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Cubs sign Michael Roth to minor league deal

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Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Cubs have signed free agent left-hander Michael Roth to a minor league deal. Roth elected free agency from the Rays last November and projects as left-handed bullpen depth for the Cubs’ system.

The 27-year-old is two years removed from his last major league gig, when he pitched just 3.2 innings in a blowout 12-5 loss for the Rangers. Despite a few cups of coffee with the Angels in 2013 and 2014, he’s never been able to stick for long at the big league level, though that hasn’t stopped him from putting up solid numbers in the minors. In 2017, he split his time between the Giants’ and Rays’ farm systems, producing a cumulative 4.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in 111 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento and Triple-A Durham.

The Cubs, meanwhile, still have their sights set on a big-name acquisition before the offseason officially draws to a close next month. Recent reports continue to pair them with free agent right-handers Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb, all of whom are expected to face stiff competition for their services as Opening Day draws near.

Video: Matt Carpenter makes history with three home runs, two doubles

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Matt Carpenter pulled his weight and then some during the Cardinals’ 18-5 win on Friday, becoming just the second player in MLB history to tally three home runs and two doubles in the same game… and the first-ever to do so in the first six innings of a single game.

Carpenter wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board, first drawing a full count against Cubs lefty Jon Lester, then ricocheting a 92.4-MPH fastball off the scoreboard in right field for a leadoff home run. He returned in the second inning for another two-run shot and capped a seven-run spread in the fifth with an RBI double (his first double of the game was a leadoff hit in the fourth) before polishing off his performance with a third, three-run homer in the sixth.

Following Friday’s explosive five-run, seven-RBI performance, Carpenter is now batting .274/.381/.576 on the year with 23 home runs, 30 doubles and a .957 OPS in 388 PA. The last player to record five extra-base hits in one game was the Cubs’ Kris Bryant, who collected four runs and six RBI for the team back in June 2016. As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch pointed out, Carpenter might have set another franchise record for most home runs in a game had interim manager Mike Shildt not removed him from the game in the bottom of the sixth. The record is still held by former club outfielder Mark Whiten, who collected four home runs (and a staggering 12 RBI) against the Reds in September 1993.