Not only did the Chicago Cubs snap Pittsburgh’s four-game win streak behind Jason Hammel‘s gem Monday night, but found themselves only a game behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central after their 4-0 win.
Hammel worked eight scoreless innings, his best outing of the season to pick up his second win of the young season as both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo provided enough run support to get the job done. Now that the Cubs (11-7) managed to inch closer to the Cardinals, Travis Wood is hoping to duplicate Hammel’s scoreless outing, adding another win to his record.
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Wood’s (1-1, 3.24 ERA) last start came against the Pirates (11-9), where he picked up a no-decision after allowing three earned runs on five hits including two home runs. Both long-balls were hit by Josh Harrison and Starling Marte, who took Travis deep to begin the bottom of the first and second innings of the game.
Second baseman Addison Russell made his big league debut behind Wood, going 0-for-5 at the plate as the Cubs would score three runs in the top of the ninth in the 9-8 victory over the Pirates on the road.
Starting opposite of Travis will be 27-year-old southpaw Jeff Locke. Locke (2-0, 3.32 ERA) also picked up a no-decision in his Apr. 23 start against the Cubs which featured a three-hit game by outfielder Gregory Polanco, who delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning with reliever Phil Coke on the mound.
Polanco was scratched from last night’s game due to a left groin injury and was replaced by Andrew Lambo in right field. He’ll also miss tonight’s game as Sean Rodriguez will pick up in the start instead. There’s no telling when he’ll return, as manager Clint Hurdle told reporters that he wasn’t sure if he would be available off the bench according to the Washington Times.
Despite the loss of Polanco, this Pittsburgh team has the ability to rally as they displayed excellent at-bats in the final two games of last week’s four-game series.
Now here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup:
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time and will be aired live on both WPWR and WBBM 780.