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Tight back keeps Rizzo out of third straight game

Cubs first baseman expected back Tuesday for game vs. Team Italy
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo missed his third straight game Saturday because of tightness in his back, and is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday for an exhibition game against Team Italy.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't too concerned about Rizzo, who was scratched from Thursday's lineup and hasn't taken batting practice since.

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MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo missed his third straight game Saturday because of tightness in his back, and is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday for an exhibition game against Team Italy.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't too concerned about Rizzo, who was scratched from Thursday's lineup and hasn't taken batting practice since.

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Jeimer Candelario, who subbed for Rizzo at first base Saturday, missed hitting for the cycle by a home run. Candelario hit an RBI triple in the second, a double in the fourth, and a single in the sixth inning of the Cubs' 9-3 victory over the Dodgers.

Video: LAD@CHC: Candelario hits RBI triple, scores on error

Spring Training: Information | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

Javier Baez will join Team Puerto Rico on Monday to work out in Scottsdale before beginning play in the World Baseball Classic.

"Javy's definitely in that mental method of getting ready to play," Maddon said of the infielder. "He knows the games are coming up shortly. His at-bats are good."

Video: Childhood friends Baez, Lindor excited for Classic

Baez was expected to play second base for Puerto Rico, which opens play Friday against Venezuela in Jalisco, Mexico. Minor League outfielder John Andreoli will join Team Italy and pitcher Jim Henderson will play for Team Canada when the World Baseball Classic begins. Team Italy is in the same pool, and will play Mexico on Thursday. Canada faces the Dominican Republic in Miami on Thursday.

The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Jason Heyward went 0-for-2 with a walk Saturday, and now is 0-for-15 this spring. Maddon isn't concerned and says he likes Heyward's approach, adding "the results are eventually going to come." Heyward spent the offseason in Mesa reworking his swing after batting .230 last season.

• Saturday marked the first appearances for Cubs relievers Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards Jr. Edwards had the most efficient outing, striking out all three batters he faced. New Cubs closer Wade Davis is scheduled to make his first spring appearance Sunday.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Puerto Rico, Anthony Rizzo