4/23/2014 9:15 P.M. ET
Smokies' Black tosses six no-hit frames
By Carrie Muskat and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
Right-hander Corey Black, the Cubs' No. 16 prospect, threw six hitless innings Wednesday as Double-A Tennessee defeated Birmingham, 9-1.
In his first win in Double-A, Black struck out eight batters and allowed three walks in six innings. He threw 91 pitches before being relieved by P.J. Francescon to start the seventh inning.
The Smokies' no-hit bid ended soon after Francescon took over. The second batter of the seventh inning, right fielder Josh Richmond, broke it up with a single. Though Birmingham would scratch out another hit and a run in the eighth inning, Francescon completed the final three innings to earn a save.
Black has pitched well since the Cubs acquired him from the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano last July. In 42 innings in nine games with his new organization, Black has a 2.79 ERA and a 44-to-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Injured Ruggiano has MRI on left hamstring
CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano underwent an MRI on his left hamstring, which he injured Wednesday trying to chase down Aaron Hill's fly ball and fell on the visitors' bullpen mound during Chicago's 7-5 loss to Arizona.
There were two outs in the ninth, the D-backs had just tied the game at 5, and they had a runner at first when Hill lofted the ball to right. Ruggiano ran after it, and the ball dropped just fair for a two-run triple. Ruggiano slid into the bullpen mound, grabbing his left hamstring.
The Cubs outfielder had to be helped off the field by athletic trainer Ed Halbur and manager Rick Renteria. Ruggiano was taken to a local hospital for the MRI.
In the sixth, Ruggiano hit his first Cubs home run, a two-run shot, which helped Chicago open a 5-2 lead.
Rizzo, Renteria reflect on Wrigley's history
CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo knows how special Wrigley Field is.
"Hall of Fame players have played here, a lot of world champions have played here," the Cubs first baseman said of the ballpark, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on Wednesday.
"I'm standing in the same box that Babe Ruth stood in," Rizzo said. "As a kid growing up, everyone mimics Babe Ruth. It really is an honor to play here on a daily basis and not just today, but every day and hopefully for the rest of my career.
"This stadium was built 100 years ago; there's still steel from 100 years ago. How it's still standing, I don't know. It's unique."
There is some steel and concrete remaining from when the ballpark was first built in 1914, located mostly in the dugout area.
"I was here before they started with the lights and some of the other transitions they made," Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode said. "We were close to getting to the World Series [in 2003] and I was here for that one as well. This is a big day not only for me, but a lot of fans and players, past and present. I'm glad to be a part of it."
The Cubs and Diamondbacks players both wore throwback uniforms. The Cubs had on versions from the 1914 Chicago Federals, and Strode needed a little help from infielder Luis Valbuena on how to wear his stirrups.
"I still don't have the feel for back in 1914," Strode said. "I know a few guys have an idea, so I'll roll with it."
Rick Renteria, in his first season as the Cubs' manager, says Wrigley has played fair, and he has no complaints.
"I think pitchers need to keep the balls down in the zone," Renteria said. "If they execute just like in any ballpark, they can get outs. We have to make sure we stay on our toes and catch the ball. Obviously, this is a park that when the wind is blowing out, you have a chance to drive the ball out of the ballpark."
The manager remembers his first day at Wrigley back in September 1986. He had been called up to the Pirates that month.
"I just remember being in the clubhouse, and the visiting clubhouse is significantly smaller than the home clubhouse, but nonetheless, you're in the big leagues and you're in a ballpark that has a lot of history," Renteria said.
"I wanted to get on the field and take it in. There's a lot of history here, obviously, and it's a great city. I think it's a nice ballpark to play in. The fans bring a lot to the table. Hopefully, we can give them a lot to cheer for."
Said Rizzo: "It'll never get old playing here."
Valbuena another option at top of order
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria says Luis Valbuena gives the team one more option as a leadoff man.
Valbuena set the tone on Tuesday night when he led off for the first time this year and battled Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy with an 11-pitch at-bat. Valbuena eventually flied out to left.
"His on-base percentage has been extremely high, especially against right-handed pitching," Renteria said of Valbuena, who has a .420 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers. "Yesterday, I think he set the tone. He fouled off a lot of pitches and got on base."
The Cubs have used Emilio Bonifacio and Junior Lake so far this season in the No. 1 spot. Valbuena has been used primarily against right-handed pitchers, and he could be inserted more at the top of the lineup.
"He grinds out at-bats," Renteria said.
• Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta will make another Minor League rehab outing on Saturday with Double-A Tennessee, which could be the right-hander's final tune-up before he's activated from the disabled list.
Arrieta was slowed this spring by tightness in his right shoulder, and he has made four rehab outings, including 5 2/3 innings on Monday for Class A Advanced Daytona.
"He's been progressing well," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.