CHICAGO — The Cincinnati Reds have given the Chicago Cubs fits all season. But just when Reds appeared on the verge of winning their sixth straight game against the reigning National League Central champions Quincy Wilson Jersey , the Cubs turned to a familiar ally.
The Cubs twice rallied from five runs down on Saturday to pull out an 8-7 victory. They will head into Sunday’s matinee at Wrigley Field with a chance to capture the series. Having staff ace Jon Lester on the mound certainly won’t hurt.
Lester will take his 11-2 record and 2.25 ERA into the start a day after the Cubs produced four eighth-inning runs for their dramatic win.The Cubs’ last eight wins all have come after they fell behind early.
“I love the fight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the team’s 50th win of the season. “Both sides wanted to win (and) we got it in the end.
“We’ve been in this situation all week.”
Added Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, who homered in the seventh inning before the Cubs mounted their latest comeback: “We never quit.”
The rally stunned the Reds, who appeared in line for their sixth win in their last seven games and their 15th in the past 19. Instead, Lester will take the mound in search of his eighth straight victory.
Lester was named NL Pitcher of the Month in June and is tied for the league lead in victories. Lester, who has won seven straight starts dating to May 23, will look to keep rolling against the Reds, against whom he is 6-1 in 14 starts.
In Lester’s last start — an 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins — he added an extra bonus — a solo home run. But Lester, who has struggled traditionally from the plate, won’t get too wrapped up in the excitement.
“If I get hits, I get hits,” Lester told reporters after his last outing on July 1. “The home run is awesome Tarell Basham Jersey , it’s cool, especially at home. But at the end of the day, I know I’m a pitcher and I’m not a hitter.”
The Cubs, who are playing without third baseman Kris Bryant — whom Maddon said will begin a minor league assignment soon — may be without right fielder Jason Heyward. He left Saturday’s loss in the third inning after fouling a ball off his groin.
The Reds enter Sunday’s series finale looking for their sixth straight series. But after Cincinnati touched up Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood for seven runs only to see Jared Hughes surrender a three-run lead, the Reds will attempt to regain their winning ways after Saturday’s shocker.
Cincinnati’s bullpen had, until Saturday, been able to protect late leads, which made Saturday’s loss so unfathomable. It marked only the third time this season the Reds lost after leading heading into the eighth inning.
“We’ve come back on a few clubs like that,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Today, (the Cubs) did it to us.”
Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.53) will start Sunday for the Reds and will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing June. He finished the month 1-3 and allowed at least three earned runs in each of his five outings. Castillo is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.
MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain plans to be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park Ryan Grant Jersey ,
Cain had been on the disabled list with a sore groin since June 26 and was eligible to return Wednesday, but the final step of his recovery took slightly longer than expected. He went through a full workout Saturday afternoon at Miller Park and after getting through it without issue declared himself ready to go.
“I’ll be playing tomorrow,” Cain told reporters as he walked off the field after his workout.
Since signing a four-year, $80 million contract with Milwaukee in January, Cain has been a force in the batter’s box and in center field. He was slashing .291/.394/.438 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 72 games for the Brewers, numbers that make him a leading candidate for a spot when All-Star rosters are announced Sunday evening.
The 32-year-old has made an All-Star team once in his career — in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the chance of Cain landing a spot on the National League roster had no bearing on his return timeline.
“The all-star game is a separate entity,” Counsell said. “He feels really comfortable right now and is doing really good. If everything turns out well today, then we’re set for tomorrow and the next day.”
Reinstating Cain will require another roster move for the Brewers. The team has managed its roster on a nearly daily basis this season, shuttling fresh arms and hot bats back and forth between Milwaukee and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Part of it, naturally, has been based on need Marshall Faulk Jersey , but part of it is also an attempt to create the strongest roster possible on any given day.
“Our point of doing it is just to kind of optimize our roster every day, ” Counsell said. “You go into a game with kind of a forecast of the game a little bit. If you need the pitching, you have to have the pitching. But if you don’t need the pitching, you have to have the position player. You have to let the previous games dictate it for you and tell you what’s going to happen.”
Junior Guerra (5-5, 2.87 ERA) was part of that shuffle already this season. He opened the year with Colorado Springs and was brought back to Milwaukee when the need arose. The right-hander hasn’t let up since and takes the mound Sunday afternoon looking for a victory in a third consecutive start.
Guerra threw five shutout innings in a no-decision in his only appearance versus Atlanta in 2016.
The Braves counter with left-hander Sean Newcomb (8-3, 3.10), whose last outing was one he’d like to forget. Pitching through sweltering heat and humidity, Newcomb was tagged for five runs, three hits and five walks while working 2 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium.
“I guess it was one of those days,” Newcomb said. “It was definitely a hot one. I had to go out there and deal with the elements and a good lineup. I just didn’t have my best stuff.”
Newcomb was 7-1 with a 2.07 ERA in the 11 previous starts and will be looking to revert to that form Sunday when he faces Milwaukee for the first time in his career.