Maddon leaving Derby decision up to Bryant

Rookie All-Star intrigued by possibility of taking part in Monday's event

Maddon leaving Derby decision up to Bryant

CHICAGO -- Third baseman Kris Bryant, named to the National League All-Star team as a reserve on Monday, said he'd like to participate in the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon would prefer the rookie skip the event.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo, Bryant named All-Star reserves

Rizzo, Bryant named All-Star reserves

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' youth will be recognized at the All-Star Game, as Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant were named to the National League team on Monday.

The 25-year-old Rizzo, who will be making his second trip to the All-Star Game, was selected by the players, whereas Bryant was picked by Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Bryant is the first Cubs rookie to get the honor since Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome in 2008.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A milestone, but no win, for Lester

A milestone, but no win, for Lester

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester had more hits himself than the Cardinals did through six innings, but he and the Cubs couldn't shut down St. Louis completely.

Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly and Kolten Wong added an RBI single in the seventh to lift the Cardinals to a 6-0 rain-interrupted victory on Monday night over Lester and the Cubs, who dropped to 2-8 against their National League Central rivals.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

At long last, a hit for Lester

At long last, a hit for Lester

CHICAGO -- Lefty Jon Lester may have gotten his first hit, and he'll likely get a free beer, too, from former teammate John Lackey -- who served up the hit -- but he called the single "worthless" because the Cubs lost, 6-0.

Lester recorded his first Major League hit with an infield single off the Cardinals' Lackey in the second inning on Monday to end an 0-for-66 career hitless streak that began in 2006.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs and White Sox to honor legends Banks, Minoso

Cubs and White Sox to honor legends Banks, Minoso

CHICAGO -- The Cubs and the White Sox will honor their legends, Ernie Banks and Minnie Minoso, during the upcoming crosstown Interleague series by wearing throwback uniforms from the players' respective eras.

Both Banks and Minoso passed away this offseason.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hendricks does heavy lifting in shutout of Marlins

Hendricks does heavy lifting in shutout of Marlins

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' offense tallied just three hits on Sunday, but it proved to be enough for starter Kyle Hendricks in a 2-0 victory over the Marlins at Wrigley Field. Chicago took two of three games from Miami to improve to 4-1 in July.

Hendricks pitched 7 1/3 brilliant innings, allowing five hits while striking out six to pick up his fourth win of the season, and second in a row. It was just his fifth quality start in 16 outings, but the Cubs have now won 11 games at Wrigley when he starts.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

An illustrated guide to Anthony Rizzo's 17 HBPs

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An illustrated guide to Anthony Rizzo's 17 HBPs

Rizzo has been hit more than any other Major Leaguer this season. His 17 HBPs lead MLB, followed by three players tied at 11. Those 17 are a new career high (previously 15 in 2014) and it's not even the All-Star break. 

But regardless of why it's happening, it's prudent to answer one of the other five Ws: Where.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Candelario on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Brice fans 21 in 12 shutout frames; Conley allows one run in 13 innings

Candelario on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The Miami Marlins have been known to develop young pitching over the years. They've certainly gotten some help from the farm system this season, with prospects like Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino contributing to the rotation in 2015.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Richard gratified after long road back to bigs

Cubs newcomer appreciative of ovation after impressive debut, taking next assignment in stride

Richard gratified after long road back to bigs

CHICAGO -- Clayton Richard isn't sure what his next assignment will be for the Cubs, but after everything the left-hander has been through, he can handle it.

Richard picked up the win Saturday night in his first big league start since June 2013, giving up two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a 7-2 victory over the Marlins. The Cubs had acquired him Friday from the Pirates, taking advantage of a unique "upward mobility" clause in his contract. The deal required the Pirates to decide by June 30 whether they would put Richard on their 25-man roster, or he could sign with another team as long as it added the lefty to its big league roster.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This time, Bryant obtains grand slam baseball

Soler activated from disabled list; Rizzo gets well-deserved day off

This time, Bryant obtains grand slam baseball

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant wasn't able to get the ball from his first grand slam on June 17, which came off Indians outfielder-turned-pitcher David Murphy in the ninth inning of the Cubs' 17-0 win. The fan who retrieved that ball apparently wanted too much in exchange.

