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ear­lier for ar­gu­ing with home plate um­pire Jor­dan Baker. Lackey thought St. Louis pitcher Car­los Mar­tinez struck out to end the in­ning, but the pitch was called a ball. Mar­tinez then sin­gled to drive in a run, giv­ing the Car­di­nals a 2- 1 lead.

Lackey ar­gued and was ejected. Con­tr­eras was ejected a short while later and threw down his mask in anger. It bounced up and hit Baker’s leg.

Con­tr­eras, 25, apol­o­gized af­ter the game, say­ing he had no in­ten­tion of hit­ting Baker. Mad­don is hop­ing Con­tr­eras’ postgame com­ments will be a fac­tor in pos­si­bly re­duc­ing the sus­pen­sion.

“He’s a won­der­ful young man,” Mad­don said. “He is emo­tional. We’re all work­ing to help him curb that a bit, but you don’t want to take it all away. That’s a big part of why he’s so good.”

Lackey, 38, wasn’t con­trite af­ter the game.

“It’s a pretty big spot right there,” he said. “It cost me a big league win. Those don’t grow on trees.”

Mad­don was asked if he would speak to Lackey about con­trol­ling his emo­tions — es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing it caused the Cubs to go to the bullpen in the fifth in­ning in a game against a team chas­ing them in the NL Cen­tral race.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble,” the man­ager said. “I mean, hon­estly. Will­son’s in his early 20s, Johnny’s al­most 40. He’s a dad with kids and I would never tell him what to do.”

The Cubs ac­ti­vated short­stop Ad­di­son Rus­sell be­fore the game, but the 23- year- old wasn’t in the start­ing lineup. Rus­sell had been side­lined since early Au­gust with a strained right foot.

“I want to get him in­volved,” Mad­don said. “We’ll see how the game plays out. I need to get him out there some­how.”


Chicago Cubs catcher Will­son Con­tr­eras, right, slams his mask down as home plate um­pire Jor­dan Baker tosses him out of the game­while St. Louis Car­di­nals’ Matt Car­pen­ter­watches dur­ing the fifth in­ning of a base­ball game Fri­day in Chicago.

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