Right-field bleachers open at Wrigley
Soriano likely to join Cubs after All-Star break
CHICAGO -- The right-field bleachers, which were under construction as part of the Wrigley Field renovation plan, opened Thursday night for the first time this season.
Dexter Fowler hit a solo home run into the renovated bleachers in the third inning of the Cubs' 6-3 win over the Reds.
"We're back to capacity," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The bleachers had to be updated to accommodate two new video scoreboards. There are still some finishing touches to be done in right, including painting, but at least there are fans in right field.
"It's nice to have people there," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said, "but once the game starts, you focus on what you have to do."
• Rafael Soriano, who signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs on June 9, is throwing at the team's Dominican Republic academy, and there is no timetable for the right-handed reliever to join the big league team. Maddon said to expect Soriano most likely after the All-Star break.
• The Cubs announced the July 5 game against the Marlins will start at 1:20 p.m. CT.
The start times for the Cubs' remaining games listed on the schedule as "to be determined" will be announced at a later date.
• Triple-A Iowa's Javier Baez leads all Pacific Coast League shortstops in the latest voting, which has reached the midway point, for the Triple-A All-Star Game. Baez's .314 batting average and 29 RBIs lead the Iowa Cubs this season. He also is tied for the team lead with eight home runs in 37 games. Baez is currently on the disabled list with a hand injury, sustained June 7.
Fan balloting accounts for one-third of the total vote in determining the starting lineups for the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played July 15 in Omaha.
• The Cubs have been very resilient this season. The two-game Interleague series in Detroit was a good example as the team was shut out on the road for the first time this season on Tuesday, then bounced back to score a season-high 12 runs on Wednesday in a 12-3 win.
"It just depends on whether your players have been raised by wolves or not," Maddon quipped. "If they had been, it becomes more difficult."