Fowler day to day; Bryant makes 1st RF start

Cubs outfielder sore after bearing brunt of multiple foul balls, questionable for LA series

Fowler day to day; Bryant makes 1st RF start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler said he may borrow catcher Miguel Montero's gear to protect himself in his next at-bat. In three games over three days, Fowler has taken a foul ball off his right hand, his left elbow and his right shin, and he did not start Thursday in the series finale against the Giants.

X-rays of Fowler's shin on Wednesday were negative, and his status for the upcoming series against the Dodgers is questionable.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Cubs have terrific tandem in Bryant, Russell

Left side of infield brings plenty of promise to Chicago's North Side

Cubs have terrific tandem in Bryant, Russell

SAN FRANCISCO -- The best left-side infield in the Majors came together at the non-waiver Trade Deadline when the Blue Jays acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and put him next to Josh Donaldson, a third baseman with few peers. Toronto has been ablaze ever since.

Looking down the road, it's hard to imagine a more exciting and productive tandem than what the Cubs have with Kris Bryant at third and Addison Russell at shortstop. Those of a certain age in Chicago might see shades of Ron Santo and Ernie Banks, basking in the North Side sun.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs' kids given tough test by veteran Giants

'It's a learning process,' Schwarber says of making adjustments

Cubs' kids given tough test by veteran Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- No matter how well the Cubs have played lately, they weren't going to go undefeated the rest of the season. And Wednesday's game showed how the rookies still have some growing up to do.

The Giants snapped the Cubs' six-game winning streak with a 4-2 win at AT&T Park, only Chicago's fifth loss in the last 26 games.

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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 held in check vs. Peavy, win streak snapped

Cubs held in check vs. Peavy, win streak snapped

SAN FRANCISCO -- Depleted in numbers but not in spirit, the San Francisco Giants reverted to their familiar combination for success, featuring plenty of pitching and just enough offense, to outlast the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, in a tense, taut Wednesday night encounter.

The Giants, who lost their previous five games against the Cubs this year, broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of sixth-inning runs off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks as Brandon Belt tripled and Buster Posey and Kelby Tomlinson both laced RBI doubles.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat 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.

Maddon: Castro could return to starting lineup

'The consistent, hard contact was really nice to see,' Cubs skipper says

Maddon: Castro could return to starting lineup

SAN FRANCISCO -- Starlin Castro, who lost his job as the Cubs starting shortstop, could work his way back into the every day lineup, manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday.

Castro had three hits Tuesday, and missed hitting for the cycle by a triple. He was in the lineup for Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Giants at second base and in the No. 2 spot for only the second time this season.

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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.

Three homers back Arrieta to 16th victory

Three homers back Arrieta to 16th victory

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jake Arrieta could be looking ahead and counting how many games he might win this season, but the Cubs right-hander is focused on posting a quality start, and it's paid off.

Arrieta became the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to reach 16 wins and Kyle Schwarber, Miguel Montero and Starlin Castro each homered to power the Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night. Chicago now has won 21 of its last 25 games.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat 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.

Adjustment helps Castro have big game

Cubs infielder, hoping to reclaim everyday role, falls triple shy of cycle

Adjustment helps Castro have big game

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Starlin Castro hit a ball to right field in the eighth inning Tuesday night, he was thinking triple. That's all that was missing after the Cubs shortstop had singled in the third, doubled in the fourth and homered in the sixth.

"Starlin had his best day of the year," manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs' 8-5 win over the Giants.

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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.

Strop draws smiles for pacing Bryant on HR

Strop draws smiles for pacing Bryant on HR

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pedro Strop was warming up in the bullpen when he heard the "boom" of Kris Bryant's bat in the ninth inning Monday. The Cubs reliever recognized the sound and knew he didn't have to worry about pitching any more that day.

Bryant hit a walk-off solo homer with two outs in the ninth to lift the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Indians at Wrigley Field. Check out the video because it shows Strop sprinting from the bullpen in time to run step for step with Bryant from third to home.

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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 mull speed options for postseason

Cubs mull speed options for postseason

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon isn't ready to name which starting pitcher would start the National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser but he is thinking ahead to what he wants for his postseason roster. The Cubs signed Quintin Berry and Emilio Bonifacio to Minor League contracts, and both reported to Triple-A Iowa. Both will be considered as extras on the bench for the postseason, specifically as pinch-runner options.

The Cubs could use some speed. Berry, 30, had 35 stolen bases in 106 games at Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

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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.

Jimenez stays hot for Emeralds with first multi-homer game

Cubs No. 13 prospect notches a hit in his sixth straight game for Class A Short Season Eugene

Jimenez stays hot for Emeralds with first multi-homer game

Cubs No. 13 prospect Eloy Jimenez refuses to cool down for Class A Short Season Eugene.

