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Cubs get Jason Heyward back from DL, still waiting for winning streak

Jason Heyward drives in the Cubs' first run of the game Tuesday in his return from the DL.

Seeking a sense of normalcy, if not a few more victories, the Cubs activated right fielder Jason Heyward from the disabled list Tuesday. For the first time since June 12, the team had both Heyward and Ben Zobrist in the lineup.

Zobrist (wrist) was activated from the DL over the weekend in Cincinnati.

“Our defense should be in pretty good shape with Jason back in right field,” said manager Joe Maddon, whose team fell back under .500 after a 6-5 loss to the Rays, leaving them with five games to play before the All-Star break. “It’s just about us playing our game.

“Of course you want to win games, and of course you’d like to finish strongly before the end of the first half. But more than anything, I just want several one-game winning streaks. And how do you do that? By playing the game properly.”

Heyward, who had been sidelined since suffering a bad cut on the heel of his throwing hand June 18 while making a sliding attempt at a foul pop on the warning track in Pittsburgh, drove in the Cubs’ first run with a one-out single in the second. He also walked in the sixth.

“I feel good. I don’t have anything that’s bothering me with it,” said Heyward, who went 3-for-4 with a walk in two minor-league rehab games with Class A South Bend in recent days. “It’s not looking normal, but it’s all good.”

Hendricks on horizon

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks threw from a mound for the first time since going on the DL on June 5 because of tendinitis in his hand and fared well.

Hendricks threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session and could go on a minor-league rehab assignment later this week.

Flurry of moves

The Heyward activation was one of four roster moves, including swapping right-handed reliever Felix Pena (optioned to Class AAA Iowa) for lefty Jack Leathersich — who returned to the majors for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery two years ago.

The Cubs claimed Leathersich, 26, off waivers from the Mets in 2015 while he was still recovering from surgery.

The Cubs see a greater need for the extra lefty based on the Rays’ roster of hitters, along with “some pertinent lefties” in the Brewers’ and Pirates’ lineups leading into the break.

Infielder Jeimer Candelario also was optioned back to Iowa.

This and that

The announced attendance of 42,046 marked the first regular-season crowd of at least 42,000 at Wrigley Field since July 13, 2013, a game against the Cardinals.

• When Maddon was informed the Rays had removed all images and references to him from his old home park of Tropicana Field, he said: “I don’t blame them. When you have new people in place, that’s who you put up on the walls.

“Personally, I prefer when my picture is not displayed somewhere, especially in post offices.”

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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