Extra bases

Extra bases

• Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 2-for-5 on Wednesday in his first game back after a one-day breather, and he could have had a third hit if Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez wasn't hugging the line.

"Hopefully, that kind of game propels you moving forward and he can be the kid we all know he is," manager Dale Sveum said of Castro.

• Ramirez went deep Wednesday for his 2,000th career hit, most of which came with the Cubs, and Sveum isn't surprised to see him have a long, successful career.

"I had the luxury of playing with 'Ramy' when he was 19 years old, playing in the Pittsburgh organization," Sveum said. "You're like, 'Wow, this kid can hit from foul pole to foul pole.' He's always been one of the tougher outs in the game for a power hitter. He's never been a big strikeout guy, he's been a good breaking ball hitter. He's been one of the elite right-handed hitters in the game for 10, 15 years now."

• Cubs reliever Blake Parker is experimenting with a new split-change pitch.

"It's still a work in progress," Parker said. "I like it as a third pitch."

Something's working for the right-hander, who has thrown scoreless relief in seven of eight appearances.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.