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Cubs intent on avoiding 100 losses

By Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — It might not be what Theo Epstein was looking for in spring training, but the Cubs’ push for 63 wins is officially on.

A 63rd victory would mean the Cubs have avoided the 100-loss mark, reached only twice in franchise history.

After they defeated the Giants 6-4 on Friday for their 51st win, Anthony Rizzo guaranteed the Cubs would not lose 100.

“I know it’s something I don’t want to be part of,” Rizzo said. “The magic number is down to 12 wins now. We’re not going to lose 100 games. It’s something we’re all motivated not to do.”

Rizzo homered for the first time in 92 at-bats Friday, an unusual drought considering he was the hottest home-run hitter in the Pacific Coast League and hit nine in his first 33 games with the Cubs. The homer originally was ruled a triple but was changed after video replay proved it had cleared the left-field wall and ricocheted back onto the field.

“I’ve been hearing it from all angles in here,” he said. “It’s nice to get that off my back. And it’s nice for (Chris) Volstad, going 2-0 in his last two (starts). A pretty good day.”

Was Rizzo getting frustrated by the drought?

“No, I know I’m going to connect with some balls,” he said. “A lot of bloops here, bloops there, that kind of keep me over water. It’s something I don’t really think about.”

Volstad watch: Volstad allowed two runs over 52/3 innings and said he’s not thinking about sealing a spot in the 2013 rotation with five or six starts left.

“Baseball is a game of ‘what have you done for me lately?’ no matter what time of year it is,” he said. “I’m going out there trying to win and do my best every time, no matter if it’s the beginning or end of the year.”

September call-ups: The Cubs will call up seven players from Triple-A Iowa, starting Saturday with infielder Adrian Cardenas and outfielders Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt.

Reliever Miguel Socolovich gets the call Sunday, and left-hander Chris Rusin will come up Tuesday to start in Washington, along with catcher Anthony Recker, acquired from the Athletics this week for Blake Lalli. Reliever Rafael Dolis also is expected to join the team next week.

Extra innings: A youth baseball field the Cubs are building behind Lane Tech’s stadium will be named after former pitcher Kerry Wood. The dedication will be in mid-September. … The Cubs called up lefty reliever Jeff Beliveau and optioned lefty Brooks Raley to Iowa.

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