Kyle Hendricks leads Cubs to series win; Jorge Soler returns

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Chicago Cubs rookie Kyle Hendricks continued to deal on the mound despite the lack of offense behind him, but still managed to help put together a 2-0 shutout win over the Miami Marlins to claim the weekend series.

Joe Maddon‘s 25-year-old right-hander worked through 7 1/3 frames in the duel with veteran Mat Latos. It was great to see him duplicate his outing in New York while visiting the Mets considering how bad he was when the Los Angeles Dodgers were in town the last time he made a start at Wrigley Field.

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With Tsuyoshi Wada on the disabled list, Hendricks needs to keep up this performance to help balance out the starting rotation. There’s no doubt Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are going to be fishing around for some fresh arms to help out, so there’s a chance that he could end up being replaced if, or when he falls off the wagon.

He’s had more ups than downs this season but has shown the brighter side of his talents over his previous two starts. It would be disappointing to see him fall out of the rotation and into the bullpen or even being sent back to Triple-A Iowa if that ever becomes an option rather than shipping him off to another organization.

That’s what’s going to make the last half of the month interesting. Seeing who and what the Cubs are willing to give up in order to receive that extra boost either out on the field or on the mound to reach the next level as they prepare for a playoff push once the second half of the season begins next week.

They’re currently 8.5 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals but aren’t too far behind the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been red-hot as of late, going 7-3 over their last 10 games and also have themselves a two-game winning streak.

It was announced on Saturday that outfielder Jorge Soler would be returning to the lineup after missing a month of action due to an ankle injury. Matt Szczur didn’t do all that bad of a job filling in for Soler, but the Cubs needed to make room for the 23-year-old Cuban slugger which resulted in yet another trip to Triple-A for him.

Soler picked up the start in right field and would finish 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his batting average down to .260. I’m sure he was hoping to seek a little bit of redemption since he suffered the sprained ankle that kept him out of action while visiting the Miami Marlins back in early June.

Here’s more from around the league:

Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Finish Off Sweep of Giants‘ – District On Deck

Milwaukee Brewers: Three Former Brewers’ All-Star Starters‘ – Reviewing The Brew

Rumors: Atlanta Braves’ Cameron Maybin Fit For The Giants?‘ – Tomahawk Take

Minnesota Twins fall to the Kansas City Royals, 3-2 in Santana’s debut‘ – Puckett’s Pond

Chicago Cubs recap: Kyle Hendricks dominant in win‘ – Cubbies Crib 

Next: Reliving The Fowler/Valbuena Trade

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