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Shark week: Red-hot Giants starter Jeff Samardzija talks football, baseball, Cubs and $ports$$

The former Notre Dame All-America receiver dishes on advising Kyler Murray to go with his heart and where his own heart lies with baseball and Chicago.

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Beware shouting fire (the manager) in a crowded playoff race, especially if you’re the Cubs

“It’s just crazy. It’s unfounded,” Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks said of swift and aggressive calls to fire manager Joe Maddon — in particular after back-to-back ninth-inning losses. “It looks a lot easier on the couch. ... We’re behind him all the way and everything he does for us. And sometimes there’s nothing he can do. It’s up to us.”

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Addison Russell returns from minors to shore up Cubs’ middle-infield depth

Russell will start at second Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Cubs optioned their best defensive center fielder, Albert Almora Jr., to Iowa to make room for Russell on the roster.

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Cubs recall Addison Russell, send Albert Almora Jr. to Class AAA Iowa

The team also activated reliever Brandon Kintzler from the injured list.

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Most crushing loss of year for Cubs as Bryce Harper hits walk-off grand slam for Phillies sweep

"That one is going to leave a mark," manager Joe Maddon said after Cubs blow a 5-0 lead in Philadelphia and suffer their fifth loss in the last six games.

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SS Javy Baez latest Cub felled by flu bug still making way through clubhouse

He was the second regular scratched from the lineup in as many days as the Cubs try to survive a long road trip.

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Anthony Rizzo’s message to Little League players: ‘Have fun, no matter what’ 

Anthony Rizzo surprised three Little League teams at the 2019 Canon Little League Baseball Minicamp by helping them run drills.

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Road rash: Cubs blow 3 1/2-game division lead in five games flat because of more road woes

Their 11-1 loss Wednesday to the Phillies sent them to their 12th consecutive non-winning road series and their 37th road loss overall, matching their highest total for a season under manager Joe Maddon.

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Jason Heyward scratched from Cubs’ lineup after ‘sharp pain’ in left knee, but he expects to avoid injured list

Heyward, who is having his best season with the Cubs, is expected to remain sidelined through Thursday, when the Cubs face left-hander Drew Smyly.

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Loss to Phillies puts Cubs back on same tired road

Despite a career-high 14 strikeouts by Jose Quintana and another big day at the plate by Nick Castellanos, the Cubs lost for the 25th time in their last 36 road games.

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Three key relievers ‘trending well’ toward returns to Cubs in next several days

Brandon Kintzler (pec) is expected back Friday, with closer Craig Kimbrel (knee) also expected back during the road trip and Steve Cishek (hip) soon after.

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‘Death became very real for me’: How Nick Castellanos got even better at life and baseball

The life-and-death summer of his father’s cancer scare took the Cubs’ new outfielder to a new place in his career and his closest relationships, he said. "I love how it changed me for the better," he said.

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Earlier starts on weeknights, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles highlight Cubs’ 2020 home schedule

Weeknight games before Memorial Day and after Labor Day will move up to 6:40 p.m. starts next season. The Cubs open the season with a three-game series in Milwaukee before returning home for their home opener March 30 against the Pirates.

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Cubs bridge troubled waters with comeback win over Reds to salvage rare series split on road

After outlasting Reds All-Star ace Luis Castillo, the Cubs scored four in the seventh — three on Kris Bryant’s homer off reliever Michael Lorenzen — in a 6-3 victory.

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Joe Maddon on Cubs future: ‘I believe that we’ll be together for a couple more years, at least’

The 65-year-old, lame-duck manager calls communication within the chain of command "spectacular" and said he doesn’t think the win-loss record and October results will be bottom-line factors in whether he’s offered an extension after the season.

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Stupid no more: Yasiel Puig’s rookie replacement clobbers Cubs with 3 home runs in Reds’ rout

Aristides Aquino went historic on the Cubs with homers in a record-tying three consecutive innings, his third, fourth and fifth in the first three games of this series.

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‘Nothing to be disappointed about,’ Cubs catcher Victor Caratini says after losing interim job twice

Caratini started four consecutive games behind the plate until the Cubs acquired Jonathan Lucroy to handle a large amount of the catching chores while Willson Contreras is on the IL. It was the second time in a month Caratini lost the chance to catch every day.

