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by hongwei28 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:19 am

LOS ANGELES — A four-time All-Star who has finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting three times Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey , Jon Lester looks to be getting even better in his 13th major league season.

And it leaves the Chicago Cubs with no better pitcher to stop a losing streak that was extended to five games Monday with a 2-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lester will try for his sixth consecutive victory when he faces the Dodgers on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series. He will square off against the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling, who had his own six-game streak come to an end last week in Chicago

The Lester-Stripling matchup is the second one in a span of six days.

Lester not only has a 1.64 ERA over his five-start win streak, he has pitched at least six innings in seven consecutive starts and has a 1.67 ERA over his last 12 outings.

“(Lester) is just slowing the game down,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Monday’s game in L.A. “He has gone to another level of maturation pitching-wise so I have really been enjoying watching him go about his business.”

Stripling is only in his third major league season, but he has shown an increased maturity level on the field as well this year. With the Dodgers in need of somebody to step up in the wake of a number of injuries to the starting staff, the right-hander made an easy transition from a bullpen role to rotation workhorse.

Stripling (6-2, 1.99) was not terrible in his outing against the Cubs last week, Lester was just better. The right-hander gave up three runs to the Cubs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over six innings. He sounded eager for a rematch.

“We’ve faced these guys in the playoffs the last two years, and it’s a lineup we’re really familiar with, and they’re familiar with us Josh Norman Jersey ,” Stripling said after Wednesday’s defeat, according to mlb.com. “We’re right there with this team, and we know that.”

Lester (9-2, 2.10) held the Dodgers to just five hits in his scoreless outing Wednesday as the Cubs closed out a series victory. It is the only series the Dodgers have lost since the middle of May when they were in Miami.

Not only are the Dodgers 16-5 in June, they have 48 home runs in the month after hitting two Monday and nine in their past two games. Since a May 17 victory in Miami, the Dodgers are 26-9.

As good as the Cubs have been since the start of the 2015 season, winning at Dodger Stadium has proved difficult. They are just 2-8 in L.A. in that time, while going a baseball-best 334-226 in that same stretch. They did go 2-1 in L.A. while winning the 2016 National League Championship Series.

The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez has three home runs in two games and has six in his last 13 games. He is expected to be in the starting lineup Tuesday against the lefty Lester. Hernandez, the Dodgers’ super-utility player, has a career .874 OPS against left-handed pitching.

Houston ace Justin Verlander made two mistakes Bill Bates Jersey , both resulting in home runs. The way the Astros are swinging the bats these days, it hardly mattered.

Verlander pitched five-hit ball over seven innings and the Astros jumped out to another early lead, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3 Thursday for their eighth straight win.

Brian McCann homered for the first time in nearly a month. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Josh Reddick were among five players with two hits apiece as Houston completed the three-game sweep.

”It happens fast when we’re at our best,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. ”We can get after you and then we stay after you. We’re not going to be perfect all the time . but when we are good like this and putting up runs, we’re pretty tough.”

Evan Gattis, who set a franchise record with five RBIs in each of the first two games of the series, went 1 for 5 and didn’t drive in a run.

Beyond that, it was another in a series of impressive offensive displays from the Astros.

The winning streak is their longest since they won 11 straight May 25-June 5 last season on the way to their first World Series championship. Houston also improved to 8-1 against Oakland this season.

”It’s nice to have your team hot, you just want to be the guy to keep it going http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/allen-hurns-jersey ,” Verlander said. ”The run support is awesome. It’s fun to be a part of keeping the rhythm and keeping the momentum on our side.”

Khris Davis and Matt Olson homered for the A’s. It was Davis’ third home run in three consecutive at-bats after going deep in his final two plate appearances Wednesday.

Both home runs came off Verlander, who went into the day leading the majors with a 1.45 ERA.

Still, Verlander (9-2) was sharp in his first appearance against the A’s since 2016. He faced three batters over the minimum before Oakland scored twice in the seventh.

The six-time All-Star allowed three runs, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter while earning his fifth consecutive win.

”I felt like I navigated the lineup pretty well,” Verlander said. ”Really, one not well-executed pitch I would like back and another pitch selection I would like back.”

The Astros outscored the A’s 26-11 in the series and have a 69-20 run differential in the last eight games between the two division rivals. They also got some help from Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman, who committed a pair of errors that led to a pair of unearned runs in the sixth.

Frankie Montas (3-1) gave up five earned runs and 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four.

”That’s good team that’s swinging the bat real well right now,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ”Looked like every ball he got in the middle of the plate they hit.”

ROSTER JUGGLE

RHP Trevor Cahill (Achilles strain) was placed by Oakland on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this season. RHPs Chris Bassitt and Carlos Ramirez were called up from Triple-A Nashville. Reliever Danny Coulombe was optioned down.

ONE STREAK ENDS, ANOTHER CONTINUES

Houston 3B Alex Bregman went hitless in four at-bats, ending his hitting streak at 10 games. But Bregman drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 25 games Chris Ivory Jersey , the second-longest active mark in the majors behind Shin-Soo Choo of Texas (28).

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Bregman was back in the lineup after getting a rest day Wednesday.

Athletics: Chapman left the game with a bruised right hand that has been bothering him since spring training. He was expected to be taken for an MRI after the game. Cahill is nursing a strained right Achilles and is wearing a walking boot. He hasn’t responded to treatment and there is no timetable for his return. … Matt Joyce (lumbar strain) will take full batting practice Friday and begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Monday.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (7-1, 2.82 ERA) attempts to become Houston’s fourth starter with eight wins or more when he pitches in Kansas City on Friday night.

Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 1.29), who was called up from Triple-A Nashville, will pitch against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Bassitt is taking Cahill’s spot in the rotation.



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hongwei28
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