Cubs tweak starting rotation

The Cubs are tweaking their starting rotation beginning with this weekend's series in New York against the Mets.

Lefty Travis Wood will start Friday night as scheduled, but the Cubs will call up right-hander Dan Straily from Class AAA Iowa to pitch Saturday night. The rest of the rotation will get bumped back one day with Jake Arrieta pitching Sunday and Kyle Hendricks going in Monday's series finale.

The reason, the Cubs say, is that they're in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days and that they want to keep their pitchers as fresh as possible.

Straily came to the Cubs in the July 4 trade with the Athletics that sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland.

The 25-year old Straily has spent much of this year in the minor leagues after starting 27 games for the A's last year. He was 1-2 with Oakland this year with a 4.93 ERA in 7 starts. For the Cubs' Class AAA Iowa affiliate, he is 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA.

Leaders of the pack:

Since the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland, the Cubs' three best starting pitchers are players who were not on the opening-day roster: Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada. Arrieta opened the season the disabled list while Hendricks and Wada were in the minor leagues.

Veterans Edwin Jackson - who lost Thursday's game 6-2 to the Brewers - and lefty Travis Wood have been major disappointments this season.

As for the three guys who have stepped up, manager Rick Renteria said: "I think it speaks volumes for those young men. I think that everybody's always believed that those young men had the ability to potentially do what they're doing. We're glad that it's happened, obviously. We're very pleased with the way they've performed. Hopefully, it will continue. Is it a pleasant surprise? It's just pleasant."

A happy debut:

Right-hander Jacob Turner made his Cubs debut in relief of Edwin Jackson. Turner worked 2⅓ hitless and scoreless innings, striking out one. The Cubs obtained him Aug. 8 in a trade with the Marlins.

"It's been awhile since I've thrown in a game," he said. "I was just excited to get out there and get my feet back underneath me."

Castro extends streak:

Shortstop Starlin Castro extended a hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the fourth inning. He is 22-for-52 (.423) in the streak. Castro is one game shy of his career-best hitting streak. His 136 hits for the season are tops among National League shortstops.

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