CHICAGO -- Addison Russell connected on two home runs and Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam to power the Cubs' offense in a 14-5 win over the D-backs on Friday at Wrigley Field. Rookie Javier Baez added his first home run of the season during an eight-run fifth inning in which 11 Cubs came to the plate.
Baez finished 3-for-4 on the day, Russell went 2-for-3 and scored three runs while Rizzo finished 2-for-3 in a game in which every batter in the Cubs' starting lineup scored. The offense backed starter Jon Lester, who allowed two runs over five innings and struck out three.
Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Right rib strain will sideline rookie at least through series vs. D-backs
By Greg Garno
CHICAGO -- The Cubs will be without rookie Kyle Schwarber for three to five days while he is treated for a mild right rib strain he sustained prior to Wednesday's 14-5 win, the team announced. Recently acquired outfielder Austin Jackson took his spot in the order Friday against the D-backs as Chris Coghlan filled the void in left field.
Schwarber, who has seen time at catcher and in left field, will miss this weekend's series against Arizona before being re-evaluated for Chicago's next series in St. Louis, where he could have a chance to play. Manager Joe Maddon said he didn't "feel like it's very severe," but also wasn't willing to take any chances with a month left in the season.
Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Shhh ... don't tell anyone the Cubs are for real
Young bats, top of the rotation and a little bit of magic are a winning combo
By Terence Moore
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This northern Indiana city is more associated with Notre Dame football than anything involving baseball. Still, as I drive through the little downtown, the latest reminder is to my right as to why this Cubs thing might be, could be, seems to be …
Arrieta follows no-hitter with matchup vs. D-backs
By Steve Gilbert
There will be no words of wisdom from Cubs manager Joe Maddon for Jake Arrieta before he takes the mound to face the D-backs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Arrieta, who threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers in his last start, will square off against Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray.
"Honestly, man, I don't say anything," Maddon said. "I know I can only mess somebody's head up. When somebody is going well, I really almost always refrain from having a conversation with that person because I can only mess that person up. I can't help them.
CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta planned to take part in a "spoxing" charity event at Wrigley Field on Thursday, then do his regular workout and maybe go for a bike ride along the lakefront with his wife, Brittany, and their two children. It's back to routine for the Cubs right-hander after the best pitching performance of his career.
Arrieta capped a stellar August with a no-hitter Sunday night against the Dodgers, striking out 12 to help the Cubs post a 2-0 win. He finished the month 6-0 with an 0.43 ERA in six starts, giving up two earned runs over 42 1/3 innings. Arrieta struck out 43, walked 10 and held batters to a .130 average. On Thursday, he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for August.
The Pirates have gone 23-12 since July 26, and all it has gained them against the Cardinals is one-half game in the standings. Perhaps the recent trend -- losing four in a row, including being swept in Milwaukee -- is somewhat understandable, as it must be draining to play so well and get so little out of it.
As for as the NL Central goes, the Cubs can certainly relate. They've gone 23-10 since July 29, and while it has established them as favorites for the second Wild Card spot, all it has gotten them in the division race is one game. They have gone from 11 1/2 back to 10 1/2 back.
Bryant, 23, had a slash line of .330/.422/.620 with a 1.042 OPS in 28 August games, launching seven home runs and driving in 20 runs to help the Cubs go 19-9 in August and open a 6 1/2-game lead for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Arrieta named NL Pitcher of the Month
Right-hander goes 6-0 with 0.43 ERA in August, capping month with no-hitter
By Spencer Fordin
Jake Arrieta won't forget August anytime soon. Arrieta was named the National League's Pitcher of the Month for August on Thursday in recognition of a month that saw him go 6-0 with an 0.43 ERA and a no-hitter to his credit. Chicago's ace currently leads all NL pitchers with 17 victories.
The right-hander held opposing hitters to a .130 batting average and a .196 on-base percentage last month, and he struck out 43 batters while walking just 10 in his six starts.
CHICAGO -- Joey Votto crushed a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth to power the Reds to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Chicago had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Kris Bryant's two-run home run, but Bryant's error helped keep Cincinnati's ninth alive.
Votto connected off Hector Rondon after Jason Bourgeois reached on an infield single and Jay Bruce was safe on a ball that went through Bryant's legs. With the win, the Reds won their first series since July 27-29 against the Cardinals.
CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant was ready when J.J. Hoover threw a curveball on the first pitch to him in the eighth inning Wednesday, connecting on his 22nd home run. And the Cubs rookie third baseman also was ready when the Reds' Jay Bruce rifled a ball at him with two outs and one on in the ninth, but the end result wasn't as good.
Bryant's homer tied the game, but he was charged with an error on Bruce's grounder, setting up Joey Votto's three-run go-ahead homer in the ninth in the Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Reds.
CHICAGO -- Rookie Kyle Schwarber was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with right rib soreness, which he felt while hitting in the batting cage prior to the game. He was to undergo an MRI as a precaution.
On Tuesday, Schwarber hit his 12th home run since being called up on July 17, which is second in the National League since the All-Star break. He was batting .255 since the break, with five doubles and 32 RBIs.
CHICAGO -- If all goes well, Jorge Soler could resume swinging a bat on Friday in hopes of returning to action before the Cubs' season ends.
The rookie outfielder went on the disabled list Aug. 24 with a left oblique strain, which he actually injured two days earlier. Soler said he felt something on his left side on Aug. 22, when he made a throw to second base in the sixth after the Braves' Andrelton Simmons had singled to right. But the pain wasn't enough for Soler to come out of the game.
CHICAGO -- Rookie Kyle Schwarber belted a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh and Kris Bryant drove in two runs to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night over the Reds for their second win in the last seven games.
"It was a really big win for us tonight," Chicago starter Dan Haren said. "We're down to 30 or so games left and every one is so important. It was really important to get that win."
CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber's two-run home run in the seventh inning was the game-winner for the Cubs in Tuesday night's 5-4 win over the Reds, but it was the rookie's walk in the fourth that got manager Joe Maddon excited.
Schwarber was 3-for-18 in five games on the Cubs' West Coast road trip, and Maddon had noticed the rookie was struggling. It's been his first funk.
Time stops for no one, but it can't stop baseball. The fact that baseball operates outside the normal constructs of the space-time continuum is what prompted MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to implement new pace-of-play measures at various levels of the game. It's also what makes an 18-inning postseason game so incredible.
CHICAGO -- Newly acquired outfielder Austin Jackson joined the Cubs at Wrigley Field for Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Reds, along with four players from Triple-A Iowa, including infielder Javier Baez.
Baez and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada were recalled from Iowa, and the Cubs selected the contracts of outfielder Quintin Berry and right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill. Jackson was acquired from the Mariners on Monday. Baez started at second base and went 0-for-4, while Jackson entered as a pinch-hitter and went 0-for-2.
CHICAGO -- The Cubs will have eight players take part in the Arizona Fall League, including three top 20 prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com -- pitchers Corey Black and Pierce Johnson and highly-regarded catcher Willson Contreras.
Other Cubs prospects who will play for the Mesa Solar Sox include pitchers David Garner and Rob Zastryzny, catcher Cael Brockmeyer, infielder Jeimer Candelario and outfielder Mark Zagunis. Brockmeyer was named to the taxi squad.
The Reds used five different pitchers in relief of starter Michael Lorenzen, who allowed five runs on six hits while striking five in a no-decision. Brandon Phillips and Ivan De Jesus each smacked RBI singles to back Lorenzen before he gave up four runs on four hits in the fifth inning.
Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his
blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen
to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Johnson among Cubs headed to Arizona Fall League
Phillies' Crawford, Cardinals' Reyes among Top 100 Prospects headed to desert
Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros are hoping to play deep into October. Regardless of their big league postseason fortunes, however, a group of select players from those organizations, as well as the other 28 in baseball, are guaranteed to be playing this fall.
That opportunity comes courtesy of the Arizona Fall League, which on Tuesday announced its preliminary rosters for the 2015 season. The campaign, the league's 24th, begins on Oct. 13 and runs through the championship game on Nov. 21. With all 30 organizations sending players to fill the six AFL teams' rosters, the league is once again providing one-stop shopping for prospect fans.
CHICAGO -- Looking for bench help for their postseason push, the Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson and a cash consideration from the Mariners for a player to be named later and international signing bonus slot No. 4, worth about $210,000. To make room for Jackson on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Olt has been designated for assignment.
A right-handed hitter, Jackson was batting .272 in 107 games with the Mariners and had 15 stolen bases. The five-year veteran has heated up over the last month, hitting .314 with a .339 on-base percentage across August. After finishing a double shy of the cycle in his last game on Sunday, Jackson now has 16 hits over his nine-game hitting streak.
Pregame ceremony for righty a night after tossing no-hitter
By Greg Garno
CHICAGO -- Nearly 24 hours after he threw his first career no-hitter, Jake Arrieta said the feeling still hadn't set in. About 300 text messages and a seemingly endless number of tweets later, the 29-year old was still processing his night in Los Angeles.
He was welcomed back to Chicago with a special ceremony to begin Monday's game against the Reds, receiving a framed jersey and pictures from his outing. Arrieta was there with his wife and two kids, before he tipped his cap to a standing ovation from the crowd.
LOS ANGELES -- Seven times in his final 18 starts of 2014, Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but it wasn't until Sunday night against the Dodgers that the Cubs right-hander finished the job. And it was deja vu for the Dodgers.
Arrieta threw his first career no-hitter to win his Major League-leading 17th game, and Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer to power the Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Dodgers, snapping a four-game Chicago losing streak. Arrieta struck out 12 in his 14th consecutive quality start and finished the month of August with a perfect 6-0 mark.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.
LOS ANGELES -- Kris Bryant found a Ninja Turtle onesie. Addison Russell has a bright green one. Starlin Castro was wearing a Mario Bros. pajama top and pants that match his son's. Dexter Fowler had a matching navy print top and bottom. A few players found camouflage-colored fleece onesies.
It's all part of Cubs manager Joe Maddon's "onesies" trip home. Players were encouraged to wear onesies or pajamas on the overnight flight from Los Angeles to Chicago Sunday night, and Maddon guessed he had 100 percent participation. Naturally, Maddon is prepared, too.