Reporters probably should have some new questions to ask manager Lou Piniella when the Cubs return…
Cubs Team Report
The Cubs' lack of production lately was the impetus for the shuffle. In their final two games at Houston, the Cubs managed a total of two runs.
"We just shook it up a little bit," Piniella said. "See if it helps out."
To a degree it did, as the Cubs scored four runs in a 7-4 loss to the Twins. However, they had only six hits, with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
"We're going to try a few different things and see what happens," Piniella said. "We've stayed pretty constant for 60 games or so. It's time to change things around a little bit.
"I think basically, hitting wise, what you want to do is make contact. Your job is to make good contact. If you get a base hit, you get a base hit. I think going up there and saying to yourself, 'I've got to hit a double, or I've got to do this.' Just hit the ball hard, and wherever it goes, it goes."
TWINS 7, CUBS 4: RHP Randy Wells had his shortest outing of the season, lasting 3 2/3 innings and giving up seven hits and four runs. RF Milton Bradley had two hits, including a two-run double in the sixth.
--Bradley had two hits, but he lost a ball in the sun, was tagged out between second and third, and then threw a ball into the stands when only the second out of the eighth inning was recorded on Joe Mauer's sacrifice fly. Nick Punto scored, and Brendan Harris went from first to third on Bradley's gaffe, which did not cost the Cubs a run.
--Fukudome went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He was 5-for-29 on the just-concluded trip. "He's starting the spin that he had last year," manager Piniella said of the spinning swing Fukudome falls into at times. "He's not staying on the ball."
--RHP Rich Harden makes his first start Saturday since May 17. Harden has been on the DL since May 18 because of a mid-back strain. He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA lifetime against the Twins. INF Bobby Scales was optioned to Class AAA Iowa when Harden was activated from the DL.
--LF Alfonso Soriano moved from left field to second base in the ninth inning. It was the one-time second baseman's first game there this season. Soriano appeared once at second last year. Piniella brought Micah Hoffpauir into the game in the eighth and wanted to keep both his and Soriano's bats in the lineup. Hoffpauir played left in the ninth.
--1B Derrek Lee extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single. He also had two RBIs. Lee is 15-for-44 (.341) in the streak.
TENNESSEE 5, MOBILE 3 (CLASS AA)
At Mobile, Ala., the Smokies (27-35) collected 14 hits in the victory Friday. RF Tyler Colvin (3-for-4) paced the offense with three hits. 2B Tony Thomas (2-for-5, double), CF Jim Adduci (2-for-4, double, walk, two RBI, two stolen bases), and 1B Blake Lalli (2-for-4, RBI) all added two hits apiece. RHP Casey Coleman (6-2) started and scattered one run and five hits over seven innings. He struck out four batters and walked one, lowering his ERA to 2.73 through 12 starts. It was his fourth straight quality start. Coleman also helped his cause at the plate by going 2-for-3 with two singles, his first career base hits.
DAYTONA 6, FORT MYERS 1 (CLASS HIGH-A)
At Daytona Beach, the Cubs (28-28) collected nine hits in the victory Friday. SS Starlin Castro (3-for-5, two RBI) paced the offense with three hits and CF Jonathan Wyatt (2-for-4) added two hits. 1B Jovan Rosa (1-for-3, RBI) hit his team-leading 14th double. RHP Ryan Searle (5-4) started and scattered one run and four hits over 5 1/3 innings in the victory. He struck out five and walked three.
CLINTON 4, PEORIA 2 (CLASS-A)
At Clinton, Iowa, the Chiefs (30-29) were held to four hits en route to their sixth consecutive loss Friday. 1B Rebel Ridling (1-for-4, RBI) singled and has now hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He leads the Chiefs with 42 RBI and is batting .381 (16-for-42) in 11 games in June. RHP Justin Bristow returned from the disabled list and scattered one run and four hits over five innings in a no-decision. He struck out four batters and walked one.
At Des Moines, Class AAA Iowa's scheduled game against Omaha was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.
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