Cubs activate Zambrano from 15-day DL, option Ascanio to Triple-A

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs activated pitcher Carlos Zambrano from the 15-day disabled list in time to start Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The right-handed pitcher left his start on June 18 against Tampa Bay because of pain in his right shoulder. Tests showed a minor strain. Zambrano took the loss in that game, allowing five runs -- four earned -- in 6.2 innings.

Zambrano, who also missed a month in 2002 with a right elbow strain, is 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA.

The Cubs also have optioned pitcher Jose Ascanio to Triple-A.