Reliever Codi Heuer ‘seems to be getting better every day’

Heuer has been working his way back from Tommy John surgery at Triple-A Iowa.

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Reliever Codi Heuer hasn’t pitched in the majors since the 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Reliever Codi Heuer hasn’t pitched in the majors since the 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

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Codi Heuer’s road back from Tommy John surgery continued with another rehab appearance for Triple-A Iowa on Saturday.

Cubs manager David Ross said he threw “really well.” In 1⅓ innings, Heuer struck out two and allowed no hits or runs against the Nashville Sounds.

“Getting to the back end of his rehab,” Ross said before the Cubs’ 8-5 loss Sunday to the Reds. “I think he still feels like he’s just a tick off and wants to lock in his mechanics and strike-throwing. Seems to be getting better every day. When he’s comfortable and his date’s up, I’m sure we’ll see him at some point soon after.”

The 6-5 right-hander was acquired with Nick Madrigal in the 2021 trade that sent Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox. A hard thrower who had a 3.56 ERA in 86 appearances in his first two major-league seasons, he would boost a bullpen that has struggled since mid-May.

“He’s had success at this level, right? And in a big market,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I think his mindset, his mentality will be really good for that group. The arm obviously is electric stuff when he’s in the zone when he’s healthy.”

Heuer is eligible to come off the injured list Monday. Ross said the next steps will be determined with Heuer.

1,000 club

Drew Smyly logged his 1,000th career inning with a scoreless first, neutralizing a one-out single with a double play.

But what ensued was the trusty southpaw’s roughest outing in nearly two months.

Smyly entered 5-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his previous nine starts but lasted only 4⅔ innings and was responsible for five earned runs.

It was the first time he allowed more than two runs since April 3, his first start of the season, when these same Reds tagged him for six runs in 4⅔ innings.

“OK, I guess,” Smyly said of his performance. “The Reds are a team that grinds people; they just grind the pitchers. They’re not going to slug you and hit a bunch of homers. But they don’t chase, they take their singles and they steal bases. You saw it all weekend.”

Breaking out

Patrick Wisdom snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a single Saturday, then supplied all of the Cubs’ offense Sunday.

After the Cubs fell behind 2-0 in the second inning, Wisdom belted a 424-foot three-run home run that nearly touched Waveland off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft. It was his first since May 10 after clubbing 12 homers in his first 33 games.

In the eighth inning, Wisdom connected again on a 371-foot blast that trimmed an 8-3 deficit to 8-5. He has three multihomer games this season.

“It felt good,’’ Wisdom said. ‘‘Made some adjustments and hit the ball forward. But it’s tough when you come out on the losing end.”

On the mend

Reliever Brad Boxberger, who has been out since May 13 with a strained forearm, played catch for the first time Sunday.

Center fielder Cody Bellinger (bruised knee) is progressing, Ross said, but not running yet. With seven home runs and an .830 OPS through 37 appearances, his bat has been missed since he got hurt May 15.

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