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Chicago Cubs-San Diego Padres rained out; DH on Wednesday

By
Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Cubs players celebrate a walk-off home run by shortstop Javier Baez (9) and a 4-3 win against the Washington Nationals in the thirteen inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on May, 8, 2016. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
Chicago Cubs players celebrate a walk-off home run by shortstop Javier Baez (9) and a 4-3 win against the Washington Nationals in the thirteen inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on May, 8, 2016. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO -- Ben Zobrist's outsized contributions in the Chicago Cubs' last seven games helped him land National League co-player of the week honors on Monday.

The Cubs second baseman topped the major leagues with 15 RBIs as baseball's winningest team went 7-0. He also tied for second among National League hitters with four homers and eight runs scored.

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Zobrist didn't get a chance to pad his numbers on Monday as the opener of a three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field was rained out.

The game will be made up on Wednesday with a split doubleheader. The makeup is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. while the regularly scheduled series finale begins at 7:05 p.m.

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Tuesday's game between Chicago (24-6) and San Diego (13-19) will now feature Monday's scheduled starters. Padres right hander Cesar Vargas (0-1, 1.10 ERA) goes against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (3-1, 1.58 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

Zobrist said he was pleased to earn league recognition in a Monday afternoon clubhouse chat with reporters.

"It's a pretty huge honor," said Zobrist, who batted .360 last week. "(But) it's a team award for me considering a lot of it was the fact that I had 15 RBIs. That's a team thing. Everybody up and down the lineup has been having great at-bats and I think it flows throughout the lineup. It helps every guy produce better individually."

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He shared NL co-player of the week honors with Mets right-handed pitcher Bartolo Colon, the 19-year veteran who went 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA including his first career home run -- a two-run blast last Saturday.

"I'm happy for Ben, this guy carried us this last week with all the home runs," said Cubs catcher David Ross. "With Anthony (Rizzo) coming off a big series in Pittsburgh, I thought the Nationals' game plan was not to let Riz beat them. And who did it, but Ben. That's the sign of a good team, you have to have a deep lineup and different guys have to step up in different situations."

Through 30 games for the season, Zobrist is batting .270. But since April 18, he's batting .322 with three doubles, five homers and 21 RBIs while striking out just six times.

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He's also reached base in 17 consecutive games and leads NL second basemen with 25 RBIs, second most in the majors behind Seattle's Robinson Cano (33). Zobrist's on-base percentage is .406, second in the league.

The Cubs are off to their best start since 1907 thanks, in part, to Zobrist, who signed a free-agent deal in the offseason.

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"I wouldn't want to be on any other team right now (and) I don't think anyone else in this clubhouse would think any differently," he said. "This is where everybody wants to be and there's probably a lot of players across the league that wish they were here too with what's going on."

The honor was Zobrist's first in the National League. He was twice player of the week while with the AL's Tampa Bay Rays (2008 and 2011).

NOTES: Padres RHP Andrew Cashner departed Sunday's game against the Mets in the sixth inning with hamstring cramping but he's expected back for his next start, likely later this week in Milwaukee. He slipped to 2-3 after taking the loss. ... Monday would have been the 56th birthday of Padres' Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who closed a 20-year career with a .338 average. He died in 2014. ... Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has reached base safely in 21 straight games, currently the NL's top streak and second longest in the major leagues behind Baltimore's Mark Trumbo (22). ... The Cubs have yet to lose back-to-back games, the longest streak in franchise history since 1907.

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