Following their 8-2 homestand, the Chicago Cubs will hit the road for a nine-game road trip. First stop will be in the City of Brotherly Love aka Philadelphia for a three-game set with Ryan Howard‘s Phillies.
Despite Jake Arrieta picking up his first loss of the 2016 campaign, the first-place Chicago Cubs (39-16) still have themselves a solid lead in the National League Central ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
Infielder Javier Baez helped back Arrieta with a solo home run late in the game but it wasn’t enough as the Cubbies failed to put together a rally. Arrieta was also credited with an RBI after picking up his first double of the season.
Now that Sunday’s game is behind them, it’s time for Joe Maddon‘s club to continue pushing forward with the MLB All-Star game and non-waiver trade deadline approaching in July.
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Taking tonight for the Cubs will be southpaw Jon Lester. Lester (6-3, 2.29 ERA) picked up two wins during Chicago’s previous homestand, limiting the Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers to a combined two earned runs on 10 hits, one homer, one walk, and 17 strikeouts.
Philadelphia (28-29) had to put up with Lester in 6 1/3 innings of work on May 27 while he pitched his second complete game as a member of the Chicago Cubs against the Dodgers just four days later.
On the other side of the diamond, 26-year-old southpaw Adam Morgan is looking to redeem himself against Lester and the Cubs. Morgan (1-4, 7.07 ERA) has found himself in a bit of a skid, giving up 12 earned runs on 17 hits, five homers while posting a 9/1 K/BB ratio in his previous two outings.
Chicago launched three big flies off him on May 27 and chased him out of the game after four innings of work at Wrigley Field. Veteran catcher, David Ross swatted his 100th career homer that day — a three-run shot that followed Jorge Soler‘s solo bomb that led off the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Last year’s National League Rookie of the Year winner, Kris Bryant crushed his 11th (at the time) moon shot of the season later on in the fifth, extending Chicago’s lead to 6-1. The Cubs went on to winning that game by the final score of 6-2, improving to 32-14.
First pitch for tonight’s series opener is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN, 670 The Score. Here’s a look at how both clubs lineup: