Thunderous bats lead Cubs' rainy win vs. M's

Thunderous bats lead Cubs' rainy win vs. M's

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester got plenty of offensive support and didn't need Aroldis Chapman's 100-mph help on Friday. Jason Heyward smacked a much-needed two-run homer, David Ross added a solo shot and Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run double to power a 14-hit onslaught and lead the Cubs to a 12-1 Interleague victory over the Mariners at Wrigley Field.

The game was stopped in the middle of the seventh inning because of rain and was delayed for 1 hour and 14 minutes before play resumed.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Heyward breaks out with HR in 3-RBI showing

Teammates rooting for outfielder, who launches 1st homer since June 11

Heyward breaks out with HR in 3-RBI showing

CHICAGO -- It's only one game, but Jason Heyward had to feel a sense of relief on Friday when he launched a two-run homer in the third inning of the Cubs' 12-1 romp over the Mariners at Wrigley Field. It was his first home run since June 11, but it possibly felt like his first of the season.

Heyward began the day last among qualifying National League players in slugging percentage at .315, and he had hit one homer at home. David Ross, the Cubs' 39-year-old catcher, hit his fifth at home in a six-run sixth inning.
 

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 aiming to bounce back vs. Miley, M's

Arrieta aiming to bounce back vs. Miley, M's

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta will be looking to get things turned around on Saturday as he faces Mariners lefty Wade Miley in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta is 12-4 with a 2.76 ERA on the season, but he's 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA over his past five outings, and the Cubs have lost his past four starts. Arrieta has been outstanding at home all year, however, where he's 4-2 with a 1.61 ERA in nine starts. Only one of his past five outings has been at Wrigley, and he threw seven innings of one-run ball on five hits in a 2-1 loss to the Mets.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jimenez among top prospect performers Friday

Cubs prospect hits first grand slam in four-hit effort; Rockies infielder hits timely homer

Jimenez among top prospect performers Friday

Another day, another monstrous offensive performance for Eloy Jimenez.

The Cubs' No. 3 prospect was at it again on Friday night as he delivered the first grand slam of his career as well as a pair of doubles in what was his third four-hit game of the season. Jimenez ultimately fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle, finishing 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four RBIs to power Class A South Bend past Lake County, 11-7.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pipeline preview: De La Cruz primed for full-season debut

Pipeline preview: De La Cruz primed for full-season debut

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Saturday's Minor League action:

Mejia streak watch: Indians No. 6 prospect Francisco Mejia aims to extend his 41-game hit streak as Lynchburg faces Winston-Salem at 6:30 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs activate Coghlan, send La Stella down

Cubs activate Coghlan, send La Stella down

CHICAGO -- Rather than trade for an outfielder, the Cubs were able to make an in-house move on Friday when they activated Chris Coghlan from the disabled list. Infielder Tommy La Stella was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the roster.

Coghlan was batting .155 in 70 games with the Cubs and A's before he went on the disabled list July 3 with a right rib cage strain.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Contreras appreciates experience catching Chapman

Rookie behind plate as hard-throwing, 'unbelievable pitcher' notches 4-out save Thursday

Contreras appreciates experience catching Chapman

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Willson Contreras got a lot of text messages from friends and family after Thursday's game. They all saw the rookie catch hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman and wanted to know what it was like.

"My family texted me, and everybody is like, 'It's incredible, it's unbelievable,'" Contreras said Friday. "Chapman is an unbelievable pitcher. He's amazing."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

4 outs, far out: Chapmania at Wrigley!

Lackey bests Sale as crosstown series ends in split

4 outs, far out: Chapmania at Wrigley!

CHICAGO -- Aroldis Chapman got the final four outs for his first save with the Cubs, and John Lackey outdueled Chris Sale on Thursday night to end the intracity series in a split decision, with each team able to brag that they defended home turf.

Lackey picked up the win, his first since June 8, as the Cubs edged the White Sox, 3-1, at Wrigley Field to close the Interleague series against their crosstown rivals and spoil Sale's bid for his Major League-leading 15th win.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen's new look lightens load for Lackey

Strop-Rondon-Chapman combo follows starter's 6 innings

Bullpen's new look lightens load for Lackey

CHICAGO -- Cubs starter John Lackey could've gone longer in the 3-1 win over the White Sox on Thursday night, but manager Joe Maddon took advantage of a National League moment in the sixth inning knowing his bullpen has changed with the addition of Aroldis Chapman.

"We've got what they call a three-headed monster now," Chicago's Dexter Fowler said. "Those guys cut the game down."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Contreras leads Cubs' Top 30 Prospects list

Rookie catcher No. 23 overall in Top 100

Contreras leads Cubs' Top 30 Prospects list

CHICAGO -- Catcher Willson Contreras replaced shortstop Gleyber Torres as the Cubs' No. 1 prospect in the latest Top 30 list, determined by MLB.com. Torres was dealt Monday to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal, and is now their No. 1 prospect.

