Starlin returns after taking bereavement leave

Starlin returns after taking bereavement leave

CINCINNATI -- Shortstop Starlin Castro returned to the Cubs and was in the starting lineup for their series opener against the Reds on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park after being on bereavement leave.

Castro went back to his native Dominican Republic to be with family following a car crash that killed a relative and three friends last Wednesday.

"He's doing fine. He was thankful to be able to go home and be with his family, just to put closure with his family member there," manager Rick Renteria said. "He said he's ready to go. He looks like he's in a good place."

"Losing people in your family is not easy," said first baseman Anthony Rizzo. "It's a reality check for everyone, not just for us, but everyone who knows him. One day you're here, and one day you're gone. It's life, and that's why you appreciate little things so much, because you just don't know what's going to happen at any time. ... It's just a tough time, and you just want to support him."

Castro went 2-for-4 in the Cubs' 3-0 victory.

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