TONIGHT'S GAMES: The Iowa Cubs and Memphis Redbirds play games two and three of a five-game series over three days. The Redbirds are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. These are the sixth and seventh of nine games in seven days for the Cubs on this home stand. The Cubs are 3-2 on this home stand after winning the opening series against New Orleans.
CUBS COMEBACK FALLS SHORT: The Cubs rallied for a run in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the bases loaded when Angel Castro fanned Rafael Lopez to end the game and earn his first save of the season. Redbirds' starter John Gast (3-2) allowed one run and struck out six in six innings to earn the win. The Redbirds scored all three of their runs in the fifth inning. Randal Grichuk belted his 19th home run of the season to cap the Redbirds' scoring.
CHRIS CAN'T CATCH A BREAK: LH Chris Rusin posted his 13th quality start of the season last night. He worked eight innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He ranks tenth in the league with a 3.79 ERA (51ER/122.0IP) and third in innings pitched. Unfortunately, he also suffered his league-leading 11th loss that also set a career-high in that category.
QUALITY IS JOB ONE: The Cubs have posted a quality start in six of nine games since the All-Star Break and lead the league with 61 quality starts this season. This is the most for the Cubs since 2006 when the staff posted 73 quality starts for the year. Cubs' starters are 42-41 with a 3.69 ERA (258ER/630.0IP) for the year. Overall, the staff ranks second in the PCL with a 3.75 ERA (385ER/924.0IP) this year. Nashville leads the league and 3.60 (371ER/827.2IP). The franchise record for team ERA is 3.84 set in 1974. The Cubs are second in the league with a 3.23 ERA in July. Memphis leads the PCL at 2.87 in July.
MARCOS IN THE MIDDLE: RH Marcos Mateo pitched a scoreless inning last night, extending his scoreless streak to 9.2 innings over his last seven appearances. Mateo has lowered his ERA from 5.94 to 3.76 over this span. Since the All-Star Break, the Cubs' bullpen has posted a 2.00 ERA (6ER/27.0IP).
VS. REDBIRDS: The Redbirds lead this series 1-0 and lead 8-4 in the season series that has been marked by rain. The Redbirds won three-of-four at Principal Park to open the season. The Cubs went 2-1 at Auto Zone Park, April 11-13, but the last game was rained out. The Cubs and Redbirds endured over 10 hours of rain delays in a series at Memphis, May 27-30. Two games were postponed and one was suspended. The Redbirds won three-of-four, but the teams will make up the last game during this series. Last year, the Redbirds won the season series 10-6, but the teams split the eight games played at Principal Park. The Redbirds lead the all-time series 124-111, but the Cubs hold a 69-47 mark in Des Moines.
JAVY STAYS HOT: IF Javy Baez drove in the Cubs' first run with a sacrifice fly and doubled and scored the second run in the ninth inning last night. Baez has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games and is batting .316 (24-for-76) with eight doubles, six home runs, 14 runs scored, and 20 RBI during this stretch. He has hit safely in eight of nine games since the All-Star Break and is batting .389 (14-for-36) and is tied for second in the league with 12 RBI in this stretch.
PARKER RECALLED: The Chicago Cubs recalled Iowa closer Blake Parker today. Parker has no record, a 1.29 ERA (4ER/28.0IP), and a league-best 21 saves with Iowa this season. This will be his fourth stint with Chicago. The Cubs optioned RH Neil Ramirez to Iowa. Ramirez will be added to Iowa's active roster when he joins the team.
NEGRIN ACTIVATED: RH Yoanner Negrin has been activated from the disabled list and will start game two of tonight's double-header. Negrin's season information is on page three of the game notes.
FUJIKAWA ON REHAB: RH Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a perfect inning and struck out two on Wednesday in the second game of his Major League rehab assignment. Fujikawa joined the I-Cubs on July 21. In two appearances, he has allowed a run on two hits and struck out two in two innings. Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery last June after appearing in 12 games with Chicago. Prior to joining the I-Cubs this year, he made six rehab appearances between Rookie Mesa and single-A Kane County, and didn't allowed an earned run in 5.2 innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.