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Despite not playing, catcher Willson Contreras part of eventful Cubs day

Before the game, Contreras did more on-field work. During the game, he was ejected by second-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Ian Happ was called out on strikes, then tossed to end the fourth inning.

Willson Contreras is moving closer to a return to the Cubs’ lineup.
AP Photos

For a guy on the injured list, catcher Willson Contreras had an eventful day.

Before the game, Contreras did more on-field work. During the game, he was ejected by second-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Ian Happ was called out on strikes, then tossed to end the fourth inning.

Maddon said he made a point of not getting himself kicked out because the Cubs’ short bench would’ve led to further complications. But when he heard it was Wendelstedt and not plate umpire Vic Carapazza who ejected Contreras, that made it easier for him to stay in the game.

The short bench forced reliever Kyle Ryan to bat with two outs in the sixth. Ryan walked but eventually was thrown out trying to advance when a pitch squirted away from Nationals catcher Yan Gomes.

Davey on Joe

Maddon and Nationals manager Dave Martinez go way back. They worked together with the Rays and the Cubs before Martinez was hired to manage the Nationals after the 2017 season.

Maddon’s contract is up after the season, and he either will be a lame duck or a pending free agent, depending on your point of view. Martinez’s opinion is unambiguous.

‘‘Speaking personally, knowing Joe, I love him,’’ Martinez said. ‘‘I think he’s the best. So why wouldn’t you want the best back?’’

Hands off

Utility player Ben Zobrist was scheduled to play Saturday for Class AAA Iowa, with his next steps undetermined. Maddon is keeping out of the planning.

‘‘I don’t even know,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I have totally stayed out of that. So when the boys say he’s ready, he’s ready.’’

Rizzo departs

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy pinch-hit for Rizzo in the fifth, with Rizzo leaving because of tightness in his back. Maddon had no further update and didn’t know enough to say whether it was related to Rizzo’s past episodes with his back.