The Chicago Cubs will welcome the reigning American League Champion Kansas City Royals today, following a much-needed off-day after dropping their previous three-game series to the Washington Nationals.
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Kansas City entered the week with the best record in baseball until getting swept by the New York Yankees on the road. Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was hammered by the Bronx Bombers in his most recent outing, surrendering eight runs on multiple home runs in just the bottom half of the first inning.
This pitching staff, that was excellent last season, will have their hands full with this young Chicago Cubs team who still feel like they have a lot to prove. Being able to take two games out of three, or even sweeping the Royals would be huge for the North Siders as Jake Arrieta takes the mound to begin the weekend series opposite Edinson Volquez.
While the Royals get set to invade Wrigley Field, the Yankees had their three-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Oakland Athletics. Veteran southpaw C.C. Sabathia gave up multiple home runs in this contest – one to Billy Burns to left field, and the second to Brett Lawrie that tied things up at three apiece.
Sabathia was replaced after the sixth inning while the Yankees attempted to rally in the ninth inning. Outfielder Brett Gardner recorded a two-out RBI single, but Tyler Clippard was able to get Chase Headley pop-out, ending the game.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez continues his hunt for greatness, tying San Francisco Giants’ great Barry Bonds with 1,996 RBI – good enough to tie him for second all-time. Most fans continue to give the veteran slugger grief after coming back from his year-long suspension following the ‘Biogenesis Scandal’.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been red-hot as of late while attempting to gain ground on the Chicago Cubs in the N.L. Central. Pittsburgh homered multiple times in San Diego, tagging Ian Kennedy for three in just 3 2/3 frames.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen and third baseman Josh Harrison each had a double in the 11-5 win last night. They extended their winning streak to seven games dating back to last Friday, outscoring their opponents 46-14.
Good thing the Cubs won’t have to meet up with this team until early August.
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