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Caratini's first MLB homer a memorable one

Fill-in first baseman hits go-ahead home run in seventh inning vs. Brewers
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MILWAUKEE -- Willson Contreras had been using rookie Victor Caratini's bats after the All-Star break, and they seemed to help the second-year Cubs catcher get on a hot streak. So, when Caratini hit his first Major League home run on Sunday, whose bat was he using?

"Mine," Caratini said, smiling.

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MILWAUKEE -- Willson Contreras had been using rookie Victor Caratini's bats after the All-Star break, and they seemed to help the second-year Cubs catcher get on a hot streak. So, when Caratini hit his first Major League home run on Sunday, whose bat was he using?

"Mine," Caratini said, smiling.

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The rookie smacked a tie-breaking home run with one out in the seventh inning in the Cubs' 4-2 victory over the Brewers to help take the series and improve to 13-3 since the All-Star break.

Caratini, promoted from Triple-A Iowa when Miguel Montero was let go in late June, will likely cede the backup catcher job to Alex Avila, whom the Cubs acquired from the Tigers on Monday, along with left-handed reliever Justin Wilson.

"I think they'll do whatever they think is best," Rizzo said of the Cubs' front office. "If you ask everyone in here, we're really confident with our team to make a deep run. It's something we can't control. I think they'll do what's best for the organization short term and long term."

The Cubs already made a splash before the non-waiver Trade Deadline by acquiring starter Jose Quintana from the White Sox, but they had to deal four prospects, including outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who was ranked No. 1 at the time.

"I think whoever they bring in, if they do, it will definitely provide some more energy," third baseman Kris Bryant said. "I think you saw it when 'Q' got here -- it was someone who can help us win games. I didn't know we were even looking at 'Q' but we got him [and] I'm glad he's on our side -- I hated facing him."

Caratini, of course, would prefer to stick around. Cubs manager Joe Maddon has praised the rookie, and the only concern has been getting him enough playing time.

"He asks a lot of questions and he wants to learn," Rizzo said. "He's a big student of the game. He's really quiet but also a really good observer. He's been nice for us and he's learned a lot up here."

Caratini launched his home run to straightaway center off Brewers starter Zach Davies.

"It's a good feeling, a huge feeling," Caratini said through interpreter Henry Blanco. "It's my first career home run and I'm trying to help the team win. It feels amazing."

Asked if he was aware the Cubs were looking into adding a backup catcher, Caratini shrugged.

"I'm just going to go about my business and do whatever I can to stay here," he said. "That's out of my control. As long as I'm here, I'll keep working hard."

He did a good job in Rizzo's spot.

"Riz comes up a little bit stiff or sore today and we pick him up," Maddon said. "It's outstanding to watch us come together as a group."

Is Caratini trying to take Rizzo's job?

"No," Caratini said, smiling.

Blanco interrupted.

"The answer should be 'yes,'" Blanco said.

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, Victor Caratini