MILWAUKEE -- More than 8,300 runners participated in the fifth annual Race to Wrigley in Chicago on Saturday.
The record number of runners helped raise more than $150,000 to benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and Children's Memorial Hospital. Ernie Banks served as the official race starter.
"The annual Race to Wrigley has become one of the most popular 5K runs in Chicago," said Mike Lufrano, the Cubs' senior vice president of community affairs. "We're so grateful to the 8,300 runners who signed up and to those who made individual donations. These contributions help the race support so many in need throughout the Chicago area."
The course route began under the Wrigley marquee, and led runners through the Lakeview neighborhood and inside the ballpark's concourse before finishing at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.
Lars Juhl posted the fastest time at 15:25, while Christine Anderson claimed the top female time at 18:17.
On Tuesday, the Cubs and McCormick Foundation will host the annual Cubs Care grant luncheon. For the sixth successive year, more than $1 million will be donated to the community, shared among nearly 50 Chicago area nonprofit organizations.
Cubs Care, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, has donated more than $15 million to Chicago non-profit organizations since 1991.
Slumping Ramirez breaks long skid
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez ended an 0-for-21 skid with a bloop RBI single in the sixth inning Saturday night, but says he still has a lot of work to do.
Ramirez was back in the starting lineup after missing two games to work with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. He went 1-for-4 in the Cubs' 5-1 win over the Brewers, and bumped his batting average to a very un-Ramirez like .134.
"Rudy's good," Ramirez said, "but I'm the one who has to do the job out there. I used to be a good hitter and now I can't hit."
He was kidding, folks.
Often, a bloop single like the one Ramirez got can help a hitter get out of a slump.
"I only went 1-for-4, but I felt a lot better," Ramirez said. "I think I made good swings. I didn't swing and miss much tonight -- I didn't used to do that until this season. I'm working on it."
Marlon Byrd wasn't too worried about Ramirez.
"He'll get his .300, 30 [home runs], 100 [RBIs] at the end of the season," Byrd said. "Nobody's worried about him. That's going to be one of many for him."
Theriot remains in leadoff spot vs. Davis
MILWAUKEE -- Marlon Byrd was the Cubs' leadoff man on Monday in New York against Mets lefty Jonathon Niese, but that was the only time he assumed the top spot in the lineup this season. On Saturday, Ryan Theriot hit first against Milwaukee southpaw Doug Davis.
Theriot has led off for 15 of the Cubs' 17 games -- Kosuke Fukudome got one start there as well.
"I put Theriot in the eighth spot one time and rested him the second day, and he's responded and is swinging the bat well," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "Right now, we have Theriot leading off and Byrd in the two-hole. I don't think it's over with, but I'm comfortable with this lineup tonight."
Let's just say the Cubs' lineup is still a work in progress.
"I've always [said] I like to stay constant," Piniella said. "Sometimes you have to tinker with it, and sometimes we'll give people days off, and then you really have to play with it. I'd prefer to have the same leadoff hitter."
Aramis Ramirez was back at third base on Saturday after not starting for two days. The slumping veteran worked with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, and entered Saturday's game batting .127, riding an 0-for-19 skid.
"We need for him to hit," Piniella said. "He's always been an integral part of the offense, before I got here and during my years here, and he's also a really good RBI guy. We need Aramis to hit, there's no question."
Caridad expected to pitch games this week
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs rookie Esmailin Caridad, on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, is expected to start pitching in games this week.
Caridad, projected as the main right-handed setup pitcher before his injury, was sidelined April 12. He has been rehabbing with the Cubs' extended spring camp in Mesa, Ariz.
"Caridad has about another week or so," Lou Piniella said Saturday. "I would think by the end of this next homestand, he'll be ready to come back. I think he's going to pitch in three or four days. We want him to pitch a few times down there."
Caridad appeared in four games, giving up four earned runs on three hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings while in the Major Leagues.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.