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Pregame notes: Joe Maddon backs Starlin Castro despite gaffe that cost Cubs

Starlin Castro hung his head the moment it happened — and it cost him and the Chicago Cubs.

Castro booted a fairly routine grounder in the hole that allowed Brian Dozier to score in the first inning of a 7-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Friday night. He then hung his head in frustration, sulking over his 14th error of the season, and Eddie Rosario raced home from third base to score the second run of the game.

"It wasn't even about the ground ball," manager Joe Maddon said. "It was about holding the ball. I'm [more concerned] about the mental mistake. Those physical mistakes are going to happen."

Castro, clearly upset with himself after the game, was quick to own up to his mental mistake.

Maddon spoke before Saturday's game and praised the 25-year-old for that sense of accountability.

"He's not an excuse maker at all," Maddon said. "There's a lot to like about the guy. I can't question his work or how much he wants to do well. He makes mistakes on occasion."

Castro has been criticized for those mistakes throughout his career. He's garnered the reputation for sometimes falling asleep in the field so much so that Bobby Valentine notably called Castro out for his lack of focus for a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. As his career has progressed, though, Castro has seemed to mature. That's the reason the most recent gaffe is so frustrating to those that follow the team closely.

Maddon, however, is firmly in Castro's corner.

"I think to be upset or angry with somebody would only come if I thought that somebody didn't care," Maddon said. "He does care. He does work. ... I'm patient by nature and when I'm dealing with a young man that's trying to do the right thing I'm even more patient."

You can count on him: Chris Coghlan has played in 129 straight games and is quietly the active leader in consecutive games played. That that streak stretches back to July 23 of last season.

"He's played really well for us," Maddon said. "He has been kind of the utility guy in the batting order. He's been all over the place and that speaks to his versatility."

Coghlan was the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year with the Marlins before flaming out a little bit over the next few season. He's reignited his career after signing a deal with the Cubs in January 2014.

"He's a good player," Maddon said.

Soler getting closer: Jorge Soler took batting practice before Friday's game and partook in some light running before Saturday's contest.

Soler hasn't played since June 1 after spraining his left ankle. That said it appears he's getting closer and closer to a rehab assignment.

"He's getting close," Maddon said. "He's still maybe a couple days away before we do something. I was encouraged."

Soler is batting .265 with four homers and 19 RBIs this season.