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.

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. 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, 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.

Wada glad to see Mashi again at Citi Field

Fellow left-hander relates to Majors' first Japanese player

Wada glad to see Mashi again at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Injured Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada knew the name growing up, heard the stories and then followed in his footsteps. That's why it was a thrill for Wada to see Masanori Murakami again at Citi Field on Thursday before Chicago completed its three-game series with the Mets.

"I have respect for him because he was the first to play in this country. Also, he's a left-hander, so I relate to him that way," Wada said. "I had no idea that he was going to be here, but it's a lovely experience seeing him."

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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 reach deals with 5 of top 30 int'l prospects

Club land SS Perlaza, OF Estiwal, SS Ademan, C Amaya, 3B Martinez

Cubs reach deals with 5 of top 30 int'l prospects

The Cubs have resumed their role as one of the biggest players on the international market after a one-year hiatus.

According to industry sources, the Cubs have agreed to terms with shortstop Yonathan Perlaza, ranked No. 13 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, for $1.3 million, outfielder Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, ranked No. 16, for $2.5 million, shortstop Aramis Ademan, ranked No. 19, for $2 million, Panamanian catcher Miguel Amaya, ranked No. 25, for a deal worth $1.25 million and third baseman Christopher Martinez, ranked No. 28, for $1 million.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs outlast Mets, break through for win in 11

Cubs outlast Mets, break through for win in 11

NEW YORK -- It took 11 innings, multiple scoring chances (and nearly as many mistakes) before someone finally crossed home plate. That someone wound up being the Cubs, who waited until the 11th inning of their 2-0 win over the Mets on Wednesday before eking across the game's first runs.

Starlin Castro plated the go-ahead run at Citi Field with an infield single off Carlos Torres, who initially gave the Cubs life by walking leadoff man Dexter Fowler. Eight Cubs batted in the 11th, marking one of the few extended rallies for either side all night.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lester's crisp outing encouraging for Cubs

Lester's crisp outing encouraging for Cubs

NEW YORK -- Maybe the Mets were just what Jon Lester needed to get back on track.

Sure, Lester was long gone by the time the Cubs finally broke a scoreless tie and secured Wednesday's 2-0, 11-inning win at Citi Field. And true, none of Chicago's five relievers had much trouble carving through New York's lineup either. But the Cubs are nonetheless optimistic after Lester's best start in two months continued what is becoming a statistically impressive run by the team's starters.

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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.

Mets' squeeze try vs. Cubs turns bizarre

Mets' squeeze try vs. Cubs turns bizarre

NEW YORK -- Desperate to score runs, the Mets' struggle to do so turned ugly in the eighth inning of their 2-0, 11-inning loss to the Cubs on Wednesday, despite a controversial call working in their favor.

With one out and two men in scoring position in a scoreless game, Darrell Ceciliani attempted a suicide squeeze, but missed the bunt. Ruben Tejada, who was on third base at the start of the play, was caught halfway between there and home, prompting the Cubs to chase him back to third base.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Resting Russell, Bryant part of Cubs' plan

Resting Russell, Bryant part of Cubs' plan

NEW YORK -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon held second baseman Addison Russell out of the starting lineup Wednesday to provide the scuffling rookie with some time to rest his mind. But as the season progresses, Maddon said he plans on sitting Russell more often to preserve the youngster's body. He said off-days for Russell will be common and necessary, given his inexperience with the Major League workload.

Russell did enter the Cubs' 2-0, 11-inning win in the 10th as a pinch-hitter and remained in the game at second base. He walked and grounded out.

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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.

Rizzo's slide will make you believe in magic

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Rizzo's slide will make you believe in magic

The throw beat him to third base. Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy had the ball almost a full second before he started his slide. He was out. There's no way Anthony Rizzo would be safe on this double-steal on Wednesday night. Right? RIGHT?? Wrong.

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Hendricks leads way as Cubs blank Mets

Hendricks leads way as Cubs blank Mets

NEW YORK -- The Cubs evidently didn't need to increase their offensive output very much to end their losing streak, as one run was enough in their 1-0 win over the Mets on Tuesday at Citi Field. The Mets remained punchless themselves despite the return of infielder Daniel Murphy .

Kyle Hendricks allowed just three hits and a walk over six shutout innings, and Chicago's bullpen did the rest. That allowed the Cubs to snap their five-game losing streak while simultaneously bringing New York's four-game winning streak to a halt. The Cubs have won seven in a row against the Mets, and 10 of their last 12 dating back to last season.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Things the Cubs might do to augment pitching

Things the Cubs might do to augment pitching

NEW YORK -- Joe Maddon hatched the idea on the bus ride to the airport. A phone call was placed, and, voila! A magician appeared in the visiting clubhouse at Citi Field on Tuesday afternoon.

"We're always trying to create some magic around here," Maddon explained to reporters, "so why not bring a magician in?"

