Arroyo and Penny both impressive in matchup

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Bronson Arroyo allowed just four hits in eight innings of one-run ball Thursday against the Cardinals despite taking an early Colby Rasmus comebacker off his calf, but got stuck with a no-decision and said afterward that his leg was “not real good.”
Hopefully he can make his next start, because Thursday’s gem kept Arroyo on a major roll dating back to last season. In fact, Arroyo has the best ERA in all of baseball since last July at 2.01.
Brad Penny matched Arroyo with seven innings of one-run ball and perhaps most impressively induced 13 ground-ball outs. Penny has always been a fly-ball pitcher, but Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has a history of getting scrap-heap veterans to change their approach in the name of more grounders.
Joel Pineiro was his big success story in 2009 and it wouldn’t be shocking if Duncan worked similar miracles with Penny.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.