Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-5 on Friday night, with a double, triple and 3 RBI.
It did the Cubs no good, though, because Rizzo was playing against the Round Rock Express in Texas.
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The Cubs were in Arizona and could have used a little more offense in a 6-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.
The Rizzo Watch was enhanced for this road trip because it's widely believed Friday is when the Cubs could call up the slugging first baseman without having to worry about an unfriendly major-league length of service. If Rizzo was promoted from Triple A Iowa earlier this season, he could become a free agent in 2017 instead of 2018.
Rizzo is now batting .355 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 67 games for Iowa and it would make sense to bring him up while the Cubs are on the road, considering how high the hype has risen. But manager Dale Sveum told reporters in Phoenix not to expect Rizzo this weekend.
"Not in the next few days I know that, not here," Sveum said. "But like I said, it's obviously coming soon."
After three games against the Diamondbacks, the Cubs return home to face the Mets and Astros.
"I don't know if there's a date on it," Sveum said when asked if Rizzo could join the club during the homestand. "We just don't have a date yet."
The Cubs have been making room for Rizzo by moving Bryan LaHair from first base to right field recently. On Friday, LaHair was not in the starting lineup because Arizona was scheduled to throw lefty Joe Saunders.
As it turned out, Saunders was a late scratch because he had difficulty warming up. The Cubs couldn't do much against a pair of replacement right-handers. Josh Collmenter and Brad Ziegler combined to strike out nine in 6 innings, with the only run allowed a solo homer by Geovany Soto in the fourth inning.
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija didn't have his best outing. He gave up a 2-run homer to Jason Kubel in the bottom of the fourth. Miguel Montero added a 2-run triple in the sixth, making the score 5-1 and knocking out Samardzija.
The Cubs threatened in the late innings, but Alfonso Soriano lined out to center with runners on first and third in the seventh. An inning later, David DeJesus grounded out with the bases loaded.
Casey Coleman pitched the eighth inning for the Cubs, returning to the mound for the first time since getting hit in the right hand with a broken bat on Wednesday.
Before Friday's game, Sveum told reporters he'll stick with Randy Wells in the starting rotation. Filling in for the injured Ryan Dempster on Wednesday, Wells was on the wrong side of a 7-0 loss to the White Sox.
"We'll stick with Wells for right now," Sveum said. "The walks have killed him, especially the noncompetitive ones. He's got to get the ball over the strike zone. We have to get that turned around. You have to make them put the ball in play."