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Heyward collects RBI in return to action

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and returned to the Cubs' lineup, finishing 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the second inning during the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Rays.

"Everything feels good," Heyward said Tuesday. "I don't have anything bothering me, nothing is open. It doesn't look normal but it's all good; good enough."

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and returned to the Cubs' lineup, finishing 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the second inning during the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Rays.

"Everything feels good," Heyward said Tuesday. "I don't have anything bothering me, nothing is open. It doesn't look normal but it's all good; good enough."

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Heyward scraped his left hand chasing a ball in foul territory at PNC Park on June 18. He played rehab games with Class A South Bend on Monday and Tuesday.

"It was good to get hits, good to get on base," Heyward said.

Kyle Schwarber continues to make progress at Triple-A Iowa, but there's no timetable for his return.

Schwarber was sent to Triple-A on June 21 after batting .171 in 64 games with the Cubs. Player development director Jaron Madison was with the Iowa team, and saw Schwarber's recent games.

"He's feeling really good," Madison said Tuesday. "His swing is way more balanced. He feels he's pretty close to where he wants to be. I wouldn't expect it to be too much longer. He still has some things to work on and get some at-bats. The at-bats I saw were in control and he was driving the ball the other way."

So far, Schwarber has hit four home runs, including three over the scoreboard in right and another to the opposite field. The Cubs didn't feel Schwarber needed to make any mechanical changes, just adjust his approach.

"It was just getting him back to who he was as a hitter, which was a really good hitter who has power," Madison said. "When he was here [with the Cubs], it looked like he was trying to hit for power and getting away from being a really good hitter. The mentality and approach was wrong, and it's just a matter of keeping his balance and getting him back to where he was his whole career."

Kyle Hendricks threw a bullpen session Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list June 5 with inflammation in his right hand. There is no timetable for his return.

Video: SF@CHC: Hendricks notches win in terrific outing

• The Cubs recalled lefty Jack Leathersich and optioned infielder Jeimer Candelario and reliever Felix Pena to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.

"[Leathersich] has been really killing it down there, he was on top of his game," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's a left-handed pitcher who is an elevated-fastball guy who can be effective on both sides of the plate."

Maddon said the Cubs wanted another lefty in the bullpen to go along with Brian Duensing against the Rays, Brewers and Pirates.

"I think more than anything Jack earned the promotion by the way he was throwing, but this particular series means you want lefty coverage," Maddon said.

Pena has not allowed a run in his last three outings, covering five innings.

"I told him, 'You did nothing wrong, you did everything right,' and sometimes that's a hard message for a young player to absorb," Maddon said. "The big thing for me to him is when he learns how to focus pitch per pitch and really makes his pitches -- his stuff is that good, it's just a matter of him throwing it where he wants to more consistently."

• The July 11 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be Maddon's second as manager. He managed the American League team in 2009. What does he remember from that experience?

"The fact that we won," Maddon said. "That game still mattered, it counted. The fact it was a National League game, and all the permutations in getting everybody involved, no [designated hitter], and trying to keep everybody happy, that was a real big concern of mine.

"It was primarily winning the game, and meeting President Obama," Maddon said. "I was the first guy in the receiving line walking in the clubhouse and we had a little conversation. It's a daunting experience. It's fun, it's good, it's wonderful, but there's a lot of responsibility. This one is a little different. I don't have to pick anybody, the league is chosing everything. I kind of like that a lot. It is an exhibition, so you can plot it out and play the game. There is a re-entry rule which is good. There's a lot of good things about it that takes the onus off. It's a different experience based on not having to win the game."

Maddon was not surprised that there weren't more Cubs players on the NL All-Star roster.

"I can't defend my guys based on other guys who made the team," Maddon said. "Just look at the numbers purely, plus our injury factor, there's no way for me to make a strong argument. As much as you want to promote your own guys -- and I would, and I do -- when it came down to it, when you look at the numbers head to head, it was hard for me to make an argument."

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, Jason Heyward