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pregame nap helps Szczur awaken Cubs

Pregame nap helps Szczur awaken Cubs

NEW YORK -- "Do you believe in magic?" That was the question blasting from manager Joe Maddon's office speakers -- in the form of The Lovin' Spoonful's 1965 hit -- after the Cubs needed just one trick to snap out of their recent offensive slumber enough to record a 1-0 win over the Mets on Tuesday at Citi Field.

"Whatever it takes," Maddon said, referencing the magician he hired to loosen up his players pregame. "We were definitely engaged the entire game."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Resurgence of Hendricks a boon to Cubs

Resurgence of Hendricks a boon to Cubs

NEW YORK -- While much of the national attention has been focused on the Cubs' touted position-player prospects -- Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell -- Kyle Hendricks was having a lot of success last season as a rookie starter.

Hendricks may not have gotten a lot of notoriety outside the Friendly Confines, but he was 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 13 starts, which was just another reason to believe the Cubs could contend.

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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.

Magic touch? Maddon keeps things light

Magic touch? Maddon keeps things light

NEW YORK -- Turns out baseball magic is more than just a cliché. On Monday when the Cubs arrived in New York, manager Joe Maddon turned myth into reality by bringing in an actual magician to perform for his struggling club.

"We were talking about how we needed some magic around here, so why not bring in a magician?" said Maddon, whose team has lost five straight.

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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 duo to compete in Pan American Games

Cubs duo to compete in Pan American Games

NEW YORK -- Two prospects will represent the Cubs' organization at the 17th Pan American Games, to be played in Ontario, Canada, from July 10-19.

Albert Almora, an outfielder, and Dan Vogelbach, a first baseman, were named to the United States team to be managed by Jim Tracy.

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

Motte: Cubs have Cardinals' unwavering spirit

After playing in St. Louis during title run, reliever said Chicago can similarly roll with punches

Motte: Cubs have Cardinals' unwavering spirit

CHICAGO -- Jason Motte knows all about how tough St. Louis is, having worn Cardinal red from 2008-14, but he said there's no secret formula to the Redbirds' success. The reliever also said the Cubs are showing signs of the same resilience.

Want examples of St. Louis' ability to bounce back? On Sept. 5, 2011, the Cardinals were 10 1/2 games out of first place, yet they regrouped and went on to win the World Series. In Game 5 of the '12 National League Division Series, St. Louis trailed Washington, 6-0, after three innings in a game ace Adam Wainwright had started.

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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.

Hammel: Location after delay was issue

Hammel: Location after delay was issue

ST. LOUIS -- Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel played catch in the tunnel, rode the stationary bike, and probably played a few video games during the lengthy one-hour, 43-minute rain delay in the middle of the second inning Sunday night against the Cardinals. That wasn't the problem.

"Honestly, I didn't feel any different," Hammel said of his before-and-after performances in the Cubs' 4-1 loss. "The difference before was I was dotting, and I couldn't get the ball at the knees after [the delay]. It was either a strikeout or a double. Missing with teams like this, gap-to-gap guys, they put good swings on the ball. It's hard to beat a team when you have guys trading places at second base all night long."

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Schwarber on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of Week

Schwarber on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of 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.

When Miguel Sano was hitting just .159 and slugging .381 in April, no one in the Twins organization was overly concerned. They knew the rust from having missed the 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery would be considerable, and fully expected him to return to the power-hitting corner infielder he was before the injury.

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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.

Cease returns to mound after Tommy John

11 months after surgery, Cubs No. 18 prospect looks to regain his mechanics

Cease returns to mound after Tommy John

TEMPE, Ariz. -- No draft pick is a sure thing, but when the Cubs selected Dylan Cease in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft they were taking a bigger gamble than most.

"I'm really grateful," Cease, the Cubs No. 18 prospect, said. "It was a big chance on their part. I'm very happy that they did."

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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.

Cubs can't solve Cards in series finale

Cubs can't solve Cards in series finale

ST. LOUIS -- After weathering two hours and 29 minutes' worth of rain delays, the Cardinals ran their winning streak to six by finishing off a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 4-1 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday night. The Cubs, who fell 11 1/2 games behind the National League Central leaders, have dropped five straight.

"The division games, obviously when the outcome is a win, you can put more distance between you [and a division opponent]," Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward said. "We had a great environment to play in tonight. Obviously, when it's Cardinals-Cubs, it's a lot of fun. The fans here at Busch always stick around."

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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 and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon: Cubs need 'mojo' back on offense

Maddon: Cubs need 'mojo' back on offense

ST. LOUIS -- Joe Maddon predicted this would happen. In Spring Training, the Cubs' manager said his team would endure a long losing stretch during the season, and on Sunday, it reached five games with a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals.

The good news?

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

Wada to DL; Ramirez activated, added to 'pen

Wada to DL; Ramirez activated, added to 'pen

ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs placed Tsuyoshi Wada on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, retroactive to June 23, with left deltoid inflammation, and activated right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez from the DL.

Ramirez has been sidelined since April 16 with right shoulder inflammation.

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