Cubs could use Hoerner, but he's still rehabbing hamstring

When Joc Pederson hit his second home run in the third inning on Friday, it was the Cubs' 11th straight run that scored on a homer.

During the four-game series against the Mets, the Cubs hit .138 as a team. Needless to say, the team is anxious to get Nico Hoerner and Matt Duffy, a couple of their better contact hitters, back from the injured list.

"I don't know yet," Hoerner said when asked when he'll return from a hamstring strain. "Working on getting back to full speed sprinting. I feel pretty good moving through all different parts of the game. It's been a good progress, so I've been happy about it."

Hoerner said he's participated in batting practice the last three days and full-speed sprinting is pretty much the last hurdle. Hoerner last played on May 25 when he tumbled over first base trying to beat out a hit in Pittsburgh.

"This month especially, it's a really fun schedule for me, going home to San Francisco, going to San Diego, LA, New York - those are series you really want to be a part of and contributing," he said. " I feel like I do a good job generally of enjoying the game and not taking it for granted, but more than ever when you come off an injury. Playing at this level is really special and especially in front of these people.

"Watching that Cardinals series, with full capacity, it was some of the best sporting events I've ever been to. I was more in a spectator role and it was amazing. From Rizzo's at-bat to Craig closing out the last game, it kind of almost gives you chills and things you want to be a part of, obviously. So you look forward to being back.

Cubs manager David Ross said Duffy was making progress from a back injury, tried ramping up his activity, but then had to back off because he wasn't ready yet. Duffy last played on May 22 in St. Louis.

Hoerner (. 338) and Duffy (. 278) rank first and fourth, respectively for the Cubs in batting average.

Kimbrel sits at top

With his next save, Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel will move into a tie for ninth place on the all-time list with Jonathan Papelbon, and break a tie for 10th with Jeff Reardon.

Over his career, Kimbrel has converted 90.2% of his save opportunities, the highest of all time among pitchers with at least 300 save opportunities. Joe Nathan is second at 89.13 percent and Mariano Rivera third at 89.07%

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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