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Wrigley ready to open right-field bleachers

DETROIT -- When the Cubs return to Wrigley Field tonight to face the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT, the right-field bleachers will be open to fans for the first time this season. They've been under construction as part of the renovation project at the 100-year-old ballpark.

"It'll be great," Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler said Wednesday. "We had some unfinished business."

The left-field bleachers weren't ready until May, and that took some adjusting, outfielder Chris Coghlan said.

Video: [email protected]: Renovated bleachers open at Wrigley Field

"It was the craziest thing -- I've never played with nobody there," Coghlan said. "It's exciting for everybody -- the fans, the players, the ownership -- to be able to have the construction done and have a full crowd and rowdy and ready to go."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he can't wait for that "enveloping" feel of a full house.

"It's very close up, you can feel it," he said of Wrigley. "Saying all that, I really believe we have to make Wrigley our home-court advantage. We have to take advantage of winning there. We have the support and a tremendous vibe on a daily basis. We have to make hay when we get back there."

Extra bases

Edwin Jackson, who spent the last eight seasons as a starter, is still adjusting to his role as a reliever, but outings like Tuesday, when the Cubs right-hander went 3 2/3 innings against the Tigers, make it a little easier. Jackson was called on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, and he finished the game, giving up one run. The veteran said his goal was "damage control."

"I'd like to see him continue that trend," Maddon said of Jackson's outing. "That's what you always believe he's capable of doing. ... That's why you sign him originally, because you know that's in his abilities."

Tsuyoshi Wada struggled in his last start, and the Cubs also have former starter Travis Wood in the bullpen. Maddon said there are no plans to insert either Wood or Jackson into the rotation.

David Price will be a free agent after this season, and the Tigers pitcher does know Maddon well from their days together in Tampa Bay. Does that relationship matter for the left-hander?

"David and I are friends," Maddon said. "I've often said in the past -- he's one of the best teammates I've ever been around. This is something that's a process that has to be worked out, and I wish him the best with it. He's a unique individual."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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