Montero, Coghlan homer in loss to D-backs

Montero, Coghlan homer in loss to D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Cubs will be happy to not see Paul Goldschmidt again until early September.

The D-backs first baseman hit an RBI single and a two-run home run Sunday to back Jeremy Hellickson and lead the D-backs to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Chase Field and take the series. Goldschmidt, now a career .383 batter against the Cubs, went 5-for-10 with two home runs in the three-game set.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can listen to her podcast. Jake Rill 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

Jim Duquette

Constructing the perfect Cubs-Mets trade

Constructing the perfect Cubs-Mets trade

Many evaluators -- myself included -- can see a good trade fit between two rising organizations, the Cubs and Mets.

In fact, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer recently acknowledged that the two sides have had ongoing dialogue to see if there is a good fit. The Cubs have stocked their system primarily with high-end position players -- including a number of shortstops -- but lack high-end pitching prospects. Meanwhile, the Mets have a plethora of elite young power arms but a hole at short.

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Jim Duquette is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant eager to catch up with boyhood rival Harper

Cubs rookie, Nats star played with and against each other in Vegas

Bryant eager to catch up with boyhood rival Harper

PHOENIX -- They played against each other and were teammates, starting when the pair were about 8 years old growing up in Las Vegas. On Monday, the Cubs' Kris Bryant and the Nationals' Bryce Harper will compete against each other at Wrigley Field in the first game of a three-game series.

"The thing that stands out to me is just how good he was and how much better he was than the competition," Bryant said Sunday of Harper, who starred at Las Vegas High School. "He was 11 years old and throwing 80 miles an hour off the mound. It was special to see that from a guy that young. He's obviously younger than I am, but watching him play, I was amazed. I knew he'd be doing what he's doing at this level someday."

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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.

Top prospect Schwarber progresses at plate

Cubs catcher still needs work on defense

Top prospect Schwarber progresses at plate

PHOENIX -- Kyle Schwarber may not be ready to catch in the big leagues, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon feels the youngster could help with his bat.

Schwarber, 22, ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's list of top Cubs prospects, was batting .296 at Double-A Tennessee with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs this season leading into Sunday. Maddon sees the catcher's offensive exploits when they're posted on the new video board at Wrigley Field.

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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.

Wada looks to shut down streaking Nats in opener

Wada looks to shut down streaking Nats in opener

Tanner Roark started 31 games for the Nationals in 2014, but has pitched out of the bullpen this season since the acquisition of Max Scherzer. Monday, the Illinois native will fill in for the injured Doug Fister and make his first start since last September.

Tsuyoshi Wada will take the ball for the Cubs. Wada dealt with a left groin strain for most of the spring, but tossed 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball against the Padres in his season debut on May 20.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo drives in six as Cubs snap D-backs' streak

Rizzo drives in six as Cubs snap D-backs' streak

PHOENIX -- Anthony Rizzo drove in six runs, including three on a game-winning home run with one out in the ninth inning to power the Cubs to a 9-6 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field.

Rizzo also hit a three-run double in the fifth, and the six RBIs matched his career high, set Sept. 16, 2012, against the Pirates. He delivered the tie-breaking homer off of D-backs reliever Enrique Burgos, launching a slider to right field.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can listen to her podcast. Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soler sets high standards for himself

Cubs rookie goes 2-for-4 Saturday, but says he's not satisfied

Soler sets high standards for himself

PHOENIX -- When the season began, Jorge Soler was the only rookie in the Cubs lineup. Now, he has company with the additions of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Who's the best rookie on the Cubs?

"Bryant," Soler said Saturday. "I see a lot of good things with Bryant and I think he can hit 30 home runs this year. Russell can be a good hitter for average. I like those two guys."

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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 says Rizzo is in 'class by himself'

Skipper praises young first basman after monster night at plate

Maddon says Rizzo is in 'class by himself'

PHOENIX -- Joe Maddon is seeing Anthony Rizzo on a day-to-day basis for the first time, and says the young first baseman is in a class by himself.

"He has high standards, really high standards for himself," Maddon said Saturday after Rizzo drove in six runs, including three on a game-winning home run in the ninth, to lift the Cubs to a 9-6 victory over the D-backs. "I've really enjoyed it. I've not seen that kind of play for this long."

