It only took him a handful of outings and a month, but Jon Lester has finally picked up his first win as a member of the Chicago Cubs after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field by the score of 1-0.
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While the Brewers were held to zero runs on four hits between Lester and the bullpen, rookie second baseman Addison Russell cranked his first big league home run of his career to left-center field in the bottom of the third inning to help out his starting pitcher.
Although Chicago did record nine hits on the day, Lester worked seven shutout innings before handing the rest of the workload over to Pedro Stop and Hector Rondon.
Both Strop and Rondon carried over their stellar work from April into the new month, keeping their last-place division rival at bay by surrendering a total of one hit while punching out four in two innings.
The only two Milwaukee (5-18) hits came from Gerardo Parra and Jason Rogers who combined 4-for-7 at the plate and former N.L. MVP Ryan Braun (like the rest of the lineup) finished the afternoon 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. These two will continue their series this afternoon with the Chicago Cubs (13-8) only 2.5 games out of first place.
Shortly after Lester recorded his first win in a Cubs uniform, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays on the all-time home runs list after crushing No. 660 to left field in the top of the eighth inning. Rodriguez’s pinch-hit home run would not only break a 2-2 tie, but would end up being the winning run as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox on the road, 3-2.
The man known as A-Rod has been under a lot of stress over the last couple years ever since the BioGenesis scandal was revealed. He was suspended for the entire 2014 season but looks like he hasn’t skipped a beat. In 70 at-bats this season, Rodriguez has clubbed six home runs, 14 RBI four doubles while slashing .243/.376/.557.
It’s no surprise that both the Yankees and Red Sox are still considered to be heavy contenders in the American League, but one team is flying red-hot under the radar down in Texas. During the off-season, the Cubs acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler in exchange for Dan Straily and third baseman Luis Valbuena.
Since the trade, Houston (16-7) appears to be steamrolling the competition as they find themselves in first place in the A.L. West with one of the best records in all of baseball. Despite being one game above .500 at home (6-2), the Astros have been finding ways to win games on the road with a league-best 10-2 record and the longest win streak with eight games.
Not only did they sweep the Oakland Athletics, but the closed out their California road trip by sweeping the San Diego Padres, outscoring both teams 57-29. Former Cub Valbuena is on pace to break his career high totals in home runs and RBI as he currently sits with five long balls, nine RBI on a batting line of .218/.295/.462.
It’s good to know that he’s continuing to play great baseball, but even better knowing that the Astros are no longer in the N.L. Central.
Now here’s more from around the league: