Monday, July 2, 2012

Cubs beat the Braves 4-1 and win their 4th in a row for the first time this season; Ian Stewart and Ryan Dempster injury updates

The Cubs are in Atlanta for a four-game series against the Braves and started off the roadtrip on the right side by beating the Braves, 4-1 tonight at Turner Field.  This is the first time the Cubs have won four games in a row this season.

Jeff Samardzija started for the Cubs and allowed one run on four hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters, while walking one over seven innings pitched.  This is a nice change from the month of June, when Samardzija went 0-4 with a 10.41 earned-run average in five starts.

Jeff Samardzija threw a career-high 11 strikeouts in Monday's game against the Braves (photo from
First baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer since joining the Cubs in the fourth inning.  Third baseman Luis Valbuena hit the game-winning three-run double in the seventh inning.

Anthony Rizzo is congratulated by Alfonso Soriano after hitting his second homer with the Cubs on Monday (photo from Chicago Tribune)
In other Cubs news, third baseman Ian Stewart, who has been on the disabled list with a sore left wrist, is going to undergo surgery and will most likely be out for the rest of the season.  Stewart, who is regularly on Twitter, announced the news late Sunday through a tweet.

Outfielder David DeJesus was out of the lineup with a stiff neck tonight, but should be back Tuesday.

Ryan Dempster, who has also been on the disabled list since June 16th with a tight right lat, is expected to return to the starting rotation after the All-Star break.  Dempster threw 40 pitches off a mound today and Sveum said he doesn't expect him to go to the minor leagues for a rehab start.  "The kind of guy he is and how he knows his body and the command of his pitches, I think as long as the bullpen goes good and we have a simulated game, that'll be enough," Sveum said.

Dempster and Braves catcher Brian McCann met with families of children with 22q at Turner Field before today's game as part of the Dempster Family Foundation's effort to raise awareness of the disorder, which Dempster's daughter, Riley, was born with.  This is a wonderful charity, so please visit for more information.

Ryan Dempster and members of his Dempster Family Foundation at Turner Field on Monday (photo from on twitter)
Tomorrow the Cubs and Braves will play game two of the four-game series at 6:10pm CT.  Chris Volstad, who will be called up from Triple-A Iowa, will make his first start for the Cubs since May 17th.

Volstad was optioned to Iowa after starting the season with the Cubs with a 0-6 record and a 7.46 ERA.  After making eight starts at Iowa, Volstad is 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA.  We'll see if his time in Iowa has paid off.  It's expected that Casey Coleman will be optioned to Iowa in a corresponding move.

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