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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's quality start marred by error

Cubs starter, manager stick up for Russell after miscue

Arrieta's quality start marred by error

PHOENIX -- Jake Arrieta wasn't happy with his outing Saturday against the D-backs, and had to not only battle himself, but overcome an error in the fifth.

The right-hander got a no-decision in the Cubs' come-from-behind 9-6 victory but did notch a quality start. He gave up six runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven.

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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 sticking with struggling Rondon

Cubs closer has had rough month, but has support of manager

Maddon sticking with struggling Rondon

PHOENIX -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon may use a different pitcher as the closer Saturday, but it has nothing to do with a lack of support for Hector Rondon.

Rondon blew his third save Friday, giving up a game-tying, two-run homer to the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt with two outs in the 10th inning. Arizona eventually won the game, 5-4, in 13 innings. Rondon was upset not just about Goldschmidt's homer but also A.J. Pollock's double, which set up 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's clutch RBI goes for naught in 13-inning loss

Bryant's clutch RBI goes for naught in 13-inning loss

PHOENIX -- Nick Ahmed's one-out single to left scored Tuffy Gosewisch to give the D-backs a 5-4 walk-off win over the Cubs in 13 innings Friday night at Chase Field.

The win was the fifth in a row for the D-backs, who got a one-out double by Gosewisch before Ahmed came through off Chicago reliever Zac Rosscup. The D-backs used eight relievers in the game, while the Cubs used seven in the longest game of the season for them.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lake's bunt ends Cubs' RISP drought

Fourth-inning hit ends skid at 31 straight at-bats

Lake's bunt ends Cubs' RISP drought

PHOENIX -- It had been a week since the Cubs got a hit with a runner in scoring position, but Junior Lake ended that in the fourth inning Friday night.

The Cubs began their game against the D-backs 0-for-27 over the last five games with RISP. The last player to deliver was Matt Szczur, who hit a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning May 15 against the Pirates.

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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.

Lester's futility at plate ties record for pitcher

Cubs ace also gets no-decision in 13-inning loss to D-backs

Lester's futility at plate ties record for pitcher

PHOENIX -- Jon Lester didn't get a win or a hit Friday night, but at least he's no longer trying to impress his new teammates.

The Cubs lefty did not get a decision Friday night in a 5-4, 13-inning loss at Chase Field.

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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.

Rondon continues May struggles in rough 10th

Cubs closer gives up two-out double and tying homer

Rondon continues May struggles in rough 10th

PHOENIX -- Cubs closer Hector Rondon had good velocity, and got ahead of two batters with two outs in the 10th inning, but his location was off, and it cost him.

The Cubs led, 4-2, with two outs in the 10th when Rondon served up a two-out double to A.J. Pollock, then a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt which tied the game. Both hits came when the Cubs pitcher got ahead in the count. The D-backs went on to win, 5-4, in 13 innings.

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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.

Montero unfamiliar with being visitor at Chase

Cubs catcher at former home field for first time in regular season

Montero unfamiliar with being visitor at Chase

PHOENIX -- Cubs catcher Miguel Montero got to sleep in his own bed Thursday night for the first time since Spring Training, but the former D-back found himself in unfamiliar surroundings in the visitors' clubhouse at Chase Field.

Montero was signed by the D-backs as a non-drafted free agent in 2001 and spent parts of eight seasons with Arizona before being dealt to the Cubs in December for a pair of Minor League pitchers.

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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.

Hendricks gets first win in emphatic fashion

Yields only five hits, fans seven in first complete game and shutout

Hendricks gets first win in emphatic fashion

SAN DIEGO -- No one needed a celebratory postgame beer shower more than Kyle Hendricks, who was finally able to party with his teammates on Thursday.

The young Cubs right-hander threw his first complete game and shutout, holding the Padres to five singles in a 3-0 victory at Petco Park.

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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 makes himself at home in San Diego

Cubs' top prospect belts two-run blast in first inning of series finale

Bryant makes himself at home in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant didn't play at Petco Park during his three years at the University of San Diego, but the Cubs' top prospect looked right at home Thursday night when he hit his fifth home run of the season.

"I'm glad [Bryant] was able to come through for the hometown crowd -- that was nice," manager Joe Maddon said after his club's 3-0 win vs. the Padres.

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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.

