Seattle Mariners Jerseys China

As the Tacoma Rainiers closed the book on their season last night, two of their members got the call to return to the big league club. 2B/UTIL Shed Long and RP Zac Grotz will join the Mariners in Chicago for the second half of their two-game series. Depending on travel times they may not arrive in time to play and have to head instead to Houston for Thursday’s series, but the more we can see of Long in particular the better.

Shed’s return should be accompanied by nearly everyday reps as the club looks to both help him make up for the time he missed to injury. After a lengthy rehab that included a shoulder and toe injury, he’s back at last and, if his first swing in Tacoma was any evidence, feeling fine.

Grotz will help lengthen a bullpen that at this point is deep enough to handle any issues. Despite mostly low-leverage work, he’s been effective with a 3.52/3.35 ERA/FIP in his first 7.2 big league innings. His fastball/cutter/split-change combo is an interesting one, and helped the 26-year-old minor league castoff from the Astros, Dodgers, and Mets find success with the Mariners. He skipped High-A and jumped straight into the Arkansas bullpen, and will likely work a long relief role once again.

The Rainiers season is over, meaning the players called up today could be all that we’ll see from Tacoma’s roster, barring some curious machinations. We could still see 40-man members Matt Festa, Gerson Bautista, and Matt Carasiti recalled, but since they haven’t been yet it’s unclear if they’ll be returned at all. Non-40-man options include any of the starting pitchers (Andrew Moore, Anthony Misiewicz, Mike Wright, Darren McCaughan, and Nabil Crismatt), though it’s hard to say if they’ve set themselves apart or not thanks to the PCL’s madness this season. Eric Filia, John Andreoli, and Jaycob Brugman all had impressive seasons at the plate even with the moon ball, but none appear slated for a recall as Seattle’s outfield is plenty deep already.

CHICAGO — After not scoring for nearly three full games, the Cubs were desperate for a big hit or a lucky break.

Both played a role in Chicago’s late rally on Monday.

Kyle Schwarber had a three-run triple to highlight a five-run seventh, and the Cubs snapped a 24-inning scoreless streak in a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 2 and drove in a run for Chicago, which remained 3 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs have a 2 1/2-game lead for the second wild card in the NL.

The Cubs were coming off back-to-back shutout losses to the Milwaukee Brewers. Before Sunday, they hadn’t been shut out in back-to-back games at Wrigley Field since August 2013 vs. the Dodgers.

“Our lineup did an unbelievable job today just being persistent,” starter Kyle Hendricks said. “Putting together great at-bats all game. That’s what we’ve been doing the last few days, but had just been hitting balls right at guys and not finding holes.”

Jason Heyward led off the seventh with a walk against reliever Matt Wisler (3-3) and stole second. One out later, Kris Bryant walked. Left-hander Taylor Guilbeau then came on to face Rizzo, who stroked a sharp single to center to score Heyward.

On the play, Bryant and Rizzo advanced on a throwing error by center fielder Jake Fraley, and then pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. was intentionally walked to load the bases. Schwarber followed with a grounder down the line that hit off first base and rolled down the line in foul territory as all three runners scored for a 4-1 Chicago lead.

If the ball doesn’t hit the bag, first baseman Austin Nola might have been able to make a play on it, or at least keep it in the infield.

“We needed to have that one break,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We needed something like that to get us rolling in the right direction.”

Addison Russell plated Schwarber with a grounder to shortstop to cap the rally.

David Phelps (2-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Duane Underwood Jr. and Brad Wieck closed it out.

Hendricks allowed one run on three hits in six innings, walking one and striking out seven. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter despite only throwing 81 pitches.

Seattle rookie Justus Sheffield left with the lead after tossing five scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven.

The Cubs had runners on base in each inning against Sheffield, but went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position — leaving a total of nine runners on base through five.

“Justus Sheffield was awesome,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Really, really excited about what I saw out of him today. In this environment, first time pitching in this kind of setting, I thought he handled it great.”

The Mariners got their run off Hendricks in the fifth on back-to-back doubles with one out by Dylan Moore and Dee Gordon.

PAINFUL RECORD

Rizzo also was hit by a pitch twice to set the Cubs’ all-time franchise record at 139. The previous mark was 137 by Frank Chance.

“I saw it on the board, I said, `Whoa,” Rizzo said. “I didn’t know I was approaching anything.”

Maddon joked that like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Cal Ripken Jr.’s record for consecutive games played, Rizzo’s mark might never be broken.

ROSTER MOVE

The Cubs recalled RHP Adbert Alzolay from Triple-A Iowa before the game. The 24-year-old is the team’s top starter prospect, but will be used out of the bullpen.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: C Omar Narvaez was scratched from the preliminary lineup because of back spasms.

Cubs: SS Javier Baez was held out after injuring his left thumb sliding into second base on Sunday. Maddon said Baez might miss Tuesday night’s game as well. … RHP Yu Darvish, who was scratched Sunday with right forearm tightness, is expected to make his next start on Saturday at Milwaukee. … C Willson Contreras (right hamstring strain) is continuing his rehab stint with Triple-A Iowa and could return this weekend.

Cubs LHP Jon Lester (11-9, 4.36 ERA) faces Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (1-4, 6.02) in the finale of the two-game series Tuesday night in a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners.

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