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Game of feet? Could be matter of days before Russell returns from DL

Addison Russell

PHILADELPHIA — By the time the Cubs visit Pittsburgh on Labor Day to start their next road trip, Addison Russell could be back at shortstop for the first time in a month.

Russell has battled injuries and off-the-field issues during a rough season.

But after a weekend of work, Russell’s ailing right foot is pain-free, and after a day to rest Sunday, he’ll be evaluated Monday to determine if he’s ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment.

“It’s trending in that direction,” manager Joe Maddon said. “There’ve been no setbacks. Everything’s been moving forward.”

Maddon said a “perfect world” rehab stretch would be no more than five days, allowing for at least one day off in the mix.

He said Russell will be eased back into the lineup at that point, with Javy Baez sharing time with him at short until Russell has rebuilt stamina and shown his foot can handle the daily pounding again.

Baez, who has started in Russell’s place this month, entered Saturday’s game hitting .306 with a .933 OPS in August.

Sixth sense?

Maddon doesn’t expect to use a sixth starter the rest of the way even after talking much of the season about the likelihood of doing that to mitigate workloads.

“I’m not seeing fatigue among anybody,” Maddon said, noting disabled-list stints this year for Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey and Jon Lester have amounted to plenty of rest for 60 percent of his rotation.

He left open the possibility of an exception to that: perhaps leaving Mike Montgomery in the rotation for a turn even when Lester (lat/shoulder) returns from the DL, probably next week.

Lester is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday, then have his status evaluated. The Cubs are six days into a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

Babe Rhys

Almost lost in the avalanche of Cubs runs that buried the Phillies was the continuing record pace of Phillies rookie slugger Rhys Hoskins.

Since making his big-league debut Aug. 10, Hoskins has 10 home runs, including a two-run shot in the first inning.

It was his second in as many games against the Cubs and tied Ryan Howard’s 12-year-old Phillies rookie record for homers in a month.

And this: He’s the first player in major-league history with 10 homers in his first 20 games. And Saturday was only his 17th game.

This and that

When Kris Bryant was hit by a pitch in the third inning, the Cubs tied the Pirates for most hit batters in the majors this season (71). The Cubs are the only team with three players in double figures: Anthony Rizzo (20), Bryant (12) and Jon Jay (11).

◆ Hendricks, who led off the Cubs’ seven-run seventh with a single and capped the scoring with a two-run double, became the first Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano in 2003 to get two hits in an inning.

◆ Jose Quintana, who gave up six runs in the first two innings of a loss Friday, is only 3-3 with a 5.31 ERA in seven starts since a brilliant Cubs debut in Baltimore on July 16. One big difference has been the command of a curveball that was unhittable in Baltimore and especially inconsistent this month.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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