But Bryant had the grand slam ball in a case from Saturday night's game. This one was hit off the Marlins' Jarred Cosart in the second inning, and was his second homer of the game. No disrespect to Murphy, but is the second slam more legit since it came off a big league pitcher?

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's 2nd career slam his 2nd homer of night

Phenom is first Cubs rookie to hit two slams in a season since Billy Williams in '61

Bryant's 2nd career slam his 2nd homer of night

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant ignited the fireworks at Wrigley Field a little early in Saturday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins.

Within the first two innings, the rookie belted two home runs, including his second career grand slam, and drove in six runs. The effort was Bryant's second career multihomer game, and he now leads all Major League rookies as well as all Cubs players with 49 RBIs.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After absence, Richard steps in seamlessly

Lefty's quality start in first big league outing since 2013 a welcome sight to Cubs

After absence, Richard steps in seamlessly

CHICAGO -- After two left shoulder surgeries and not pitching in the Major Leagues since 2013, Clayton Richard couldn't help but smile on Saturday night. He was back in the big leagues in front of 37,898 at Wrigley Field and got the win.

"It was a lot of fun," Richard said. "I missed it."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remember Ditka singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game?

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Remember Ditka singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game?

NFL coaching legend Mike Ditka knows the one true secret to good singing. Sure, pitch and tone and whether or not you can hit a high "C" are important, technically. But if you want to turn in a riveting rendition of a song like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," all you need is … ENTHUSIASM.

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Bryant's 6 RBIs fuel Richard's victorious return

Bryant's 6 RBIs fuel Richard's victorious return

CHICAGO -- Rookie Kris Bryant celebrated the Fourth of July with a pair of home runs, including his second career grand slam, to back Clayton Richard's Chicago debut and power the Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Marlins on Saturday night.

Bryant belted a two-run homer in the first and his slam in the second, then made a brief curtain call to acknowledge the 37,898 fans at Wrigley FIeld. His six RBIs raised his season total to 49, tops among all Major League rookies.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

American hero Bryant wins July 4 with 2 HRs (1 slam)

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American hero Bryant wins July 4 with 2 HRs (1 slam)

"On the Fourth of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks giving us just enough light for a game. We played our best then because, I guess, we all felt like big leaguers." - Scotty Smalls, "The Sandlot"

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Concussion prompts Cubs to place Ross on DL

Third such injury of catcher's career leads club to recall Teagarden

Concussion prompts Cubs to place Ross on DL

CHICAGO -- Unfortunately for Cubs catcher David Ross, the symptoms of a concussion are all too familiar.

On Saturday, Ross was placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with a mild concussion. It's the third time he's been put on the DL because of a concussion.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell recalls 'whirlwind' year after megadeal

Infielder thankful to be part of Cubs on anniversary of blockbuster with A's

Russell recalls 'whirlwind' year after megadeal

CHICAGO -- The Fourth of July means more than fireworks for rookie Addison Russell. This year, the date marks the one-year anniversary of when the infielder was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs.

Russell, 21, posted on Twitter: "Happy 4th to everyone out there! July 4th is also the day @billy_mckinney and I became Cubbies #WeAreGood #missyabud"

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs deal for veteran left-hander Richard

Pittsburgh receives cash considerations as southpaw gets Saturday start

Cubs deal for veteran left-hander Richard

CHICAGO -- The Cubs acquired pitcher Clayton Richard from the Pirates for cash considerations on Friday, and the left-hander will start on Saturday against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Richard, 31, was a 2005 White Sox Draft pick, and has pitched in 147 games in the big leagues, making 129 starts. He's pitched for the White Sox and Padres, and this year was 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A Indianapolis.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs can't pick up steam for solid Hammel

Cubs can't pick up steam for solid Hammel

CHICAGO -- Christian Yelich hit a solo homer and Justin Bour clubbed his fourth blast in his past four games to power the Marlins to a 2-1 victory Friday, ending the Cubs' three-game win streak in front of 41,212 at Wrigley Field.

