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Chicago Cubs - PlayerWatch

LF Junior Lake's eighth career homer was his third in the first inning but his first leading off the game. It was the first leadoff homer by the Cubs since David DeJesus homered against Colorado on May 15 of last season.

Preview: Cubs at Cardinals

No one expects the Chicago Cubs to seriously contend in the tough Central Division, but it doesn't appear they'll be anywhere near the pushover that lost 197 games over the past two seasons. Chicago looks to make it two straight over the Cardinals when they visit St. Louis on Saturday in the second contest of a three-game series. The Cubs on Friday let a two-run lead slip away in the ninth inning before Welington Castillo's three-run homer gave Chicago a 6-3 victory in 11 innings.

Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 (11)

Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 (11): Welington Castillo belted a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the 11th inning as Chicago prevailed after blowing a lead in the ninth. Castillo drilled a 1-1 pitch well into the left-center seats off Trevor Rosenthal (0-1), who batted with two runners aboard and struck out to end the 10th. Justin Grimm (1-0) survived a pair of leadoff walks in the 10th to earn the victory while Hector Rondon worked around a two-out walk in the 11th to record his first career save.

Pirates 5, Cubs 4

Pirates 5, Cubs 4: Pedro Alvarez and Travis Snider homered to account for all the scoring in a five-run seventh inning as visiting Pittsburgh erased a 4-0 deficit to hand Chicago its seventh straight series loss.

Preview: Pirates at Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are undefeated in the final game of a series this season, but this time they're trying to do more than salvage the finale. The Cubs will go for their first series win of the year when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Chicago held on for a 7-5 victory Wednesday night despite surrendering five solo home runs to the Pirates, and the Cubs hope to notch their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Preview: Pirates at Cubs

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed three of four meetings with the Chicago Cubs this season, but they've been anything but dominant as all four contests have been decided by one run. The National League Central rivals go at it again Wednesday at Wrigley Field with the Pirates looking to lock up their third straight series win to start the season. Pittsburgh won 7-6 in Tuesday's opener despite a pair of home runs from Chicago's Starlin Castro.

Chicago Cubs - PlayerWatch

SS Javier Baez showed off a big bat Sunday after an explosive Saturday. The Cubs top prospect hit a pinch hit home run in the seventh inning to help Triple-A Iowa to a 4-2 victory over Memphis. The previous day he was ejected after arguing a called third strike and then got into a dugout altercation with C Eli Whiteside. "I was mad, he was mad, everybody was mad," Baez told the Des Moines Register. "We argued a little.

Preview: Pirates at Cubs

After playing three one-run games - including two that went to extra innings - to open the season, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates will square off again beginning Tuesday at Wrigley Field. The Pirates won two of three last week at PNC Park, limiting the Cubs to six runs but scoring only seven. Chicago's bats came to life in Sunday's 8-3 victory over Philadelphia as the Cubs matched their run output from their first five games combined.

Chicago Cubs - PlayerWatch

RHP Jake Arrieta had a solid performance Saturday with Double-A Tennessee as he struck out three, walked one and allowed no hits as part of a rehab assignment. He threw 42 pitches (28 strikes) and allowed an unearned run on a third-inning wild pitch. "He did real well," Renteria said. Arrieta remained on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21 . There's no timetable for his return to the Cubs. Arrieta was 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in nine starts with the Cubs in 2013.

Philadelphia Phillies - PlayerWatch

RHP A.J. Burnett gave up eight runs, including four earned Sunday against the Cubs. But Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Burnett's 5 2/3 innings weren't all that bad. "He seemed to struggle through the first three innings and then I thought he pitched better and found his fastball and better quality pitches the last three innings he was out there," Sandberg said. Burnett (0-1) suffered his first career loss at Wrigley Field after giving up six hits while striking out three and walking six. He's now 5-1 in six starts against the Cubs.
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