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This You Gotta See: A Baines lovefest, Lester goes back to drawing board, Bears visit Giants

Is Jon Lester really the Cubs’ ‘weakest link’? That’s what he called himself after his last start, a four-inning, 11-run debacle against the A’s. Hopefully, the big guy will at least try to pull himself together Sunday in Cincinnati.

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Cubs extra: Jason Heyward earning the big money in his most valuable season as a Cub

Quietly having one of the best seasons of his career, Jason Heyward’s value has only increased since embracing a turn in the troublesome leadoff spot and moving to center to make the Nick Castellanos acquisition a seamless fit defensively.

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Cubs lose another game on the road as long balls spoil Yu Darvish’s start

The Reds beat the Cubs 5-2, sending them to their 23rd loss in their last 33 road games.

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Ben Zobrist opening eyes in latest rehab stop

The 38-year-old Zobrist has homered in the first two games for advanced-A Myrtle Beach in his second minor-league stop as he tries to prepare to return to the Cubs in a few weeks after a long personal leave.

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Javy Baez, switch hitter? Cubs star bats lefty for first time in career during rout of Reds

Cubs All-Star shortstop Javy Baez batted left-handed in the ninth-inning of the Cubs’ 12-5 victory over the Reds on Thursday night.

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Jersey boys: Cubs fake home clubhouse vibe, open long trip with a 12-5 rout of Reds

Trying to turn around the second-worst road record in the National League, the Cubs hung home jerseys at their lockers Thursday in Cincinnati.

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On milestone birthday, Cubs cornerstone Anthony Rizzo mulls future in ‘cutthroat’ biz

Rizzo, who celebrated his birthday with a multi-hit game Thursday night, wants a multiyear contract extension but downplays any sense of urgency. "Winning cures all of that," he said.

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Sports media: Cubs might be served cold Dish in carriage talks

Dish Network’s threat to keep the 21 Fox regional sports networks out of its lineup doesn’t bode well for Marquee.

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Jose Quintana savoring 7-start pizza roll for Cubs

With Wednesday’s 10-1 win over the Athletics, the Cubs have won all seven of Quintana’s starts since the left-hander "ordered" a pizza from the bullpen in Cincinnati in June.

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Cubs thank Lucroy stars: Right player at right time available as Cubs sign C Jonathan Lucroy

"To kind of just fall into that and have a guy available of his stature, I think it’s unbelievable," pitcher Kyle Hendricks said after the Cubs signed the two-time All-Star just four days after losing starter Willson Contreras for more than a month to a hamstring injury.

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Cubs pounce to add catcher Jonathan Lucroy

A deal for the recently released Angels catcher was expected to be finalized by Wednesday afternoon.

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With a sputtering offense and a banged-up bullpen, Jon Lester’s performance is another worry for the Cubs

Jon Lester surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) and 10 hits in four innings in an 11-4 loss to the Athletics in one of the worst starts of his accomplished career.

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Pedro Strop activated; Brandon Kintzler put on injured list

Manager Joe Maddon said Kintzler has been ‘‘fabulous’’ and probably the Cubs’ most consistent reliever all season. Strop, meanwhile, has struggled.

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‘Salt’ in their wounds: Cubs’ pitching worries mount as Brandon Kintzler leaves game with sore pec after closer Craig Kimbrel goes on IL

The setup man finished the eighth in a 6-5 victory Monday over the A’s but couldn’t return to the mound as planned in the ninth. The team expects an update on his condition Tuesday.

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Cubs, Ben Zobrist mull next stop on comeback trail

Zobrist went 2-for-9 with a walk and run scored for Class A South Bend over the weekend in his first games since taking personal leave in May to take care of issues related to his pending divorce.

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Cubs without closer again, but catching more critical with Willson Contreras out at least a month

After trading away their depth in Martin Maldonado last week, the Cubs are scrambling to get "creative" and acquire another catcher after Contreras’ hamstring injury. Released Jonathan Lucroy is one target.

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Cubs put closer Craig Kimbrel on injured list; Willson Contreras will be out 4 weeks

Right knee inflammation will sideline the Cubs pitcher.