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Castro's extra work pays off in wild win

Shortstop snaps 0-for-9 skid with two-run single in Monday's win over Rox

CHICAGO -- About five hours before first pitch Monday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon, hitting coach John Mallee and Starlin Castro were in the batting cage on the field, trying to find a way to get the shortstop back on track. Castro entered the game against the Rockies batting .139 in July.

"I just wanted to go out there and reinforce what they've been talking about, show some confidence directly to Starlin," Maddon said. "It was a good workout and I like what [Castro] did. We'll see if he can carry it over into the game."

The session paid off as Castro snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a two-hit game in the Cubs' 9-8 come from behind win over the Rockies. He hit a two-run single in a six-run fourth, and added another single in the eighth. He was credited with an RBI when a run scored as he reached on an error in the sixth. It was Castro's first multi-RBI game since June 20 and first multi-hit game since July 2.

Maddon looked at video of Castro from last season when he batted .292. One of the drills Mallee had Castro do was swing a bat with one hand, then another. Maddon said it helps the hitter work on getting a more direct path to the ball.

Kyle Schwarber played one inning in left field on Sunday, and caught the only ball hit to him. The rookie may get more playing time there, Maddon said Monday.

"You saw him play one minute of outfield [Sunday]," Maddon said. "You might see him out there more often as we move along."

On days when Schwarber is not starting at catcher, he's working on outfield drills with coach Dave Martinez.

• Dallas Beeler will make his third big league start Tuesday against the Rockies. The right-hander previously filled in as the 26th man in doubleheaders on July 7 against the Cardinals and on July 22 against the Reds. So far, he's given up five earned runs on 10 hits over seven innings.

• Infielder Tommy La Stella was at Wrigley Field to work out with the Cubs before beginning a rehab assignment. He's been on the disabled list since April 9 with right rib cage inflammation. He was set to rejoin the team in early May, and then re-aggravated the injury in his last at-bat of a Minor League rehab game.

"I didn't anticipate anything like that happening," he said. "It's a tricky injury. I'm taking it slow and we're being over-cautious."

• Maddon isn't going to spend every second worrying about whether the Cubs will make a move by Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I'm not constantly texting [the front office] or on the phone, talking about this or that," Maddon said. "People really want to believe that's how it plays, but that's not how it plays. I got a great bike ride in today, actually."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Read More: Chicago Cubs, Starlin Castro, Kyle Schwarber, Dallas Beeler