7/9 Cubs lineup

Arismendy Alcantara, called up while Darwin Barney is on paternity leave, will make his Major League debut Wednesday night for the Cubs against the Reds. The infielder, promoted from Triple-A Iowa, will start at second base and bat second. Dallas Beeler makes his second big league start for the Cubs. He held the Nationals to one unearned run on four hits over six innings in his debut game. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Alcantara 2B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Ruggiano CF
Sweeney RF
Castillo C
Beeler P

7/9 Minor matters – Tuesday’s games

In his first start for Triple-A Iowa, Dae-Eun Rhee gave up four runs on nine hits over four innings in a 7-6 loss to Omaha. Ryan Kalish and Brett Jackson each hit home runs. Kalish drove in three runs and also hit a double, while Jackson hit a two-run homer in the second. Kris Bryant was 1-for-4 before he was ejected in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes. Iowa manager Marty Pevey also was ejected.

Tennessee held Birmingham to four hits in a 7-3 win. Luis Flores had three RBIs, Elliot Soto had two hits and two RBIs and Tony Zych picked up the win in relief.

Daytona’s game vs. Dunedin was postponed because of rain. The two teams were to play a doubleheader Wednesday.

Paul Blackburn gave up two runs over five innings in Kane County’s 7-3 win over Quad Cities. Kevin Brown hit a solo home run and Kyle Schwarber had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs. He’s now batting .379. Shawon Dunston and Jeimer Candelario each had two hits.

Jeffrey Baez hit his seventh home run to help Boise beat Hillsboro, 11-4. Tyler Ihrig gave up two runs over six innings for the win. Baez, no relation to Javier Baez, had two hits and four RBIs. Rashad Crawford had three hits and three RBIs.

Mesa committed three errors in a 6-4 loss to the Indians. Andrew Ely had three hits, including his first home run.

7/9 Vote Rizzo for Final Vote

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has received more than 3 million votes so far in the online voting in the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, but he needs more.

According to the latest results posted Wednesday, Rizzo trailed the Rockies’ Justin Morneau in the bid to join the National League All-Star team next Tuesday in Minneapolis. Voting is held exclusively on MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, and the individual Club websites.

Morneau is vying to play in the All-Star Game hosted by his former team, the Twins, and is holding off Rizzo and the Braves’ Justin Upton. All three have received more than 3 million votes each.

The current standings are:

National League

1.Justin Morneau (COL) – # VoteMorneau (N2)
2.Anthony Rizzo (CHI) – #VoteRizzo (N4)
3.Justin Upton (ATL) – #VoteJUp (N5)
4.Anthony Rendon (WSH) – #VoteRendon (N3)
5.Casey McGehee (MIA) – # VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)

American League

1.Chris Sale (CWS) – #TargetSale (A5)
2.Garrett Richards (LAA) – #VoteGRich (A4)
3.Rick Porcello (DET) – #PickRick (A3)
4.Corey Kluber (CLE) – #VoteKluber (A2)
5.Dallas Keuchel (HOU) – #VoteKeuchel (A1)

* On Thursday, Twitter support for Rizzo will count in the last six hours of balloting. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT Thursday, all tweets with a designated player hashtag will be tabulated in official vote totals. So, Cubs fans should tweet #VoteRizzo.

7/8 Barney on leave; Alcantara up

Darwin Barney will go on paternity leave on Sunday, returning to Chicago to be with his wife for the birth of their third child. The Cubs called up infielder Arismendy Alcantara from Triple-A Iowa to fill Barney’s spot for Wednesday and Thursday.

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 Reds 4, Cubs 2

* Travis Wood gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings in the Cubs’ 4-2 loss to the Reds. The lefty was encouraged by the outing.

“Overall, I thought it was pretty solid,” Wood said of his outing. “They got to me there in the first. I threw a pitch and it was where we wanted it. Bruce put a good swing on it, and it was out of the park.”

A year ago, Wood was headed to the All-Star Game. Now, he has a 4.64 ERA.

“You think about it,” he said, “but every year is different. You’re never going to have the same numbers. You make adjustments and roll with it.”

* Chris Coghlan led off the sixth with his third home run. Ryan Sweeney followed with his first homer of the season. It’s the second time the Cubs have hit consecutive blasts this season, also doing so April 9 against the Pirates when Mike Olt and Junior Lake connected.

* The Cubs have lost four straight, and have not won since Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were traded.

“I’d be lying if none of us acknowledged what had happened,” Coghlan said. “I saw this [in Miami]. There’s relationships — it’s not just business. At the end of the day, you have to be professional and that’s part of being professional is not letting outside stuff affect how you prepare or how you play.”

Wood and Samardzija were inseparable in Spring Training, and the lefty would talk to Hammel before starts.

“It’s tough to lose guys like that,” Wood said, “but we all know it’s a business and how it rolls. We’re not looking at that.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 Final Vote update – #VoteRizzo

Anthony Rizzo is second in the Final Vote balloting, trailing the Rockies’ Justin Morneau. More than 15 million votes have already been cast.

Voting is held exclusively on MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, and the individual Club websites.

