Cubs welcome back two big bats
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Chicago Cubs - INSIDE PITCH
Cubs had two big bats -- first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right fielder Jorge Soler -- back in the lineup on Monday as they opened the season's final homestand.
Rizzo, back at his customary first-base spot after missing three weeks with a sore back, made the biggest splash in his return.
The veteran slugger clubbed a walk-off solo home run in the ninth as the Cubs claimed a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The leadoff homer to center -- on a 1-0 pitch off Reds reliever Pedro Villarreal -- was Rizzo's 31st of the season and second walk-off this year.
"The first pitch I was taking all the way just to see his arm," said Rizzo, who went 2-for-4. "The second pitch I just let loose and fortunately I put a good swing on it."
Soler was away last weekend to attend the birth of his first child in Miami.
"Riz is back, Soly is back and our lineup is a little different today," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We're going to take it day-by-day with Riz, he's been down for three weeks and he's worked hard the last four days doing everything he could possibly do (to come back)."
Rizzo reenters the season's final 12 games with a .280 average, is second in the National League with 31 home runs and has 72 RBIs.
"At this point we're pretty secure in our feeling that he's doing well," Renteria said.
Soler, who went 1-for-3 on Monday, is batting .354 in 13 games and has four homers and 13 RBIs.
Although not on the disabled list, shortstop Starlin Castro remains day-to-day with a sprained ankle.
MLB Team Report - Chicago Cubs - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Reds (RHP Johnny Cueto, 18-8, 2.15 ERA) at Cubs (RHP Jake Arrieta, 8-5, 2.82 ERA)