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Darvish exits with calf cramp after 4 innings

With righty returning from DL, Cubs make precautionary move to pull him
Special to MLB.com

ATLANTA -- After being activated from the disabled list Tuesday, Yu Darvish threw four innings of one-run ball in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park. He left after the fourth with cramping in his right calf.

"He came up and talked to me and wanted to go back out, but I said, 'No, I don't think that's wise,'" Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "And that's why I went and talked to the umpire to grab more time for [reliever Mike] Montgomery. I had to get Monty up quickly because of that, because I anticipated him going back out, but the guy, having been ill recently … He did a great job today, and that's why I did what I did."

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ATLANTA -- After being activated from the disabled list Tuesday, Yu Darvish threw four innings of one-run ball in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park. He left after the fourth with cramping in his right calf.

"He came up and talked to me and wanted to go back out, but I said, 'No, I don't think that's wise,'" Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "And that's why I went and talked to the umpire to grab more time for [reliever Mike] Montgomery. I had to get Monty up quickly because of that, because I anticipated him going back out, but the guy, having been ill recently … He did a great job today, and that's why I did what I did."

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Darvish, who was on the 10-day DL for flu-like symptoms, threw just 61 pitches Tuesday night, striking out five and walking two while scattering three hits, one of which was a solo homer by Ender Inciarte in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 1.

Darvish lost his previous start against the Braves on April 13, when he allowed four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.

To make room for Darvish, the Cubs optioned outfielder Mark Zagunis to Triple-A Iowa. A third-round pick in the 2014 Draft, Zagunis was called up May 9. The 25-year-old got his first career hit against Marlins righty Merandy Gonzalez after he was hitless in 14 at-bats during his brief stint in the Majors last season and went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Video: CHC@STL: Zobrist plates Heyward with an RBI single

Zobrist batting leadoff

For Tuesday's matchup against hard-throwing Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz, Maddon placed Ben Zobrist in the leadoff spot. The switch-hitter went 1-for-4 with a walk and the go-ahead single in the top of the ninth.

"I want to preserve him," Maddon said of Zobrist before Tuesday's game. "It's been working out really well, the matchups, when I've chosen not to play him, have been good for either Albert [Almora Jr.] or, like yesterday, was a good matchup for Tommy [La Stella]. So it's just worked out well. I do want to be frugal regarding using Zo' too often. He's just too valuable to beat up early. He gets it. He stays ready as well as anybody I've ever been around."

Zobrist is the seventh Cub used in the leadoff spot this season after Maddon used 11 different players there last season.

"It's always going to be in a state of flux," Maddon said. "It's just the way we're built. We're built to be versatile, that's who we are."

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish, Ben Zobrist