Chicago Cubs

SS Javy Baez latest Cub felled by flu bug still making way through clubhouse

It just pops up; it doesn’t last long, but it definitely knocks guys down for a couple of days,” manager Joe Maddon said of a bug that has affected “six or seven” players the last three weeks.

That included starter Cole Hamels , who was struck just before his three-inning start last week in Cincinnati and was still dealing with lingering effects when he couldn’t get an out in the third inning Wednesday.

The Cubs’ 2016 World Series MVP has been on personal leave for family issues related to his pending divorce since early May.

Right-hander Brandon Kintzler , the steadiest reliever in the bullpen (2.33 ERA), said he’ll be ready to return from a pectoral injury on his first eligible day, Friday in Pittsburgh.

Until then, the Cubs recalled right-hander James Norwood for emergency depth after Alec Mills , who was optioned to Iowa, was needed for six innings of relief (three runs) in the loss Wednesday.

Closer Craig Kimbrel (knee) and setup man Steve Cishek (hip) reported upbeat results after bullpen sessions.

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