Complete command: Hendricks twirls gem

Complete command: Hendricks twirls gem

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant hit a two-run home run in the first inning and Kyle Hendricks threw his first career complete game and shutout Thursday as the Cubs defeated the Padres, 3-0, before a crowd of 30,021 at Petco Park.

"When you pitch like that, you'll win a lot of baseball games," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He was in command of himself, in command of the game. It was really fun to watch."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter 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.

Garlin's fandom for Cubs knows no bounds

Garlin's fandom for Cubs knows no bounds

SAN DIEGO -- Comedian Jeff Garlin sat in on Joe Maddon's pregame media session, and he revealed that catcher David Ross is under-used, new T-shirts are coming that say the actor is the Cubs' manager's best friend and he still has a grudge against Steve Garvey.

Asked what he thinks of the Cubs' bullpen, Garlin quipped: "I think the same thing Joe thinks."

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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.

Kris Bryant did Kris Bryant things to beat Padres

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Kris Bryant did Kris Bryant things to beat Padres

Kris Bryant started the 2015 season at Triple-A, ostensibly because he needed to work on his glove at the hot corner. Well, he's playing home games on the North Side, now and that glove is coming along nicely, though he didn't need it to show off his skills on Thursday.

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Credit Wada with a fine start to his season

Lefty fans 9, finds credit card on walk to dugout

Credit Wada with a fine start to his season

SAN DIEGO -- As Tsuyoshi Wada walked off the mound after the third inning, he stopped to pick up a credit card that was on the grass in foul territory. The left-hander didn't recognize the name on it and gave it to a security guard.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn't see what happened.

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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 bullpen seals the deal with brilliant display

Cubs bullpen seals the deal with brilliant display

SAN DIEGO -- At the beginning of the season, the Cubs bullpen was expected to be a strength, and on Wednesday night, it was. Five pitchers combined to shut down the Padres over 4 1/3 innings and help preserve the Cubs' 3-2 win.

"I think the bullpen is going to be fine," catcher Miguel Montero said. "The guys know they haven't thrown the ball the way they want to throw. We know they're pretty good, and sometimes they try a little bit too hard. They try too hard to manufacture the extra strikeouts. That's when you have to back off a little bit and say, 'Let me try a little bit less and let me concentrate on making a good pitch and not a nasty pitch.'"

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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 hold off Padres for 12th one-run victory

Cubs hold off Padres for 12th one-run victory

SAN DIEGO -- Tsuyoshi Wada struck out nine over 4 2/3 innings on Wednesday, and Kris Bryant knocked in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth as the Cubs edged the Padres, 3-2, at Petco Park.

For the Cubs (22-17), Dexter Fowler and Bryant drove in runs in the fifth off Padres pitcher Tyson Ross (2-4), who allowed three runs in seven innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. Bryant, who singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to nine games, now has 15 RBIs in his last 16 games.

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

Tsuyoshi Wada hid a credit card in his hat

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Tsuyoshi Wada hid a credit card in his hat

Ever wondered how baseball players make online purchases in the middle of games? I mean, how can someone wait for three hours or so when there's a flash sale on dog mullet wigs? (Sadly, a real thing.)

Well, wonder no more: They simply hide a credit card under their cap. Just watch Tsuyoshi Wada as he walks off the field after the third inning on Wednesday night and ... whoops. Secret's out. 

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Maddon's advice for Baez: 'Stay ready'

Cubs skipper pleased with current infield, but knows prospect's time will come

Maddon's advice for Baez: 'Stay ready'

SAN DIEGO -- During Spring Training, Cubs manager Joe Maddon raved about Javier Baez's defense at second base. After seeing his infield make three errors on Tuesday, could the team use Baez?

"Javy can make any defense better," Maddon said Wednesday. "I talked about that in camp -- I thought he was one of the finest young infielders I've seen, but I'm not displeased with anybody out there right now. Sometimes you just have to wait your opportunity, your turn.

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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.

Defensive miscues loom large in loss to Padres

Defensive miscues loom large in loss to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant overthrew Anthony Rizzo at first base. Starlin Castro muffed a ground ball that he normally catches. Addison Russell was aggressive but couldn't catch a fly ball in shallow center.

Three errors, and all three led to unearned runs to help the Padres beat the Cubs, 4-3, on Tuesday. Chicago's streak of errorless games was snapped at eight.

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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.