The 18-year-old left fielder went 2-for-4 with two homers (his first career multi-HR game) and three RBIs during Game 1 of a doubleheader against Spokane. The Emeralds prevailed, 5-1, and Jimenez has now collected at least one RBI in seven of his past eight games.

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

Bryant comes up clutch again

After homering twice Sunday, third baseman smashes walk-off shot vs. Indians

Bryant comes up clutch again

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant stepped up to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning, his team tied at 1 with Cleveland, but he wasn't thinking about hitting a home run to win the game. Really, he was thinking about hitting a fly ball.

The 23-year old had already flown out once in the game and entered 0-for-3 before his at-bat. This time, Bryant hit the first pitch he saw -- a curveball -- over the wall in right field to give the Cubs a 2-1 victory over the Indians on Monday at Wrigley Field.
 

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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.

Bryant's HR gives Cubs walk-off win vs. Tribe

Bryant's HR gives Cubs walk-off win vs. Tribe

CHICAGO -- On a day where both starters dazzled, Kris Bryant stole the show with a two-out, walk-off home run in the ninth inning as the Cubs defeated the Indians, 2-1, on Monday at Wrigley Field. Monday's game was a makeup of a game scheduled for June 15 that was postponed because of inclement weather.

It was the rookie third baseman's second career walk-off home run, pushing the Cubs 6 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco for the second Wild Card spot. Chicago picked up its 12th walk-off win of the season as it moved to a Major League best 20-4 since July 29.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber-Lester battle lives up to hype

Both aces notch strong outing, including Cubs' starter's 11-pitch at-bat

Kluber-Lester battle lives up to hype

CHICAGO -- Corey Kluber's focus is singular on the day he pitches. The ace of the Indians' rotation narrows his concern to each hitter who steps into the batter's box, and he doesn't bother to pay much attention to who is opposite him on the mound.

In the Indians' 2-1 loss to the Cubs on Monday afternoon, though, Kluber found himself in unique circumstances as an American League pitcher. In the third inning, Chicago left-hander Jon Lester -- proving to be a formidable foe on the hill for the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner -- was also giving Kluber a battle from the batter's box.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs place Motte, Soler on disabled list

La Stella, Rosscup recalled in corresponding moves

Cubs place Motte, Soler on disabled list

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' push for the postseason will be more difficult after right fielder Jorge Soler and reliever Jason Motte were both placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, Soler with a left oblique strain and Motte with a right shoulder strain.

Infielder Tommy La Stella and reliever Zac Rosscup were recalled from Triple-A Iowa in corresponding moves. La Stella started in Monday's 2-1 win over the Indians at second base and went 0-for-3.

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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.

Fowler bringing power while embracing leadoff

Veteran center fielder hits first of team's five homers, sets tone for rest of club

Fowler bringing power while embracing leadoff

CHICAGO -- Every time Dexter Fowler gets ready to bat, Cubs manager Joe Maddon stops him to say the same thing, to provide a gentle reminder: "You go, we go."

And in Sunday's 9-3 win over the Braves, when Fowler began the game with a leadoff home run, his team wasted little time following suit, just as his manager had explained to him.

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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.

Cubs' 5-HR game completes sweep of Braves

Cubs' 5-HR game completes sweep of Braves

CHICAGO -- Four Cubs homered -- including two from Kris Bryant -- while Jason Hammel allowed two runs across 6 1/3 innings as Chicago defeated the Braves, 9-3, on Sunday at Wrigley Field to complete the series sweep. It marks the fourth sweep for the Cubs this season, the first time they have accomplished such a feat since 1945.

Dexter Fowler, Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero all went long off Atlanta starter Matt Wisler, who allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Cubs totaled 12 home runs while completing a four-game sweep of the Braves for the first time since 1968.

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

Fan struck by ball at Wrigley transported to hospital

Fan struck by ball at Wrigley transported to hospital

CHICAGO -- A fan was struck by a foul ball during the Cubs' 9-3 win over the Braves on Sunday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs said the fan was conscious and transported to a local hospital for further examination.

Sitting just beyond the camera well on the first-base side of the field, the fan was struck by a line drive off rookie Kyle Schwarber's bat.

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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.

Maddon enjoys consistency with few off-days

Although little time to rest toward end of regular season, manager wants to focus on the day

Maddon enjoys consistency with few off-days

CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon calls this part of the year, the one after the Trade Deadline and before rosters expand, the one players have to "fight through." But the Cubs aren't getting much relief as they make that push to the end of the regular season.

Over the course of the next month, Chicago receives just two days off as it makes up games from earlier in the season. But that doesn't worry Maddon any more than it would in May or June, he says. In fact, he has the opposite feeling.

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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.

