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Cubs notes: Not enough magic in Kawasaki’s return to clubhouse

Infielder Munenori Kawasaki rejoined the Cubs Saturday for a second big-league stint this year.

PITTSBURGH — The Cubs optioned rookie infielder Jeimer Candelario back to Class AAA Iowa and brought up Munenori Kawasaki for the final two games in Pittsburgh before the break.The veteran Kawasaki, and his big goofy personality, made an immediate impact in a clubhouse missing injured favorites Fowler and David Ross.

Kawasaki joked, clowned, hugged, danced and at one point spent close to a half hour wearing a haz-mat looking facemask (performance enhancing air filter?) while doing otherwise routine chores at his locker.

“One Kawasaki equals Ross plus Fowler?” Maddon mused.

Or at least one slump-busting clubhouse magician?

“And it was a lot more inexpensive and easier to find,” Maddon said.

It didn’t turn the Cubs’ fortunes on this night as the Pirates came from behind to beat the Cubs 12-6, with Kawasaki coming off the bench to finish the game at second base and grounding out in his only at-bat.

Notes: Maddon said the Cubs got enough positive feedback from the last evaluation on Jorge Soler’s injured hamstring that the outfielder could be ready for a rehab assignment soon after the break. … Jason Heyward produced his fourth multi-hit performance Saturday in six games since moving down to the No. 6 spot in the Cubs’ order. He’s 10-for-23 with four walks since the move. … Anthony Rizzo missed hitting for the cycle by a foot or two when his long drive to left in the eighth just missed going over the wall. He settled for his second double during a 4-for-5 game with eight total bases.