Congrats to Starlin Castro for being named the NL player of the week for Aug. 1-7. In seven games, Castro led the majors with 17 hits, 10 runs and 25 total bases. He led the NL in batting, going 17-for-33 (.515). He also had an OBP of .543, a slugging of 758 and 7 RBI. The minor-league report has news of a 2-homer game yesterday by Brett Jackson at Class AAA Iowa. Would the Cubs make a waiver deal to trade Marlon Byrd and clear the way for Jackson?
The Cubs were on the field for extra hitting this afternoon. And then the rain hit. It’s still raining steadily at 5:45 p.m. Here is the lineup, if we get going:
With Castro having so much success hitting leadoff, manager Mike Quade said he’ll leave him there.
“Given the situation, given the way he’s performed, yeah,” Quade said. I think he’s the one viable option. If I play Campy, he would be, too. Campy can be such a good situational guy, too. He can bunt. We can hit-and-run with him.”
Brett Jackson has been leading off in Iowa. When and if he does come up, the Cubs would probably ease him into the lineup sixth or seventh with Castro remaining the leadoff hitter.
From the game notes: The Cubs have won their last two series. It’s the first time they’ve won consecutive series since the end of last season (San Diego and Houston). The Cubs won three straight series last Sept. 10-19, over Milwaukee (2-1), St. Louis (3-0) and Florida (3-0)…Castro has scored a run in nine straight games, dating to July 30. The last Cub to do that was Derrek Lee in September 2009. The last Cub with a run in 10 straight games was Mark DeRosa in May 2008…The Cubs have hit 15 homers in a season-high six straight games…Castro leads the NL with 150 hits and is on pace for 211.
Class AAA Iowa beat Sacramento 6-1, collecting 12 hits. Brett Jackson had 2 home runs, giving him 7 at Triple A. He was 2-for-3 with a walk, and he's hit safely in six of seven. According to the Des Moines Register, Jackson hit the second of the game from Sacramento's Travis Banwart over the wall in right. He also led off the eighth inning with a homer.
"I was looking for a fastball to jump on in my first at-bat, and got one," Jackson told the paper. "The second one, I was looking for something over the plate. He threw me a slider, I jumped on it and was able to put it out of the park."
Dave Bush, battling a blister problem, got the win with 5 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball. He's 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA. Scott Moore was 2-for-3 with his ninth homer. Steve Clevenger and Matt Spencer each was 2-for-4.
Carlton Smith, who came over in the Fukudome deal, pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief as did Blake Parker
"I thought the pitching was outstanding," manager Bill Dancy told the Register. "Bush had a blister, and we didn't want to take a chance with him. Smitty and Parker came in and shut the door."
Class AA Tennessee beat Huntsville 11-4. Trey McNutt worked 4 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 runs while walking 1 and striking out six. Jae-Hoon Ha was 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI. Blake Lalli had his eighth homer. Jim Adduci was 2-for-5, extending a hit streak to six games. Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI.
Class A Daytona beat Clearwater 8-6. Angel Guzman worked 1 inning and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs. Greg Rohan hit a pair of homers, giving him 6. Rohan, 25, was a 21st-rounder in 2009 out of Kent State. The right-handed batter opened at Peoria this year going .314/.368/.433 with 5 homers. At Daytona, he's at .373/.440/.716 in 18 games. Resurgent Logan Watkins was 3-for-5 with his 15th steal. Matt Szczur was 2-for-5 with a steal, and local boy Elliot Soto was 2-for-4. Dae-Eun Rhee got the win with 6 innings of relief, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs.
Peoria (A) won its third straight, 8-6 over Cedar Rapids. Northwestern's Eric Jokisch got the win, working 5.2 innings and giving up 5 hits and 3 runs, 2 earned. He's 8-3 with a 2.94 ERA. Jokisch, from downstate Virginia, Ill., is a lefty who throws strikes. The win was Jokisch's first since June 10.
"It felt good to get it out of the way," Jokisch told the Peoria Journal Star. "I've been on our hitters a little bit and they finally did it for me and us as a team. It was good to pitch with a lead."
Rubi Silva (.293) was 3-for-4. Richard Jones (309) was 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Boise (A) lost 2-0 to Tri-City. Willengton Cruz got a no-decision, working 5 innings and giving up 1 hit and no runs while walking four and striking out four. Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-4 with a steal.
Mesa lost 4-2 to the Angels. Brian Smith took the loss, working 2.2 innings and giving up 3 hits and 3 runs. Second baseman Marco Hernandez extended a hit streak to 14 games. Shortstop Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-4, a double and a triple Kyung-Min Na went 1-for-3 to extend a hit streak to five games.