CHICAGO -- It was two years ago on May 7 that Starlin Castro made his memorable Major League debut in Cincinnati, hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat and setting a Major League record with six RBIs. Bill Dancy was the manager at Double-A Tennessee and called the shortstop with the news.
"I remember when the manager called me and told me, 'You're going to the big leagues,'" Castro said. "I was happy and like, 'Oh my God, my family will be proud of me.' I remember that day like it was yesterday. Now, it's two years ago."
And now, Castro is on the All-Star ballot for the second time. He was the Cubs' lone representative in the game last year.
"I want to be in the All-Star Game every year," Castro said. "That's why every year, I want to start hot so people will vote for me. We'll see what happens. If I play hard, we'll see what happens."
Castro entered Wednesday's game batting .347, and has reached base safely in 67 of his last 70 games, dating back to Aug. 15. He has the most multihit games in the National League since 2011 with 71. Since his debut, he has 388 hits, fourth in the Major Leagues over that span.
But this year, Castro also has made eight errors.
"That's not good for me, because I don't want to make an error," he said. "It makes me work harder at defense and keep giving 100 percent in the field."
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is third in the Majors with seven errors. And he's a two-time Gold Glove winner.
"A guy like that, he plays good at shortstop and makes an error and everybody can see it's not easy," Castro said. "You don't want to ever make an error. If it was up to me, I'd never make an error. I work hard and try to never make an error. But you don't always have control of that. Things happen in the game that you don't have control of."
Bullpen an early challenge for Sveum
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't see Kerry Wood throw his glove and cap into the stands after Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Braves, but he understood why Wood did it.
"Do I care? Of course, I care," Sveum said Wednesday. "I don't condone it or wish it to happen all the time. We all know in this game that there's frustration that happens and sometimes we regret things we do. We're not perfect human beings. I missed the whole thing, so I didn't see any of that."
The game was tied at 1 in the eighth when Wood took over. He walked two batters and gave up two hits, including a the decisive two-run single by Dan Uggla. Has managing the bullpen been a challenge for Sveum?
"I guess you could say that," Sveum said. "We're always trying to be optimistic about the team. On the other hand, we've had some guys step up and do a great job."
He complimented James Russell and Shawn Camp and said rookie Rafael Dolis has done well in clutch situations.
"We've had a lot of bright spots, too," Sveum said. "A month in, you're dealing with situations and how to handle them and what roles. It's not that cut and dry, seventh, eighth and ninth guys, that's for sure."
Wood, 34, was making his second appearance since coming off the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue. He's now given up seven runs on six hits and six walks over 4 1/3 innings in six games this season.
"It's just a matter of getting comfortable and in a rhythm and -- bottom line -- throwing strikes and being able to use your fastball and getting back in counts," Sveum said. "He still has to be able to use that breaking ball. There's a lot of things to work on. Sometimes it just takes a few times on the mound."
Cardenas starts for sore Soriano
CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano was given Wednesday off to nurse a tender left knee and rookie Adrian Cardenas started in left field in the series finale against the Braves.
"It's been gradually getting tender and sore," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Soriano's knee. "He actually said he felt pretty good [Tuesday]."
Soriano provided the only offense for the Cubs Tuesday, hitting an RBI double in the sixth. That snapped an 0-for-10 skid. Soriano hasn't let it affect him in the outfield. He made a nice catch of Chipper Jones' fly ball to end the fourth Tuesday.
"He's played great defense," Sveum said. "He's obviously lost his legs a little bit, but everything he's supposed to catch and even some of the web gems he's had lately, he's done a great job. Obviously, we could use some more home runs but he's done a good job. He's worked his [backside] off and done a really good job in the outfield."
Cardenas, called up Monday from Triple-A Iowa, made his first Major League start on Tuesday at second and will primarily play in the infield. He played left field at Triple-A Sacramento last year.
Sveum not sweating trip to Milwaukee
CHICAGO -- Dale Sveum should feel right at home this weekend when the Cubs travel north to face the Brewers. The Cubs manager played for the team from 1986-91 and was on the Brewers coaching staff for six years.
"It's like when they came here, it's just another series," Sveum said Wednesday. "Yeah, I have a lot of memories there and a lot of friends, but when the games start, you don't think about anything like that. You just think about winning the game and managing the baseball game. Obviously, I know them very wel,l but you're just managing a game. It's no different."
The Cubs and Brewers squared off in Spring Training and have already played a four-game series at Wrigley Field in April. Milwaukee won three out of four of those games.
Sveum was happy to see his former bosses, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke, get contract extensions this week.
"I know Doug's been waiting, and he's done a great job as well as Ron," Sveum said. "It's good for them and good for the players, because they're great people and great baseball men for the city of Milwaukee. It's nice to have the stability and keep it going. I'm happy for those guys."
CHICAGO -- Rookie Rafael Dolis has teammate Starlin Castro's support to handle the Cubs' closer duties.
"He's an amazing guy," Castro said of Dolis, who is sharing the job with James Russell for now. "He's working hard, too. Every day. He watches a lot of movies every day, but he works hard."
Movies? Dolis is trying to improve his English by watching English-language films. On Tuesday, it was "Contraband." That's how Castro improved his English.
OK, back to baseball. What can Dolis do?
"He's got a hard sinker, 96 [mph], and you don't need more than that," Castro said. "Sometimes he has a pretty good slider. He doesn't need to throw that, because he has an amazing sinker. He'll be pretty good. He still has to work pretty hard. One day, he'll be good."
• Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of three-run homers to back Chris Rusin and lead Triple-A Iowa to a 13-2 win over Fresno Tuesday night. Rusin struck out five, and retired the first nine batters he faced. He gave up three hits and two walks over six innings. Rizzo connected in the first and the sixth, and he leads the Pacific Coast League in home runs with nine. This was his fourth two-homer game of the season.
• Catcher Steve Clevenger, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique and fracture in his rib cage, was able to play catch on Tuesday. Clevenger has been sidelined since April 26.
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.