hen the Chicago Cubs traded for Cole Hamels

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, they figured the veteran starter would add depth
to their rotation as they dealt with the uncertainty of Yu Darvish’s return.But
after the Cubs shut Darvish down for the season earlier this week and with
Chicago’s offense freshly breaking out of a slump heading into Thursday’s
series-opener against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field, Hamels’ impressive
start to his time with the Cubs may be even more valuable than originally
expected.Hamels has allowed just two earned runs in his four Cubs’ starts
combined and has posted wins in three of his four outings. Now, with the Cubs
having lost three of their last four games, getting another steady performance
out of Hamels (8-9, 4.00 ERA) on Thursday may just be what the Cubs need as they
attempt to fend off their closest competitors in the National League Central
Division.Article continues below ...“It’s the belief I’ve always had, every
season, to go out and be a workhorse,” Hamels told reporters earlier this month,
according to ESPN.com. “To gain momentum or continue winning streaks or end
losing streaks.”That’s what the Cubs will be looking for from Hamels, who has
dominated the Reds during his career with a 10-1 record with 1.93 ERA in 15
career starts against Cincinnati. The Cubs finally managed some offense in an
8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday and snapped a five-game stretch
in which they scored only one run in each of the five games with all of their
scoring coming via the solo home run.Daniel Murphy, who made his Cubs debut
after being acquired from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-hicks-jersey ,
went 2-for-5 and delivered an RBI single as part of the Cubs’ victory, which
Javier Baez cemented with a three-run homer and an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in
the ninth inning. Murphy’s presence will provide some infield insurance as the
Cubs placed shortstop Addison Russell on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday.
Russell was scratched from Tuesday’s game with shoulder inflammation but was
placed on the disabled list with a sprained left middle finger. Russell became
the second Cubs starting infielder to be sidelined as third baseman Kris Bryant
is slowly working his way back from a shoulder injury.“(Russell’s) pretty beat
up right now,” manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Wednesday, according to
mlb.com. “The thing I love about him is he doesn’t make excuses. Let’s get him
well, let’s get him ready for the last month.”The Reds will enter this weekend’s
four-game series after losing two of three games against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cincinnati managed only five hits in a 4-0 loss on Wednesday when the Reds put
only one runner in scoring position over seven innings.“We just didn’t put
anything together,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters following
the loss, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.12)
will start for the Reds on Thursday and will be searching for his third victory
this month. Like Hamels, DeSclafani has limited the runs he has surrendered and
has just allowed a pair of earned runs in August in three games. He is coming
off a solid 7 2/3-inning-outing against the San Francisco Giants when he gave up
one run and six hits while striking out five in a no-decision.He is 3-2 with a
3.59 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs, and he is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA
in his only start against Chicago this season. He gave up three hits and two
runs in 6 2/3 innings in that start on June 23. MIAMI (AP) — Cody Reed is
enjoying his starter’s role.After spending the majority of his three-year career
in the bullpen, Reed joined the Cincinnati Reds rotation last month Aaron Judge
, and on Thursday night the left-hander won his first
decision as a starter.Reed pitched six shutout innings and Scooter Gennett
homered and doubled to lead the Reds to a 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.“I
was happy I got the first but the team got the win, that’s the most important
thing,” Reed said. “I feel good.”Reed (1-2) scattered five hits and struck out
six and extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings.“I was just throwing the
ball over the plate,” Reed said. “Getting those quick outs and getting the team
off the field and back swinging the sticks was good.”Gennett’s two-run home run
in the seventh gave Cincinnati a 4-0 lead. Gennett’s blast off Miami reliever
Elieser Hernandez landed in the upper deck in right field and was his 23rd
homer.“I knew I got that one,” Gennett said.The Marlins threatened in the sixth
as Starlin Castro and J.T. Realmuto singled, but Reed retired Peter O’Brien on a
double-play grounder and Austin Dean on a fly to center.“He could be a real
weapon for us as we face our division where none of those left-handed hitters
sit,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said of Reed. “We talk about it all the time.
In our own division, we have to find somebody to get those left-handed hitters
out and we’re hoping he can be one of the guys that can do it.”Realmuto’s
two-out RBI double off reliever Jared Hughes cut Cincinnati’s lead to 4-1.
Raisel Iglesias inherited Realmuto and allowed a run-scoring single by O’Brien
before retiring pinch hitter Derek Dietrich on a fly to center.“Everybody went
up there and tried to compete,” Castro said. “There is nothing more important
than coming in here and try to finish strong.”Iglesias walked two in the ninth
before Gennett made a diving stop on a hard grounder by Miguel Rojas and threw
him out at first for the final out. Iglesias earned his 29th save in 33
opportunities.“I was just trying to get to the clubhouse and shower, quickest
way to do it,” Gennett said of his game ending play. “I was kind of playing more
straight up rather than pull. If I was Gleyber
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, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get to
it.”The Reds struck early on Gennett’s two-run double off Miami starter Jeff
Brigham in the third. Gennett drove in Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler, who
had reached on walks.Brigham (0-3) allowed two runs, three hits, four walks and
struck out six in his third major league start since being promoted from Triple
A New Orleans on Sept. 1“I think I learned a lot again in this start,” Brigham
said. “Every start is a step forward.”REALMUTO VOTED TEAM MVP:Realmuto, the
Marlins’ leader in home runs, runs batted in and OPS, has been selected the
team’s Most Valuable Player in a vote by the South Florida chapter of the
Baseball Writers Association. 3B-RF Brian Anderson won the Rookie of the Year
award. . The Marlins named OF Austin Dean the organization’s Minor League Player
of the Year and Nick Neidert Pitcher of the Year. A September call-up, Dean hit
.345, 12 home runs and had 68 RBI, in stops at Double-A Jacksonville and
Triple-A New Orleans. Neidert Tyler
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, acquired from Seattle for Dee Gordon in the
offseason, finished 12-7 with a 3.26 ERA at Double A Jacksonville.FAMILIAR
LINEUPS AHEAD:The Reds just completed three series against playoff contending
teams but Riggleman said he will continue using offensive leaders Gennet, Joey
Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Jose Peraza now that the club will play Miami and
Kansas City, last in their respective divisions. “I don’t anticipate looking at
too many different lineups,” Riggleman said. “I’ve been using them as I have to
this point.”TRAINER’S ROOM:Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle, bothered by right shoulder
fatigue, will miss his next scheduled start on Sunday and Riggleman is uncertain
if he will pitch again this season. “If I had an update as to when he will pitch
in a game, I will say so,” Riggleman said. “We don’t even know if he will pitch
in a game between now and the end of the year. He feels fine but we’re just
going to make a determination – do we want to do it in a controlled simulated
situation or putting him a game for two innings?”UP NEXT:Reds: RHP Luis Castillo
(10-12, 4.52) Clint
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, a former Marlins prospect, will start the second
game of the series Friday. Castillo, acquired for RHP Dan Straily before the
2017 season, pitched eight innings, allowed one run and three hits and got the
victory in his other previous start against his former team on July 30,
2017.Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-11, 4.93) will attempt to continue his home
success on Friday. Chen has a 1.77 ERA in 12 home starts while his road ERA in
12 starts balloons to 9.29.
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