MILWAUKEE -- The Chicago Cubs activated closer Adbert Alzolay from the injured list Friday and optioned reliever Keegan Thompson to their spring facility in Arizona, the team announced before its game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Alzolay, 28, had been out since Sept. 11 with a forearm strain. He pitched a scoreless eighth on Friday, walking one and striking out one. The Cubs rallied from a 3-0 deficit before falling 4-3 in 10 innings.
"It's going to help out a lot," Cubs manager David Ross said of Alzolay before the game. "We've missed him while he's been out. He's been a big part of our success. Having him back helps us shorten the game, which we haven't been able to do a lot lately."
In September, the Cubs have blown five games in which they've led in the eighth inning or later, the most for a team in a single month in at least 50 seasons.
Alzolay had 22 saves and a 2.71 ERA before going on IL. He emerged as the Cubs' closer after Michael Fulmer lost the job earlier this season.
Ross was asked if Alzolay would return to the role right away, considering the team is fighting for the final wild-card spot in the National League. The Cubs fell 1½ games behind the Marlins for the final spot.
"I hadn't defined that," Ross said. "I told him to just be ready."
Alzolay has appeared in 58 games this season, converting 18 straight saves between early July and late August. He struggled in early September before going on the injured list.
"I really want to help the team," Alzolay said earlier this week. "I'm good to go."
Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner left Friday's game in the seventh inning with a bruised left knee, which he suffered an inning earlier when he fouled a pitch off his leg.