(SportsNetwork.com) – It didn’t take lone for Chicago Cubs top prospect Kris
Bryant to find his footing at the major league level.
The Cubs are banking on 21-year-old infielder Addison Russell to do the same.
Chicago is expected to debut Russell on Tuesday night in the second contest of
a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Less than a week after recalling Bryant from the minor leagues, the Cubs
appear set to do the same with Russell, another highly-regarded young talent
who was acquired from the Oakland Athletics last season in a deal for pitcher
Russell recently shifted from shortstop to second base at Triple-I Iowa, where
he is expected to start tonight once he is recalled. The 2012 first-round pick
is hitting .318 in 11 games at Iowa with a homer and nine RBI.
Bryant, meanwhile, is 6-for-10 over his past three games after going 0-for-4
in his major league debut on Friday. He picked up three hits and drove in
three runs in last night’s 5-2 win over the Pirates.
Bryant broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the seventh inning. He also
scored on the play, taking third on a throw home before crossing the plate
thanks to an error by Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those, run around the bases,” Bryant said.
“It was a little league home run. It was pretty fun.”
Jorge Soler went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and Jake Arrieta picked up
the win, Chicago’s sixth in nine games, after limiting the Pirates to a run
over seven innings.
Starling Marte hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Pirates, who had swept
the Milwaukee Brewers in three games over the weekend. Andrew McCutchen went
2-for-4 with an RBI.
Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett allowed one run on eight hits over six
innings. Arquimedes Caminero took the loss after giving up three runs — two
earned — on two hits in the seventh.
Cubs left-hander Travis Wood will try to limit the Pirates’ offense again
tonight and is 5-7 lifetime versus Pittsburgh with a 4.28 earned run average
in 14 games (13 starts).
Wood failed to get past the fifth inning in losing his first start of the
season, but rebounded to beat visiting Cincinnati on Wednesday. The 28-year-
old logged seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven while
Veteran southpaw Francisco Liriano counters for the Pirates and is coming off
a tough-luck 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Liriano yielded the game’s only run on a solo homer in the sixth, his last
inning of work. It was one of just four hits he allowed and the 31-year-old
struck out seven for the second time in as many starts this season.
He is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in nine career meetings with the Cubs.
The Pirates went 14-5 versus the Cubs last season, winning seven of 10 at