Rivas, Effross make it another day of debuts for Cubs

The Cubs now have used 63 players this season, adding to the team record.

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Alfonso Rivas had two hits in his MLB debut.


Sunday was another day of debuts for the Cubs, with first baseman Alfonso Rivas and reliever Scott Effross making their first big-league appearances.

Hitting eighth, Rivas singled on the first pitch he saw, added a double and could have had another extra-base hit if White Sox center fielder Luis Robert hadn’t run down his drive in the seventh inning.

Rivas had a .405 on-base percentage in 58 games at Triple-A Iowa, potentially giving the Cubs a contact-first option willing to take walks and spray the ball around the field.

‘‘I thought he really managed the plate well,’’ manager David Ross said.

Things didn’t go quite as well for Effross, who came on in the sixth and hit Leury Garcia with a pitch before giving up a two-run home run to Robert.

The Cubs now have used 63 players this season, adding to their team record. Rivas’ and Effross’ debuts made it 38 players to appear with the Cubs for the first time this season, surpassing the previous mark of 34 set in 2013.

Mills recovers

Coming off one of his worst starts, right-hander Alec Mills responded with one of his best Saturday.

Mills threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings in the Cubs’ 7-0 victory. He threw 59 of his 103 pitches for strikes and, according to Baseball Savant, used 37 sinkers and 31 four-seam fastballs to stymie an aggressive and powerful Sox lineup known to feast on those kinds of pitches.

‘‘It was one of those things where I’m going to pitch to my strengths,’’ Mills said Saturday. ‘‘I think I can locate the heater well, and I think I had that tonight.’’

Wisdom’s defense

Patrick Wisdom is making headlines with his power, but that isn’t the only way he has impressed Ross.

‘‘He’s playing great defense, as well,’’ Ross said. ‘‘There’s a lot to his game. He’s one of our better baserunners, in my opinion. I think there’s a lot to like there. He’s not a one-dimensional player. There’s a lot that he can do.’’

Wisdom has spent the bulk of his time at third base, where he made his 46th start Sunday, but he also has played first base, left field and right field. He has done well wherever he has played, pleasantly surprising Ross, who’s confident about moving Wisdom around the diamond, as needed.

‘‘I didn’t know a lot about his defense,’’ Ross said. ‘‘You hear different things about everybody. I don’t ever trust what is said until you get your eyes on him, get to see what real big-leaguers look like.’’

Wisdom ended the Sox’ fifth by making a diving play on a grounder by Andrew Vaughn.

Health updates

Ross said the Cubs still are working through what’s next for right-hander Adbert Alzolay, but ‘‘hopefully he’s back sooner rather than later.’’

Alzolay has been on the injured list since Aug. 14 with a strained left hamstring. Before the injury, Alzolay was 4-13 with a 5.16 ERA.

Shortstop Sergio Alcantara fouled a pitch off his right ankle in the fifth and left with a bruise. He was replaced in the bottom of the inning by Andrew Romine. X-rays were negative.

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