DeSclafani, Reds to take on Mills, Cubs
Cincinnati Reds (43-48, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (50-44, first in the NL Central)
Chicago; Tuesday, 8 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.26...
Cubs to take on Rockies on the road
Chicago Cubs (37-28, second in the NL Central) vs. Colorado Rockies (34-31, second in the NL West)
Denver; Tuesday, 8 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.77 ERA,...
How Kimbrel, Keuchel can help their new teams
Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel finally have jobs, and each also has a chance to affect the playoff race in the National League.
It was no surprise they both ended up with contenders....
Hendricks masters Cardinals again in Cubs’ 5-1 win
CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks doesn't believe he was sharp on Sunday night.
The Cardinals might beg to differ.
Hendricks tossed one-run ball over seven innings to continue his...
Mahle, Reds to face Darvish, Cubs on Saturday
Cincinnati Reds (23-27, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (29-20, first in the NL Central)
Chicago; Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Reds: Tyler Mahle (1-5, 3.51 ERA,...
CHICAGO (AP) — Eugenio Suárez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Cubs reliever Steve Cishek, rallying the Cincinnati Reds past Chicago 6-5 on Friday.
CHICAGO (AP) — Steve Cishek missed with his pitch location. Eugenio Suárez didn't miss with his swing.
Suárez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Cishek, one of the Cubs' more...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chicago Cubs had watched most of their five-run lead against the Washington Nationals dissipate by the time Steve Cishek entered Sunday night's game in the seventh...
Strop joins Morrow on sidelines as Maddon ponders closer
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has a strained right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow...
Lester pitches Cubs over Reds 1-0, Chicago maintains lead
CHICAGO (AP) — After seven dominant innings from Jon Lester, the Chicago Cubs turned to a closer-by-committee due to their loss of Pedro Strop.
Lester allowed two hits over seven innings with a season-high nine strikeouts, Willson Contreras hit a run-scoring single in the sixth inning and the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Saturday to maintain their NL Central lead.
LEADING OFF: Cubs lose their closer, Indians try to clinch
A look at what's happening around the majors today:
The Cubs will try a closer-by-committee approach down the stretch after learning Pedro Strop is out for the rest of the regular season because of a strained left hamstring. Strop, who had posted 11 saves since closer Brandon Morrow went on the disabled list in July, hurt himself trying to beat out a double-play grounder this week.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop to miss rest of regular season
CHICAGO (AP) — It looks like the back end of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen will be a big question mark down the stretch.
Pedro Strop will miss the rest of the regular season with a left hamstring strain, leaving the NL Central leaders with a closer-by-committee approach as they try to hold off the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
The team announced the injury after Strop underwent an MRI on Friday.
Scherzer, Harper help Nats sweep rainy doubleheader vs Cubs
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals outlasted the weather and the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night — and early Sunday.
Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Nationals rallied past the Cubs 6-5 to sweep a doubleheader delayed more than 3½ hours by rain.
Max Scherzer pitched a complete game and Washington took advantage of the sloppy Cubs for a 10-3 victory in the opener. By the end of a long night, Chicago's lead in the NL Central was down to 2½ games over Milwaukee.
Yelich beats throw to 1st in 9th, Brewers beat Cubs 4-3
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich drove in the winning run with the bases loaded in the ninth after beating a throw from third to avoid a double play, and the Milwaukee Brewers opened an important three-game series with the Chicago Cubs with a 4-3 win Monday.
Cabrera’s homer in 10th gives Phils 2-1 win over Cubs
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera provided the pop the Philadelphia Phillies expected when they acquired him last month.
Cabrera's solo home run with one out in the 10th lifted the Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night in a game played through steady rain.
Cabrera connected off Steve Cishek (4-2), driving an opposite-field shot to left-center to help the Phillies pull within two games of Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves lost 3-2 to Pittsburgh.
Schwarber, Rizzo homer, Cubs hold off Padres 5-4
CHICAGO (AP) — With the wind blowing out on a warm Saturday at Wrigley Field, the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs appeared to be headed for a wild finish.
Then Chicago's bullpen took over.
Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop combined for 3 1/3 perfect innings in relief of Kyle Hendricks, and the Cubs held off the Padres for a 5-4 win.
MLB willing to loosen spikes color code for players
WASHINGTON (AP) — Major League Baseball is willing to loosen the regulations for the color of players' spikes.
Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek wore black spikes in May despite a warning from Major League Baseball of violating a regulation requiring that at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player's shoes be the club's designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
Lester, Cubs 1-hit Pirates for 11th win in 13 games
CHICAGO (AP) — Jon Lester combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, and the Cubs took advantage of a first-inning slip by center fielder Starling Marte in a 2-0 victory Saturday over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago's 11th win in 13 games.
Lester (7-2) allowed a two-out triple in the third to Austin Meadows, then retired Starling Marte on a groundout. Lester struck out five and walked two in seven innings, improving to 5-1 in his past six starts.
CHICAGO (AP) — Ben Zobrist was joined by Chicago Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek in wearing black spikes on Monday despite a warning from Major League Baseball that he was in violation of the sport's uniform regulations.
Zobrist posted a letter from MLB on Instagram on Saturday that cited him for violating regulations requiring at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player's shoes be the club's designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez committed a costly error, and Kris Bryant booted a ball in the sixth inning. The Chicago Cubs bounced into a pair of double plays and managed just six hits.
It was still good enough. The pitching made it work — again.
Jon Lester grinded his way into the sixth inning, continuing an impressive stretch for Chicago's rotation and helping the Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Monday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.
National League Central capsules
Capsules of National League Central teams, listed in order of finish last year:
2017: 92-70, first place, lost to Dodgers in NLCS.
Manager: Joe Maddon (fourth season).
He's Here: RHP Yu Darvish, RHP Brandon Morrow, RHP Tyler Chatwood, RHP Steve Cishek, LHP Drew Smyly, C Chris Gimenez.
He's Outta Here: RHP Wade Davis, C Alex Avila, C Rene Rivera.
Cubs newcomer Morrow set to close in revamped bullpen
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Brandon Morrow has pitched in just about every role during his 11 seasons in the majors.
Except as a full-time closer for a championship contender.
That will change this year, as Morrow is expected to fill the spot for the Chicago Cubs. He is the most prominent addition to a revamped bullpen that saw the departures of Wade Davis, last year's closer, and Hector Rondon, who held the role in 2015 and part of the World Series-winning season of 2016.
NL Central teams at the start of spring training
A team-by-team look at the National League Central entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:
Manager: Joe Maddon (fourth season).
2017: 92-70, first place, lost to Dodgers in NLCS.
Training Town: Mesa, Arizona.
Park: Sloan Park.
First Workout: Feb. 14/19.
He's Here: RHP Brandon Morrow, RHP Tyler Chatwood, RHP Steve Cishek, LHP Drew Smyly.
AP source: Cubs, Duensing agree to $7 million, 2-year deal
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs bolstered their revamped bullpen on Wednesday, bringing back Brian Duensing with a $7 million, two-year contract.
Duensing returns to Chicago after signing a one-year deal with the Cubs last winter. The left-hander went 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 68 appearances last season.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because it is pending a physical.
Cubs finalize $13 million, 2-year deal with Steve Cishek
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs finalized their $13 million, two-year contract with side-arming reliever Steve Cishek.
The 31-year-old right-hander gets $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons under the agreement announced Saturday. His 2019 salary could escalate by up to $1 million: $250,000 each for 30, 40, 45 and 50 games as a pitcher next year.
AP source: Sidearm reliever Cishek, Cubs reach 2-year deal
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations says side-arming reliever Steve Cishek and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a two-year contract.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced.
NEW YORK (AP) — Last weekend, Sergio Romo was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dan Jennings the Chicago White Sox and Steve Cishek the Seattle Mariners.
On Sunday, they combined for three hitless innings for the Tampa Bay Rays in an example of baseball's latest fad: stacking bullpens for playoff pushes.
MCCULLERS STRONG IN RETURN FROM DL TO DOMINATE M’S
What happened: Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr was strong over five-plus innings in his return from the disabled list and the Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Mariners’ Walker, Cishek, Zych all undergo surgery
SEATTLE (AP) — Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker had surgery Monday to remove a bone fragment from his right ankle, one of three Seattle pitchers to undergo surgery since the end of the regular season.
Walker is expected to start rehabbing immediately and should be ready for the start of spring training. Walker was bothered in the second half of the season by ankle and foot issues, including a stint on the disabled list.
Cano hits 2 homers, Mariners tighten wild-card race, top A’s
SEATTLE (AP) — Robinson Cano hit two home runs, Taijuan Walker pitched six effective innings and the Seattle Mariners moved within one game of the second AL wild-card spot, beating the Oakland Athletics 5-1 Friday night.
Seattle, which has won seven of nine, is one game behind Toronto for the second spot. The Mariners also trail Detroit by a half-game.
Cruz homers twice, Mariners beat Twins 4-3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Cruz is playing a vital role in the Seattle Mariners' postseason drive.
Cruz homered twice before leaving with left wrist soreness, Jesus Sucre homered for the first time in 14 months and the Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Sunday.
Nick Vincent, Steve Cishek and Edwin Diaz combined for 3 2/3 innings of no-hit relief for Seattle, including Diaz's 17th save in 19 chances.
Hernandez, Zunino lead Mariners past Brewers 8-2
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle ace Felix Hernandez couldn't pick a better time to be regaining his form.
Hernandez pitched eight strong innings and Mike Zunino homered and drove in three runs to lift the Mariners to an 8-2 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday night, handing the Brewers their sixth straight loss.
Diaz replaces Cishek as Mariners closer
SEATTLE (AP) — Edwin Diaz will take over as the Seattle Mariners closer just two months removed from Double-A, replacing struggling Steve Cishek.
Manager Scott Servais announced the decision prior to a game Tuesday night against the Red Sox. Cishek blew a three-run lead Sunday in a loss to the Cubs then allowed a tiebreaking homer to Mookie Betts in the ninth inning of a loss against Boston on Monday night.
Diaz was promoted from Jackson on June 4 and has a 1.80...