Pregame Notes: Jason Hammel takes ball for Chicago Cubs


After winning six-of-seven on their recent homestand, the Chicago Cubs open a three-game set against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on Tuesday night behind right-hander Jason Hammel, who has been an anchor for the pitching staff all season-long.

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Hammel (3-1, 3.11) will battle veteran right-hander James Shields, who signed a four-year, $75 million deal this offseason, adding to a busy offseason for the Padres and first-year GM A.J. Preller. So far this season, Shields carries a 5-0 record and a 3.91 ERA into Tuesday’s contest, as he looks to join a select group of pitchers with six wins.

The Cubs’ roster looks different for this series, as it marks the first game without catcher Welington Castillo, who was dealt to the Seattle Mariners earlier on Tuesday in exchange for right-hander Yoervis Medina, who was sent to Triple-A Iowa following the trade.

Futhermore, Mike Baxter, Tsuyoshi Wada and Junior Lake all joined the big league club ahead of the series opener in San Diego, giving manager Joe Maddon a bit more bench flexibility moving forward now that he doesn’t have three catchers taking up roster space.

First pitch is set for 9:10 p.m. CT at PETCO. WGN carries the television broadcast in the Chicagoland area, while WBBM 780 will have the radio call as Jason Hammel looks to pick up his fourth win of the season.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

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