Contreras, 24, was promoted to the Cubs on June 17 and made a splash by hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw two days later. He began the season No. 50 on MLB.com's Top 100 list. In the latest rankings, he is No. 23.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 relentless Rizzo teased Navarro as only an ex-teammate could

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A relentless Rizzo teased Navarro as only an ex-teammate could

Catcher Dioner Navarro is a member of the White Sox. Back in 2013, Navarro was a member of the Cubs, appearing in 93 games. Anthony Rizzo's tenure with the Cubs began in 2012. Therefore, the two of them were teammates in 2013. (Thanks, math class!). 

That important context is pretty much all you need to know to fully appreciate what went down in Thursday's matchup of the two Chicago clubs at Wrigley Field, won by the Cubs, 3-1. It might also help to recall Rizzo's penchant for playful shoves with opposing catchers, too. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

No shortage of teams who've won big as sellers

Cubs among several clubs that have dealt major talent, but quietly stockpiled key players for future success

No shortage of teams who've won big as sellers

Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are Nationals because the team formerly known as the Expos had a long run picking near the top of the Draft. Some think the Cubs followed that formula in the early years of the Theo Epstein regime.

They did land Kris Bryant with the second overall pick in 2013 and Kyle Schwarber with the fourth pick in '14, and those guys have helped the Cubs become one of the best teams in the Major Leagues. But an even bigger reason for the team's success is found in the moves made in July, not June.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon looks to build bond with Chapman

Cubs Notebook: Heyward frustrated with first-year funk; Soler nearly ready to return

Maddon looks to build bond with Chapman

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he knew Aroldis Chapman would be fine as soon as he threw his first pitch. Now, Maddon just needs to get to know the new Cubs closer.

On Wednesday night, Chapman lit up the scoreboard and excited the 41,000-plus at Wrigley Field when he fired a 101-mph strike to Jose Abreu in the ninth inning. Chapman, acquired Monday from the Yankees, retired the side, striking out two of the three batters he faced. His last pitch registered at 103 mph.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Kris Bryant catches first pitch on Express Day

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Kris Bryant catches first pitch on Express Day

Thursday was Express Day @ Wrigley Field before the all-Chicago showdown between the White Sox and Cubs, the culmination of an Instagram contest launched by the clothing company in June. The winner won a trip to Wrigley, hotel accommodations and a pretty sweet grand prize: Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to none other than Kris Bryant, seen here sporting some Express threads.

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Aroldis leaves Cubs in awe with perfect debut

New closer strikes out two of three White Sox in non-save situation

Aroldis leaves Cubs in awe with perfect debut

CHICAGO -- The 41,166 fans at Wrigley Field weren't the only ones eager to see the radar-gun readings from Aroldis Chapman in his Cubs debut. The Cubs' players and manager Joe Maddon were peeking, too.

Chapman didn't disappoint, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to preserve the Cubs' 8-1 Interleague win over the White Sox on Wednesday night. It may not have been a save situation, but everyone in the lower seating bowl of the ballpark was on their feet as soon as the left-hander entered.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

Cubs power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon's doorman won't have to take any grief from his White Sox friends, at least for one day. Kris Bryant hit a solo homer, Javier Baez smacked a tiebreaking two-run blast in the seventh and Addison Russell added his first career grand slam in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman had an impressive debut to lift the Cubs to an 8-1 Interleague victory over the White Sox on Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

Anthony Ranaudo gave White Sox fans something to cheer about in the fifth when he collected his first career hit and home run off Cubs starter Jason Hammel. Ranaudo threw five no-hit innings, which Bryant ended with his blast with one out in the sixth.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs host National Play Campaign at Wrigley

Event promotes importance of healthy lifestyle to youth baseball players

Cubs host National Play Campaign at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- It was the Cubs' training staff that delivered the big hit Wednesday morning at Wrigley Field as hosts of the National Play Campaign.

Nearly 30 local youth baseball players, ages 14-17, participated in the two-hour event that promotes the importance of children living a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Brian Corbin is a Real-Time correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rondon supports Chapman taking over as closer

Rondon supports Chapman taking over as closer

CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon talked to Hector Rondon, and the right-hander was just fine with relinquishing his role as the Cubs' closer so Aroldis Chapman could finish games. The Cubs acquired Chapman on Monday from the Yankees for four players, including top prospect Gleyber Torres, and the hard-throwing lefty will now anchor the bullpen.

"I think this opens [Rondon] up to just pitching and not trying to throw 97 [mph] on the edge all the time and being concerned if he makes a mistake with his slider," Maddon said Wednesday. "I think this will free him up a little bit. You may see a better level with Ronny. He was all for it and liked the idea."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Happ among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Happ among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aroldis arrives in Chicago with focus on wins

Fireballing closer expresses excitement in joining promising Cubs, having learned from past mistakes

Aroldis arrives in Chicago with focus on wins

CHICAGO -- Aroldis Chapman arrived on Tuesday, saying he's excited to join the Cubs and has learned from the mistakes he's made in the past, and he couldn't explain why he's throwing with more velocity this season.

"It feels very good to wear a Chicago Cubs uniform," Chapman said, sitting in the visitors' dugout at U.S. Cellular Field. "There's a lot of expectations here in Chicago, and I'm here to do my job and try to win a World Series."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Sox capitalize on Hendricks' few mistakes

Cubs starter points to a pair of faulty changeups as remarkable run comes to an end

Sox capitalize on Hendricks' few mistakes

CHICAGO -- Kyle Hendricks can tell when he throws a bad pitch, and on Tuesday night against the White Sox, the Cubs right-hander knew as soon as he released two changeups that the results would not be good.

Jose Abreu smacked one of those pitches for an RBI single in the first, and Adam Eaton hit the other for a solo homer to help the White Sox deal the Cubs a 3-0 loss and complete a sweep of Part I of the intracity Interleague series. The two teams square off at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 go quietly in South Side finale

Cubs go quietly in South Side finale

CHICAGO -- James Shields produced his sixth straight quality start and received a little offensive support from the White Sox, for a change, during a 3-0 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox swept the South Side portion of this four-game crosstown battle, doing so in front of 39,553 for their fourth straight victory, moving back to .500 at 50-50. The Cubs, who are 12-20 in their last 32 games, fell to 59-40.

Shields worked 7 2/3 brilliant innings, striking out five, walking four and allowing four hits. He had two jams to pitch out of in the second and the sixth, but otherwise, the Cubs never really pushed him. Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows Shields well, having managed him in Tampa Bay from 2006-12. He saw that Shields didn't want to come out of the game in the eighth.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 at DH day after hard slide into second

Maddon admires Rondon's handling of closer situation; Soler progressing in rehab

Bryant at DH day after hard slide into second

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant was the Cubs' designated hitter on Tuesday, although he wasn't exactly sure what to do.

"We don't DH a lot, so we don't have anybody to ask about it," Bryant said. "We'll see. Maybe I'll be good at it."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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 embrace arrival of electric closer

Maddon says entire team on board with Chapman trade

Cubs embrace arrival of electric closer

CHICAGO -- Hector Rondon may have been the happiest player in the visitors clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday, and he had just lost his job as the Cubs' closer with the arrival of Aroldis Chapman.

"I don't care if I pitch in the seventh, eighth, I just have to do my job," Rondon said. "I'm really happy."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

After pitching deals, what's left (field) for Cubs?

A's Reddick could be Epstein's focus now that Chapman, Nathan, Montgomery in tow

After pitching deals, what's left (field) for Cubs?

CHICAGO -- David Ross knew something was in the air. His Spidey senses told him Theo Epstein was up to something.

"If you know Theo and have been around him, when he feels like he has a chance to win, he's going to go for it,'' said Ross, the Cubs' 39-year-old catcher. "You knew in this city, this team, the product he's built around here, he was going to do something big. I felt it. I was just waiting to see what it was. It's a guy who throws 105 miles per hour, which has never been done before. That's pretty cool.''

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs rally back but can't hold off White Sox

Cubs rally back but can't hold off White Sox

CHICAGO -- The White Sox won Round 1 of the 2016 Crosstown Cup in walk-off fashion, 5-4, Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the third straight win overall for the South Siders, who lost a four-run lead but won it on Tyler Saladino's single to center to score J.B. Shuck, who singled to open the frame. It was also the White Sox third straight walk-off victory.

"It was just one of the those moments, really. Just trying to get a job done, really," Saladino said. "That's pretty much what everything is, but it was a lot of fun, a lot of energy there and it felt really good to get that done for the guys."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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, Montgomery lament missed location

Cubs' ace surrenders 3-run HR; lefty allows walk-off in 9th

Arrieta, Montgomery lament missed location

CHICAGO -- One pitch. That's all it took to spoil Jake Arrieta's outing.

With two outs and two on in the White Sox sixth, Todd Frazier launched an 0-1 slider from Arrieta to straightaway center, and the three-run homer opened a 4-0 lead over the Cubs. Arrieta did not get a decision as the Cubs rallied to tie the score in the ninth, then lost, 5-4, on a walk-off RBI single by Tyler Saladino.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.