Bend’s 4-2 loss to Wisconsin. Justin Steele gave up three earned runs over three innings. Tyler Alamo had two hits and one RBI.

*In other Minor League news, Iowa’s Matt Murton (strained oblique) and Pierce Johnson (strained lat) were both placed on the disabled list.

#Cubs vs Nationals starts Thursday

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field on Thursday to open a 10-game homestand, beginning with the Nationals. Here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52) vs. RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79)
Friday: RHP John Lackey (3-1, 4.32) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.55)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 0.84) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.35)

*On Sunday, the Cubs and Advocate Health Care will “Pink Out” the Budweiser Bleachers to promote breast cancer prevention awareness while celebrating moms and women everywhere who are survivors. Guests in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pink “Save Second Base” T-shirt, and everyone inside the ballpark will be invited to stand to honor cancer survivors in the fourth inning. Breast cancer survivors will participate in festivities including ceremonial first pitches, singing the national anthem, forming a symbolic pink ribbon around the pitcher’s mound, meeting Cubs players as they take the field at each position and leading the seventh inning stretch.

Honorary Bat Girl Molly Oliver, who won Major League Baseball’s nationwide contest, will deliver the lineup card to the umpires. The Cubs will join other MLB teams that day in wearing pink Mother’s Day jerseys and caps, which will be authenticated, collected and auctioned by Cubs Authentics at http://www.cubs.com/authentics. Net proceeds from the auction benefit Cubs Charities.

Here are highlights for the upcoming series vs. the Nationals:

National anthem: John Vincent

First pitch: Percussionist Sunny Ortiz from American rock band Widespread Panic
National anthem: Wayne Messmer

First pitch and seventh inning stretch: Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald
National anthem: Nate Klinger

Sunday – Mother’s Day:
First pitches, national anthem and 7th inning stretch: Breast cancer survivors
Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under


#Cubs Lester vs. Bucs in series finale

Jon Lester will wrap up the Cubs series in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Jason Heyward is not in the lineup for the third straight game to nurse a sore right wrist and Ben Zobrist makes his first start in the outfield. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

La Stella 2B

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

*Looking ahead to the Cubs’ series against the Nationals, here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52) vs. RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79)
Friday: RHP John Lackey (3-1, 4.32) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.55)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 0.84) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.35)

#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Ryan Williams gave up one run over six innings in Iowa’s 2-1 win over Nashville. Arismendy Alcantara hit a two-run homer in the seventh and stole a base.

Tennessee had the day off and opens a five-game series against Mississippi on Wednesday.

Jonathan Martinez gave up one run over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-2 win over Winston-Salem. Gleyber Torres hit a solo home run in the first, Shawon Dunston had three hits — all for extra bases as he hit two doubles and a triple — while Jason Vosler had two hits.

Matt Rose hit a solo home run in South Bend’s 5-4 loss to Wisconsin. Ryan Kellogg gave up five hits over six scoreless innings.



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