The Chicago Cubs stormed out of the gate in the very first inning of last night’s division battle but struggled late as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to win their sixth straight game, extending their lead in the N.L. Central.
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Tonight, they’ll look to end their three-game skid that began in Chicago against the last-place Milwaukee Brewers as they turn to rookie Kyle Hendricks, who is also looking to record his first win of the young campaign.
Hendricks (0-1, 5.23 ERA) has surrendered a run in each of his five outings last month in three decisions and a loss coming in his most recent start at Wrigley Field with the Pittsburgh Pirates in town. Veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen notched his 1,000 career hit on a single during that game while infielder Jung Ho Kang finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate.
Chicago’s young hurler handed the rest of the work over to the bullpen after five innings of work, allowing the Pirates to plate two runs on five hits while issuing three walks and striking out six. He didn’t receive much run support that night but did have himself an early 1-0 Cubs’ (13-11) lead thanks to catcher Miguel Montero who singled on a ball that deflected off first baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Montero pulled through with a two-run single in the first inning and followed that up with a RBI double in the fourth which drove in Kris Bryant. Both Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo drilled solo home runs in the loss.
Ace pitcher Adam Wainwright was supposed to pick up the start tonight but was injured while stumbling out of the batter’s box in a road game against the Brewers last month. Wainwright suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, so the Cards will turn to Tyler Lyons to keep their winning streak alive in his first start of the season.
Lyons (0-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up four starts last season in 11 games, finishing the 2014 with a 0-4 record. In 36 2/3 innings, Lyons was tagged for 18 earned runs on 33 hits, four home runs, 1.20 WHIP, 36/11 K/BB ratio while posting a 4.42 ERA.
Before Lyons was given this opportunity, the Cardinals (19-6) turned to Tim Cooney in hopes of filling this massive hole in their starting rotation. Cooney was quickly demoted after working just 2 1/3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:
First pitch for tonight’s game is slated for 7:15 pm central time and will be aired live on both WGN, MLB Network and WBBM 780.