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While fans were waiting for Kris Bryant to crush his first big league home run, rookie second baseman Russell lifted a pitch to the left field bleachers, beating Bryant to the punch.
It was enough offense for Lester and the bullpen to seal up the victory, improving to 13-8 on the young season. Now that the Cubs are in a position to win the series against Milwaukee – they’ll turn to ace pitcher Jake Arrieta. Arrieta (3-1, 2.03 ERA) has pitched extremely well over his first four starts of the season, surrendering six earned runs on 18 hits, one home run, and a 25/7 K/BB ratio in April.
Those six earned runs in the month of the season just so happen to be a career-low for the 29-year-old right-hander. Now if Lester is able to handle business and have himself a lights-out performance on the mound, there’s absolutely no reason why Arrieta shouldn’t be able to do the same thing against a lineup that produced just four hits between two players.
The man looking to help even things up for the opposing team will be veteran, Mike Fiers. Fiers (0-3, 5.79 ERA) is yet another pitcher on this staff who is still hoping to pick up their first win of the season. On Apr. 26, the St. Louis Cardinals chased him out of the game after just four innings – tagging him for two runs, one earned on nine hits including one home run.
He did, however, give up two grand slams in the 16-10 loss five days prior to his no-decision against the Cardinals. Both teams combined for seven home runs in that slug fest.
Outfielder Carlos Gomez, who has been out with a hamstring injury, is expected to return to Milwaukee’s lineup this afternoon without a minor league rehab start. Gomez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Apr. 16 after suffering the injury while running down the first base line in the ninth inning in a game against the Cardinals.
Not only is that huge news for this Brewers club, but Fiers as well after yesterday’s lack of offense behind Wily Peralta.
Here’s a quick look at today’s lineup’s:
First pitch is slated for 1:20 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.