Piniella plans to rest some of his regulars (AP)
With the Cubs in a bit of a schedule grind, manager Lou Piniella plans to rest some of his regulars. Instead of having Monday off, the Cubs will fly to Atlanta for a makeup game and then go to Detroit for a tough interleague series.
To that end, Piniella says he'd like to give a rest to shortstop Ryan Theriot, left fielder Alfonso Soriano and right fielder Milton Bradley.
But Piniella may be able to rest only two regulars because outfielder Reed Johnson has come up with a tight back and may not be able to play.
"The trip to Atlanta is a little bit of a toughie," Piniella said. "It's a one-day one. We obviously would have preferred to have the day off and just fly to Detroit and play three games there. What can you do?"
Both Bradley and Theriot are riding hitting streaks, but Soriano continues to be mired in a horrible slump, as his batting average has fallen to .224.
CUBS 6, INDIANS 2: Rookie RHP Randy Wells earned his first major league victory, working 6 2/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball. Rookie 3B Jake Fox had three RBIs, with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and a two-run double in the Cubs' four-run fifth. Kevin Gregg earned his 11th save.
--RHP Angel Guzman was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday with a right triceps strain. The ailment has bothered Guzman for about 10 days, but the Cubs said it's not serious. They recalled RHP Kevin Hart from Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines). Guzman said he could be ready within five or six days, but the Cubs didn't want to take a chance on overtaxing their bullpen. Hart was 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA at Iowa in 22 games, six starts. The Cubs will use him in middle relief.
--Johnson did not start Sunday because his back "locked up on him," according to Piniella. Johnson is day to day. Johnson has had back problems in the past, so the Cubs will keep an eye on this situation.
--Wells won his first career decision in his eighth start. Wells is 1-3 with an ERA of 2.57, but he's been victimized by some back luck in his earlier starts. "It was pretty nerve-wracking," said Wells of waiting out the victory after the bullpen took over. "I tried to stay in the weight room for most of it."
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Number of Cubs victories last week. All were walk-off wins at home and all were come-from behind victories.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's getting exciting around here. I think if you look at good teams' records, they do well in one-run ballgames. Winning these close ones is huge, and I think it's going to pay dividends for us coming down the stretch." -- First baseman Derrek Lee, on the Cubs getting four walk-off wins last week.
--Lee extended his hitting streak to 18 games, matching a career best he set in 2005. He has reached base safely in 28 straight games. Lee is 27-for-74 (.365) during the streak.
--Bradley extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a pair of doubles. Bradley hasn't homered since May 25, but he has his OBP up to a respectable .353.
--Theriot has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he's 9-for-29 (.310). Theriot has been up and down. He's working with new hitting coach Von Joshua on going to right field, something that made Theriot successful in the past. Theriot and Joshua worked together as Theriot was coming up through the minor league system.
IOWA 7, MEMPHIS 0 (CLASS AAA)
At Des Moines, the Cubs (38-33) out-hit the Redbirds, 10-6, Sunday for their second straight shutout victory. CF Sam Fuld (2-for-5, RBI) and C Steve Clevenger (2-for-3, three RBI) led the Cubs in hits. Fuld extended his hit streak to five games and now has 11 multi-hit games in June. Clevenger extended his hit streak to seven games. Iowa used four pitchers in the victory with LHP James Russell starting and tossing three scoreless innings, allowing three hits. RHP Justin Berg (3-1) got the win in relief with two scoreless innings.
TENNESSEE 8, CAROLINA 6 (CLASS AA)
At Sevierville, the Smokies (32-38) used four home runs in the victory Sunday to close out the first half of the Southern League season Sunday. 3B Marquez Smith (2-for-4) hit two home runs, and LF Russ Canzler (1-for-2, walk) and C Welington Castillo (1-for-3, walk) both homered as well. 2B Tony Thomas (2-for-5, RBI) and SS Jonathan Mota (2-for-5) finished with two hits. LHP Casey Lambert (5-5) started and picked up the victory, allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked one.
BURLINGTON 7, PEORIA 1 (CLASS HIGH-A)
At Peoria, the Bees snapped the Chiefs’ (38-31) eight-game win streak to close out the first half of the Midwest League season Sunday. C Michael Brenly (3-for-4) collected three hits for the third time in four games. DH Jose Made (2-for-4) added two hits. RHP Aaron Shafer (5-4) started and suffered the loss, allowing five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five batters and walked one.
TRI-CITY 12, BOISE 7 (CLASS LOW-A, SS)
At Boise, the Hawks (0-2) surrendered double-digit runs for the second straight night en route to the loss Sunday. Boise collected 12 hits total. LF Cliff Andersen (3-for-4, double, two RBI) and 3B George Matheus (3-for-4, RBI) paced the offense with three hits apiece. SS Hak-Ju Lee (2-for-4, double, RBI, walk) and OF Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-5, RBI), two notable Cubs signings from South Korea in 2008, had two hits apiece. RHP Mike Perconte (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs and two hits in two-thirds of an inning in relief. RHP Robert Hernandez started and pitched five innings, allowing one run and four hits. He struck out four batters and walked one. RHP Josh Lansford made his first appearance on the mound since converting from third base last fall. He allowed two runs and three hits in two innings.
CUBS 6, ANGELS 5 (ARIZONA ROOKIE LEAGUE)
At Mesa, the Cubs (1-0) scored three ninth-inning runs to win their season-opener Sunday. 3B Dwayne Kemp (2-for-5, triple, two RBI) singled in the winning run. 2B Derrick Fitzgerald (4-for-4, two doubles), LF Sean Williams (1-for-4), and SS Robert Bautista (2-for-4, three RBI) all had ninth-inning hits to key the rally. The Cubs used four pitchers with RHP Gorge Pineda (1-0) earning the win in relief with a scoreless ninth inning. RHP Toby Matchulat started and received a no-decision, tossing four scoreless innings and allowing two hits. He struck out four batters.