Back-to-back HRs lift Cubs to third straight win

Back-to-back HRs lift Cubs to third straight win

CHICAGO -- Miguel Montero and Jorge Soler greeted their former teammate Edwin Jackson by opening the eighth inning with back-to-back home runs, giving the Cubs a 9-7 comeback win over the Braves on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs moved five games in front of the Giants in the race to claim the National League's second Wild Card spot with their 28th comeback win of the season. After falling behind, 7-3, in the fifth inning, they steadily cut the deficit before Addison Russell tied it on a solo homer that was reviewed by the umpires. The Cubs produced the decisive blasts in the eighth at the expense of Jackson, the veteran right-hander that they released just after the All-Star break.

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

Russell's controversial game-tying HR looms large

Umpires' call stands after replay showed ball hitting fan above wall

Russell's controversial game-tying HR looms large

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell knew the wind had been blowing out at Wrigley Field since the Braves had come to town on Thursday. So when he hit a ball off Braves pitcher Matt Marksberry into center field in Saturday's 9-7 win against Atlanta, he knew it had a chance of landing in the stands.

He couldn't have predicted how close a call it would be, though, when a fan appeared to interfere with the ball as it headed toward the bleachers. But following a Crew Chief replay review, he was awarded a home run that proved crucial to the win.

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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.

Motte racking up wins out of the bullpen

Right-hander leads Majors with eight victories in relief

Motte racking up wins out of the bullpen

CHICAGO -- You wouldn't blame Jason Motte for savoring his 8-1 record after picking up the win against the Braves, or for giving his teammates in the rotation a hard time. After all, he leads the Majors in relief victories.

His teammate, starter Kyle Hendricks, noted Motte was "yelling about it" on Friday, but that isn't accurate, the reliever says. Because whenever he comes in and whatever his record is, Motte hasn't changed his approach on the mound.

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

Cubs score 4 unanswered to rally over Braves

Cubs score 4 unanswered to rally over Braves

CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan homered and the Cubs scored four unanswered runs to rally for a 5-3 victory over the Braves on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Chicago is now three games behind Pittsburgh for the first Wild Card spot in the National League.

"We know that if we're down in the score we're going to come back at some point, and that's part of the confidence, part of the winning attitude," said Cubs catcher Miguel Montero."It feels great."

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

Cubs' comeback gene on display in decisive 6th

Cubs' comeback gene on display in decisive 6th

CHICAGO -- It was a familiar feeling for the Cubs, who came from behind to win another contest. But this one didn't come with the dramatics of a ninth-inning rally or the flair of a home run. Really, it was simple and overlooked.

A two-run sixth inning capping a comeback from two down may not have attracted the same attention in Chicago's 5-3 win over the Braves on Friday at Wrigley Field, but it still had the same effect. And with 42 games remaining in the regular season and their first playoff berth since 2008 becoming more of a reality by the day, the Cubs know the value of that inning.

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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.

Maddon confident in September blueprint

Maddon confident in September blueprint

CHICAGO -- There are still 10 days before rosters expand and the Cubs begin calling up players to fill those spots. And manager Joe Maddon already has a plan in place for when that happens.

Granted, it's the same one he's used before. The approach, Maddon said, is a standard one that provides depth to areas he deems important. He isn't worried about overcrowding the clubhouse or bringing up a certain player unless that player fills a specific need. That's because when the roster grows to 40 men, he looks to add speed to his lineup, more arms for his bullpen and depth at catcher.

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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.

Arrieta first to 15 wins as Cubs rout Braves

Arrieta first to 15 wins as Cubs rout Braves

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo smacked a three-run homer in the third and Addison Russell added a solo shot in the fourth to back Jake Arrieta and power the Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the Braves on Thursday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Chris Coghlan drove in two runs to help Chicago stay four games behind Pittsburgh in the National League Wild Card standings. The Cubs, though, have bigger plans.

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Mark Bowman and Carrie Muskat are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hinske helps shape Rizzo into complete hitter

Cubs slugging first baseman credits coach for help against left-handers

Hinske helps shape Rizzo into complete hitter

CHICAGO -- In 2013, Anthony Rizzo batted .189 against left-handed pitchers. This year, the Cubs first baseman was batting .333. What's the difference? Give assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske credit.

"He deserves a lot of credit," Rizzo said. "Everything he says makes sense."

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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 exits early to get a breather

Cubs say star third baseman OK after fouling ball off foot early

Bryant exits early to get a breather

CHICAGO -- Cubs rookie Kris Bryant was removed from Thursday's game after five innings to take advantage of the lopsided score and give him a breather, and not because of an injury.

"He took a foul ball off his foot but the lead permitted us to [take him out of the game]," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Had it been a closer game, he would've been in the game."

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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.

Maddon shakes things up with American Legion week

Maddon shakes things up with American Legion week

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood and Kyle Schwarber arrived at Wrigley Field about 15 minutes before the clubhouse opened at 3 p.m. CT and had to wait. It's part of American Legion week, which is Cubs manager Joe Maddon's plan to freshen up the players and give them time to rest.

"This is a time when the players are a little bit tired, so they can come a little bit later," said Maddon, who has done this in the past, and almost always in mid-August.

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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.