The Chicago Cubs completed their recent sprint of 17 games in as many days with a historic offensive performance, completing a series sweep of the Twins.
When Jon Lester takes the ball for the Chicago Cubs this season, we all expect a win. And with good reason. After Sunday’s series finale win over the Minnesota Twins, the real question is what the veteran ace will do for an encore.
With the heat index at 102 at first pitch, Lester gutted his way through five innings of two-run ball, scattering nine hits. On the year, his 2.25 ERA ranks fourth in the National League and his 11 wins pace the Senior Circuit. But it was at the dish, not on the mound, he made the biggest difference on Sunday.
As part of an eight-run onslaught, Lester worked a full count against Lance Lynn. On the radio broadcast, Pat Hughes commented about how good a bunter Lester is. But the veteran had no intention of bunting the runners over. He swung away, belting a three-run home run into the seats in left-center.
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Scoring 11 runs, Chicago made history. This marks the first time since 1930 the Cubs scored 10 or more runs in four straight games. And, aside from Lester, guys like Ian Happ (three hits) and Javier Baez (three hits, two RBI) helped lead the charge.
Monday, the Cubs get a well-deserved day off. Winners of four consecutive games, Chicago sits just one-half game back of the Brewers in the Central. Milwaukee dropped its last two to Cincinnati, which has quietly creeped to 12 games under .500 with a white-hot stretch of ball.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers come to town for a two-game Fourth of July battle. In the rematch of the 1945 World Series, the Cubs send Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana to the mound. Detroit counters with Michael Fulmer and Francisco Liriano.
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Chicago welcomes the Tigers to Wrigley in a brief two-game stint on Tuesday.
Kyle Hendricks starts opposite Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer in the matinee action. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m. CT.