Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Chicago Cubs - PlayerWatch

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[May 22, 2014]  RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.70) makes his fourth start of the season and third on the road since coming off the disabled list on May 3. He did not figure in a decision in his last start (May 13) at St. Louis as the Cubs fell 4-3 in a 12-inning marathon. He allowed one earned run on four hits while walking five and striking out five in four innings of work. Arrieta is in his first full Cubs season since being acquired from Baltimore on July 2, 2013. He has not faced the Padres since 2010 as a rookie with the Orioles.

SS Starlin Castro was hitting 56 points better than last year's .245 average -- the worst of his career -- coming into Wednesday's series finale. Maybe it's been the move to cleanup batter, a new manager or a better attitude. Whatever the reason, Castro was hitting .326 (29-for-89) with 14 RBIs in his last 22 games since moving into the No. 4 lineup spot on April 25. He was 1-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday but was 0-for-6 on Wednesday against the Yankees.

RHP Jason Hammel took a hard liner to his pitching hand in the first inning of Tuesday's game against the Yankees. After a painful and off-target first warmup throw, Hammel felt well enough to continue and pitched through some soreness to record 5 2/3 innings and his fifth win of the season.

RHP Jeff Samardzija had another hard-luck outing as his two-season winless streak reached 16 games on Wednesday. Samardzija, who had a no-decision for the sixth time this season, threw 95 pitches in seven scoreless innings and scattered four hits while striking out three and walking two. The veteran right-hander, who remains 0-4, appeared on the verge of his first victory since Aug. 24, 2013, before the Yankees' ninth-inning rally. "He did everything he was supposed to do," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "It's no consolation to him that he doesn't go away with the victory but it doesn't take away from his efforts. I think his ERA went down today, too (to 1.46)."

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CF Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-5) had a sacrifice, scored a run and had his second triple in two days. He posted a triple in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Bonifacio's 50 hits are second best on the Cubs and he's batting .392 after 41 games, mostly as a leadoff batter. He remains one stolen base away from 150 for his career. His 11 steals this season rank sixth in the National League.

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