Bour's tie-breaking homer came with two outs in the sixth off starter Jason Hammel and landed in the basket rimming the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. The Cubs' starter had retired 14 in a row before the home run.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs use Caray video for 7th-inning stretch

Late iconic broadcaster leads fans in 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

Cubs use Caray video for 7th-inning stretch

CHICAGO -- Harry Caray sang the seventh-inning stretch again at Wrigley Field in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

The late Cubs broadcaster led the crowd of 41,212 in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" via a video on the new scoreboard at the 100-year-old ballpark.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zagunis, Pimentel win Cubs' monthly awards

Chicago acquires lefty Rondon, international slot No. 4 for catcher Lopez

Zagunis, Pimentel win Cubs' monthly awards

CHICAGO -- Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach outfielder Mark Zagunis and Triple-A Iowa right-handed pitcher Carlos Pimentel were named the Cubs' Minor League player and pitcher of the month for June, respectively.

Zagunis, 22, batted .326 with 23 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, four home runs, 16 RBIs and 14 walks in 26 games last month. He posted a .448 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging mark. In nine games from June 10-19, Zagunis hit .439 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta dominates 2 years after joining Cubs

Righty tosses eight stellar innings on anniversary of trade from Orioles

Arrieta dominates 2 years after joining Cubs

NEW YORK -- Two years ago to the day, Jake Arrieta left Baltimore a disappointing talent, a thinly bearded prospect that never panned out. There was potential in his formidable frame and rocket right arm -- he just couldn't command it, to ugly results. So when Chicago acquired him and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger, Arrieta was excited about the change of scenery.

"This is something that's going to do me a lot of good," he said then.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs bring Hot Doug's to Wrigley Field

Cubs bring Hot Doug's to Wrigley Field

CHICAGO -- Doug Sohn had come back from vacation after closing his famous Hot Doug's restaurant in October, thinking he was done for the time being with the business. Then Cubs owner Tom Ricketts sent him an email, and Sohn didn't hesitate to jump back into work.

On Friday, before the Cubs' 2-1 loss to the Marlins, the self-proclaimed owner of Hot Doug's "Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium" introduced three new hot dogs to add to Wrigley Field's growing concession offerings. Sohn's hot dog offerings are one of seven new offerings behind the bleachers, including traditional ballpark fare, barbeque, Italian and beverages.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers back Arrieta as Cubs sweep Mets

Homers back Arrieta as Cubs sweep Mets

NEW YORK -- The Cubs continued to dominate the Mets by finishing off a season sweep -- and their ninth consecutive win against the Queens club -- with a 6-1 win Thursday at Citi Field. The seven total runs were more than in the series' first two games combined.

Jake Arrieta was excellent in yet another day game, holding the Mets to a single run in eight innings. He picked up his eighth win of the season and lowered his season ERA in day games to 2.65. Jacob deGrom allowed four runs in a game for the first time since May 11, and just the third time this season. His second-inning run snapped a scoreless streak that had stretched to over two full games for the Mets.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Alden Woods is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs complete first 7-game sweep since 1885

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Cubs complete first 7-game sweep since 1885

Let's start by listing a few things that happened in the year 1885, and labeling them based on importance.

- Grover Cleveland succeeded Chester A. Arthur to become the 22nd President of the United States.

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Castro's hustle aids Cubs again in victory

Shortstop puts 'Respect the 90' rule to good use, results in go-ahead runs

Castro's hustle aids Cubs again in victory

NEW YORK -- Joe Maddon may seem like a laissez faire manager, thanks to his outgoing persona and penchant for clubhouse gimmicks. But the Cubs' quirky manager has one hard and fast rule, and it's stamped on the lineup card every day, including Chicago's 6-1 win over the Mets on Thursday.

"Respect the 90" it reads.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs' sweep of Mets a big step forward

Developing club overcomes obstacles, holds New York to one run in three games

Cubs' sweep of Mets a big step forward

NEW YORK -- If a veteran team with plenty of postseason experience hits a little skid, it doesn't trigger many alarms. When it happens to a young team trying to form its identity and prove its chops, it's more often viewed as an ominous sign.

A team like the Cubs, for example, who have a new manager and several touted prospects trying to establish themselves at the big league level, not to mention a seven-decade absence from the World Series.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.