NL Central notes

Cubs

Jeff Samardzija, who is expected to be one of the top trade targets ahead the deadline, has experienced some tough luck at home this year. He is 1-3 with a 1.63 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley. “I’m sure it’s not easy reading where he’s going, when he’s going, who he’s going by, who he’s getting if he does get traded,” teammate Anthony Rizzo said. “It’s just a distraction and it’s not easy and he’s doing well through all of it.” … Sting led the crowd in the singing of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch last week. … OF Emilio Bonifacio (rib injury) is working out, but has yet to resume baseball activities. “He’s improving,” manager Rick Renteria said.

Brewers

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in the last 100 years, no player with a minimum of 80 percent of his first 137 games played at second base had a higher batting average than Scooter Gennett’s .311. Three players had a higher slugging percentage than Gennett’s .471 - Dan Uggla (.502), Ian Kinsler (.490) and Joe Gordon (.488).

Cardinals

Pitchers Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia were put on the 15-DL list. The RHP Wacha has a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder. He is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the defending NL champions. Garcia has re-aggravated his surgically repaired left shoulder. He is 3-1 with a 4.12 ERA. GM John Mozeliak said it was too early to determine when the players will return. He said the team was aware of Garcia’s soreness, but the Wacha ailment took him by surprise. “This was a little shocking to all of us,” Mozeliak said. “In terms of how long he’s going to be out, I don’t know that. We’re going to give him a couple weeks and see how he is and then re-evaluate.”

Pirates

LF Starling Marte was sidelined by concussion-like symptoms. Marte was hurt on a head-first slide during a failed stolen base attempt in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s game against Tampa Bay. … 2B Neil Walker was reinstated from the 15-day DL and OF Jose Tabata was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis. Walker had been on the DL since June 9 because of an appendectomy. In 62 games this season, Walker hit .280 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs. Tabata hit .289 with 14 RBIs in 62 games.

Reds

RHP Carlos Contreras was called up and OF Roger Bernadina was designed for assignment. … LHP Sean Marshall had season-ending shoulder surgery. The 31-year-old reliever had no record and a 7.71 ERA in 15 appearances this season. … Wanna buy a piece of the Reds? The Cincinnati Business Courier reports part of the team is for sale by the family of a long-time owner. The stake in the team could bring in as much as $40 million, the paper said, based on a valuation of the team of about $800 million. The Nippert family trust is selling the stake because of MLB rules against ownership by charities.

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.

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