Jon Lester struggles against the Dodgers; Keuchel shines in Houston

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It appears as if the Chicago Cubs have themselves their own version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in veteran southpaw Jon Lester. Since his debut, Lester has been either spot on or flat-out ugly on the mound which usually results in short outings when opposing teams jump on him early in the game.

While the month of April was harsh to Jon, it appeared as if he was finally settling down in May. In 41 innings of work, the 31-year-old lefty surrendered a season-low eight earned runs on 12 hits against some great teams in the Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.

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What was great about May, is that he had himself a four-game winning streak until he suffered back-to-back losses against the D’backs and Nationals, then opened June with another two-game skid while visiting the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers.

Lester allowed a combined 11 earned runs on 15 hits and two home runs prior to working back-to-back gems against the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins.

After watching him emerge victories in his previous outings, Lester slipped yet again to this Dodgers lineup that was without first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Los Angeles tagged him for four earned runs behind four hits before he was pulled by skipper Joe Maddon after just four innings, allowing Edwin Jackson to take over.

While Jon was still figuring out how to win in the National League, Houston Astors lefty Dallas Keuchel became the sixth pitcher in the last 50 years to record 12 strikeouts in a complete game shutout against the New York Yankees.

Keuchel held the Bronx Bombers to only four hits and escaped the ninth inning with the bases loaded full of Yanks. Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and third baseman Chase Headley each had three strikeouts in the loss.

This young Astros team has emerged as one of the best teams in baseball behind the first-place Cardinals despite suffering their huge losing streak not too long ago.

Evan Gattis led the charge, recording an RBI single and double in back-to-back at-bats to extend Houston’s lead to 4-0. Former Cub Luis Valbuena recorded the final out of the ballgame on a ground ball by Jose Pirela, tossing it over to Jose Altuve.

Here’s more from around the league:

Dallas Keuchel goes the distance in 4-0 win over Yankees‘ – Climbing Tal’s Hill

Chicago White Sox win in 10 against Detroit Tigers‘ – Southside Showdown

Justin Turner deserves All-Star nod‘ – Lasorda’s Lair

Jairo LaBourt will be Blue Jays lone representative in Futures Game‘ – Jays Journal

Cubs finding success, despite modest payroll‘ – Cubbies Crib

Next: Cubs, Lester Settle For Series Split

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