The Chicago Cubs will try to extend their season-best winning streak to seven
games when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Friday afternoon to open a
three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Chicago (49-35) has outscored opponents 56-35 during its six-game winning
Evander Kane Jersey , which has pushed the team 14 games above .500 for
the first time this season. The Cubs have scored at least five runs in eight
Through 84 games, the Cubs’ plus-104 run differential is by far the best in
the National League.
“We’re all just trying to pass it along to the next guy,” Cubs outfielder
Kyle Schwarber said recently to The Athletic. “We obviously want to have our
at-bat and help out the team in some way. Get on base somehow, drive in guys,
get the guy over. Whatever it is, we want to do that. And then it’s up to the
guy behind us.
“We have full faith in everyone on this team. That’s the bottom line, we want
to pass it on to the next guy.”
Cincinnati (38-49) has enjoyed the same type of positive momentum in recent
weeks and is playing its best baseball of the season as it arrives to Chicago’s
North Side. The Reds have won four of their past five games and 13 of 17 after
concluding a three-game series with the Chicago White
During the past 17 games, the Reds have scored at least five runs 14
“It’s our offense, we’re never down,” Reds pitcher Sal Romano said to the
Cincinnati Enquirer. “Doesn’t matter how many runs we’re down, they’re able to
come back and swing it.”
The rejuvenated Reds have won or tied each of their past five series.
“I think that it’s getting to the point now where teams, when they come to
play us or when we come to play them, there’s a little bit of, ‘Oh, shoot, we’ve
got the Reds,'” Reds pitcher Jared Hughes told the Enquirer. “That’s what we
Cincinnati has won six of nine games against Chicago this season, including a
four-game sweep in June.
Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery (3-2, 3.55 ERA) is slated to make his eighth
start. The 29-year-old has provided much needed stability in the rotation after
highly touted free-agent signing Yu Darvish went to the disabled list.
In 14 career appearances (four starts) against the Reds, Montgomery is 1-1
with a 3.38 ERA. He has walked 11 and struck out 29 in 37 1/3 innings.
Cincinnati will turn to right-hander Tyler Mahle
Joe Pavelski Jersey , 3.83), who is set to make his 18th start of the
season and the 22nd start of his career. The 23-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA
in his past six outings.
This will be Mahle’s third career start against the Cubs. In his first two
meetings, both of which took place this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Cubs hitters Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez and Schwarber each have gone deep
against Mahle this season. Baez has been almost perfect against the pitcher,
going 4-for-5 with a triple to go along with the homer.
However, the Cubs are focused on making hard contact rather than blasting
long home runs.
“We’re not trying to hit home runs,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to The
Athletic. “We’re moving the baseball. We’re hitting it to all fields.”
TORONTO — The New York Yankees evened their series with the Toronto Blue Jays
on Saturday afternoon, but the availability of closer Aroldis Chapman for the
rubber match Sunday was unknown.
Chapman struck out the first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning
Saturday in the Yankees’ 8-5 victory at the Rogers Centre, but then left the
mound with a recurrence of left knee tendinitis that he has dealt with for the
past two months.
“I don’t think today was anything too extreme from what he’s been dealing
with much of the year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It was more me
getting him out of there because of the score.”
He is considered day-to-day.
Chapman entered the game in the ninth with a four-run lead, a non-save
“With a four-run lead, I didn’t want to take any chances with it,” Boone
said. “He said he was fine to continue.”
Chasen Shreve replaced the left-hander and finished the game, allowing a home
run to Aledmys Diaz.
The teams will go for the series win Sunday afternoon with the Yankees
(57-29) sending out right-hander Domingo German (2-4, 5.37 ERA) and the Blue
Jays (41-47) will start left-hander Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.77).
The Yankees also lost center fielder Aaron Hicks to a cramp and hamstring
tightness in his left leg in the fifth inning. Toronto reliever Rhiner Cruz left
the game with a groin injury in the top of the ninth.
Hicks will be likely given Sunday off. No MRI has been done at this stage, so
Boone hoped the day off would be enough.
“He feels like he’s OK,” Boone said.
Clint Frazier, who was called up from
Thornton Jersey , took over in left field when Hicks was removed with
Brett Gardner moving from left to center.
In a twist to the game, the Yankees scored six runs and had four hits and six
walks in 2 2/3 innings against Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ, a pitcher they
could be interested in obtaining before the July 31 deadline for trades without
It was the second poor start in a row for Happ, who gave up seven runs in 5
2/3 innings to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Happ said the rumors of a trade, possibly to the Yankees, did not influence
“It really doesn’t change. I was ready to pitch. I was excited to pitch, I
felt good,” Happ said. “I don’t know. I think you try to flush this one as best
you can and it’s going to be a tough couple of days in between, but hopefully
you bounce back.
“I don’t think these last two are really indicative of how I’ve pitched the
last several years, so you try to flip the script as best as you can and just
“I’m just focused on playing for the Blue Jays right now. There’s rumors out
there. You never know what’s speculation, what’s true, and what has any
realistic chance. I’m just trying to play and pitch. I’m happy right here and
we’ll see what happens.”
German will make his 17th appearance and 11th start of the year for the
Yankees. He has faced Toronto twice in his career, both in relief, going 0-2
with an 8.10 ERA.
In German’s only outing against the Blue Jays this season, he allowed two
runs, two hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Borucki will make his third career outing (all starts) when he pitches
against the Yankees for the first time. He allowed two runs, six hits and no
walks and had eight strikeouts Monday but did not factor in the decision against
the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees are 8-4 against the Blue Jays this season and 5-3 at the Rogers
Centre. They last had five wins in Toronto in 2009 when they were 6-3.
The Blue Jays are 4-4 on a homestand that ends Sunday.