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Arismendy Alcantara earns more time in majors

Updated: August 12, 2014 6:35AM

CINCINNATI — At this rate, Arismendy Alcantara might never go back to the minor leagues.

The first of the Cubs’ top hitting prospects to reach the majors, Alcantara earned an extended stay in the big leagues with a four-hit game Thursday that featured a triple to right field, a double to left field and two infield singles.

He drove in three runs and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the Cubs’ 6-4, 12-inning victory against the Cincinnati Reds that ended their six-game losing streak.

Originally scheduled for a
two-day stay while second baseman Darwin Barney took paternity leave, Alcan-
tara was told after the game he’ll be staying at least through the All-Star break — and probably beyond —
before returning to Class AAA Iowa. The Cubs won’t need a fifth starting pitcher until
July 22 and don’t have to carry one until then.

Was Alcantara, 22, surprised by the news?

‘‘More or less,’’ he said, smiling. ‘‘It’s like I said [Wednesday]. I just tried to think, ‘Do your job and play the game and see what happens.’ Today I felt more comfortable because I played yesterday.’’

After going 0-for-4 in his big-league debut Wednesday, Alcantara had his four hits against four pitchers.

‘‘He had some really good at-bats,’’ manager Rick Renteria said of Alcantara, a versatile infielder ranked 33rd on Baseball America’s midseason prospects list. ‘‘He did a nice job.’’

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