In the National League race, Morneau has jumped out to an early, but narrow, lead, trailed most closely by Rizzo and Justin Upton of the Braves. Anthony Rendon of the Nationals and Casey McGehee of the Marlins are in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Current standings are:

National League
1.Justin Morneau (COL) – # VoteMorneau (N2)
2.Anthony Rizzo (CHI) – #VoteRizzo (N4)
3.Justin Upton (ATL) – #VoteJUp (N5)
4.Anthony Rendon (WSH) – #VoteRendon (N3)
5.Casey McGehee (MIA) – # VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)

American League
1.Chris Sale (CWS) – #TargetSale (A5)
2.Garrett Richards (LAA) – #VoteGRich (A4)
3.Rick Porcello (DET) – #PickRick (A3)
4.Corey Kluber (CLE) – #VoteKluber (A2)
5.Dallas Keuchel (HOU) – #VoteKeuchel (A1)

7/8 Cubs lineup – Game 1

Travis Wood gets the start in the first game of the Cubs’ day-night doubleheader against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Sweeney CF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Schierholtz RF
Baker C
Barney 2B
T. Wood P

* This is the Cubs’ third day-night doubleheader this season. They were swept in New York by the Yankees (April 17 at Yankee Stadium) and swept by the Nationals (June 28 at Wrigley Field). The Cubs have another day-night doubleheader scheduled for Aug. 30 in St. Louis.

* Rizzo has 18 home runs this season, tied for second-most in the National League, while his 50 walks tie for fifth-most. He is also tied for second in the league with 16 go-ahead RBI. Rizzo has 15 homers since April 30, tied for the most in the NL and tied for sixth-most in the Majors in that span. Rizzo has 36 walks, a .382 on-base percentage and a .904 OPS in his last 62 games since April 30. Of his 12 homers since May 8, nine have given the Cubs the lead and one has tied the game.

#VoteRizzo

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 Minor matters – Monday’s games

In his first start for the Cubs organization, Dan Straily gave up four runs, none earned, over five innings in Iowa’s 7-3 loss to Omaha. Straily was acquired from the A’s in the Samardzija-Hammel deal. Javier Baez hit his 14th home run, connecting for the second straight game. He’s now batting .241. Kris Bryant had a hit, and was batting .356.

Tennessee lost for the fourth time in their last five games, dropping a 7-1 decision to Birmingham. Pierce Johnson took the loss, giving up three runs over four innings. Jorge Soler homered for the second straight game, and was 3-for-4.

Tayler Scott gave up two runs over five innings in Daytona’s 4-3 win over Lakeland in the first game of a doubleheader. Albert Almora and Rock Shoulders both hit home runs. In the second game, Almora homered again, along with Bijan Rademacher, in a 6-1 win. Almora is batting .275. Rob Zastryzny struck out five over three innings.

Kane County and Boise both had Monday off.

Mesa committed five errors in an 11-2 loss to the Indians. Dillon Maples gave up two earned runs over 2 1/3 innings. Alberto Mineo hit a double and drove in a run.

7/7 Beeler, Hendricks to start

The Cubs will fill Jeff Samardzija’s and Jason Hammel’s spots in the rotation with Dallas Beeler and Kyle Hendricks, who are scheduled to start Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Reds. The Cubs delayed announcing their rotation for the final two games of the four-day, five-game series against the Reds because they were uncertain about the weather. Rain delayed Monday’s game by 21 minutes, but they were able to finish.

Samardzija and Hammel were traded Saturday to the Athletics, and the options included lefty Chris Rusin, who joined the team Saturday and pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief.

Tsuyoshi Wada will be added as the 26th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader, and start the night game. Travis Wood will start the first game.

Beeler made his Major League debut at Wrigley Field on June 28 against the Nationals, and gave up one unearned run on four hits over six innings. Hendricks, acquired from the Rangers in the 2012 Ryan Dempster trade, was 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts at Iowa. Thursday will be his Major League debut.

– Carrie Muskat

7/7 Cubs rotation

Nature could determine who starts for the Cubs this week. The Cubs have yet to announce who will start Wednesday or Thursday in the final two games of the four-day, five-game series against the Reds, which already includes a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. Rain was in the forecast, and that could alter the rotation.

The Cubs need to fill spots vacated by Saturday’s trade which sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics. Among the options are lefty Chris Rusin, who joined the team Saturday, and pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief.

“We’re going to wait [to announce] because there might be something with the weather here,” manager Rick Renteria said Monday. “We’ll play it close to the vest until we can actually move forward.”

Tsuyoshi Wada will be added as the 26th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader, and start the night game. Travis Wood was scheduled to start the first game. However, if Monday’s game was postponed because of rain, the Cubs might move Edwin Jackson to Tuesday, and Wood could start Wednesday. It’s all very fluid.

The Cubs could promote either Dallas Beeler or Kyle Hendricks, or both from Triple-A Iowa to fill Samardzija and Hammel’s spots. In Beeler’s Major League debut June 28 against the Nationals, he gave up one unearned run on four hits over six innings. Hendricks, acquired from the Rangers in the 2012 Ryan Dempster trade, was 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts at Iowa.

– Carrie Muskat

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