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.

All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full rosters Monday

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

All-Star starters unveiled tonight, 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.

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.

Hendricks out to build on most recent start

Hendricks out to build on most recent start

Sunday's 2:20 p.m. ET series finale at Wrigley Field may come down to which starting pitcher recaptures his old form. Of late, the edge goes to Marlins right-hander Mat Latos, who is coming off an impressive June after a sluggish first two months.

The Cubs are hopeful Kyle Hendricks can enjoy a repeat performance of his last start, a win over the Mets at Citi Field. Despite the victory at New York, the right-hander had a rough go in June, posting a 4.78 ERA in the month, compared to a 2.81 ERA in May.

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

Cubs set to activate Soler for finale vs. Marlins

Cubs set to activate Soler for finale vs. Marlins

CHICAGO -- Outfielder Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 3 with a sprained left ankle, will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday and rejoin the Cubs. Soler played nine innings on Friday for Triple-A Iowa, participating in his fourth rehab game. Soler was 2-for-13 during his Minor League stint, but manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't that concerned about the statistics.

"I don't worry about that stuff," Maddon said before Saturday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins. "To me, it's a matter of, 'If he's healthy and he's seeing the ball, what does his timing look like?' Those are the kinds of things you're trying to get from the guys down there."

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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.

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.

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.