KC@TB: Cobb hit in head by liner, leaves on stretcher

NEW YORK -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum hasn't seen the replay of Rays pitcher Alex Cobb getting hit in the head during Saturday's game against the Royals, but he heard about it, noting those types of incidents seem to have increased over the last few years.

But Sveum said he's not sure what could be done to avoid the problem in the future.

"I don't know -- a pitcher could possibly pitch with a helmet on," Sveum said. "That's what you're talking about. or some kind of hard shell underneath the hat, like the old days. You're not going to cover up faces, the guy's got to pitch."

Cobb was struck in the head on Saturday when the Royals' Eric Hosmer hit a liner back up the middle. Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher and immediately went to the hospital. He suffered a concussion and will be placed on the 7-day concussion list.

Sveum said there doesn't seem to be much that can be done to minimize the changes of that happening.

"It's obviously a dangerous thing to be that close to a Major League hitter, hitting a line drive," Sveum said. "I'm just not sure you're going to be able to do anything about it."

Rizzo, Cubs show signs of offensive rhythm

CHC@LAA: Rizzo clears the bases with double in 10th

NEW YORK -- It's only been two games, so any long-term success hasn't been determined just yet, after Cubs manager Dale Sveum dropped Anthony Rizzo from third to fifth in the lineup, hoping that would get him going at the plate.

Rizzo went 3-for-4 on Friday, and then 1-for-2 with three walks -- two intentional -- on Saturday. Chicago won both of those games. Rizzo's success at the plate, though, has coincided with the Cubs' lineup finally putting some runs on the board.

Rizzo's three hits on Friday were a season high.

Still, Rizzo said he doesn't care about where he hits in the lineup.

"It really doesn't make a difference to me," Rizzo said. "Whether I'm hitting first, second, third, ninth -- it doesn't matter to me."

Regardless of where he hits, Rizzo said having confidence is the most important part. And that's something he said is helping the entire lineup right now.

The Cubs have given themselves chances to score, but they have still missed some key opportunities. In Saturday's 5-2 win over the Mets, Chicago left 16 runners on base.

Still, for a team that had been struggling to find consistency at the plate, the 20 hits and 11 runs the Cubs have had in the last two games show that Chicago could be falling into some semblance of consistent offense.

"I think we're giving ourselves more opportunities to score runs," said Rizzo. "We had a lot of guys on base yesterday. If you keep giving yourself opportunities, eventually you're going to come through."

Worth noting

• Sveum said there aren't any immediate plans to call up an outfielder to help fill the void of the injured David DeJesus. Sveum said the bullpen is "back where it should be," but said the team isn't in need of getting another bat on the bench.

"Right now, we're OK," Sveum said. "Obviously we're going to evaluate it and make a decision."