Ryan Dempster ups scoreless streak to 27 innings

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One would never guess Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster just missed three weeks with a strained lat muscle. Back from the DL on Sunday, he shut out the Mets for five innings, extending his scoreless streak to 27 innings.

The Cubs went on to win 7-0.

R.A. Dickey had an even longer scoreless-inning streak this season (32 2/3, to be exact), but Dempster is the first pitcher to go four straight starts without allowing a run since Zack Greinke went five in the row from Sept. 18, 2008-April 18, 2009. Dempster’s outing was abbreviated today because he was coming back from the injury, but he pitched a total of 22 innings in the first three starts.

It’s possible that today’s start will go down as Dempster’s last as a Cub. The trade rumors were starting to come fast and furious last month before he got hurt, and now that he’s healthy again, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him moved over the All-Star break.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.