MLB Baseball

4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Toronto1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 4100
Chi Cubs0 3 0 0 2 0 0 2 x 7130
7
  W: J. Arrieta (13-8)   L: J. Happ (6-9)   S: W. Davis (25)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, August 18, 2017
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 41,814

Blue Jays' Montero returns to face Cubs

CHICAGO -- There will be a familiar face peeking out of the visitor's dugout as the Toronto Blue Jays make a rare visit to Wrigley Field for a three-game weekend series with the Chicago Cubs beginning Friday afternoon.

Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero, who won a World Series ring last year with the Cubs before leaving under fire after he criticized pitcher Jake Arrieta in June, will be on hand after rejoining Toronto this week following a stint on the disabled list.

Now he could face Arrieta on Friday in the series opener.

Montero's departure came after the Washington Nationals stole seven bases on Arrieta and the Cubs in a game in late June.

"It really (stunk) because the stolen bases go to me," Montero said after that game. "When you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time. ... My pitcher doesn't hold anybody on.

"It's tough because it doesn't matter how much work I put on footwork and throwing and everything, because if I don't get a chance to throw -- that's the reason they were running left and right today, because they know he was slow to the plate. Simple as that. "

Montero was quickly gone after the outburst and eventually landed with Toronto.

The Blue Jays activated Montero off the disabled list Wednesday after his recovery from a groin strain, and he went 0-for-3 on Thursday in his first major league action since Aug. 2. He made a rehab appearance at Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday.

He batted .286 with four home runs through 44 games with the Cubs but is hitting .077 in 14 contests since joining Toronto in July.

The Blue Jays (59-62) are in a three-way tie for last in the American League East, but they are only three games under .500 following a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

The weekend visit is their second to Wrigley Field since interleague play began in 1997 and first since 2005.

Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ (6-8, 3.63 ERA) has won three consecutive starts, allowing one run in each outing. Happ last faced the Cubs in September 2015 while with the Pirates, giving up two runs on eight hits in a 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh.

The first-place Cubs (63-57), who lead the Milwaukee Brewers by one game in the National League Central, are coming off a four-game split with the last-place Cincinnati Reds.

Arrieta (12-8, 3.73 ERA) recorded his sixth straight quality start Sunday at Arizona, allowing one run and three hits over six innings in a 7-2 victory. He is 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts since July 2.

"I knew it was just a matter of time," Arrieta told WSCR-AM this week. "I wasn't pitching the way I would've liked or the way I'd expect to perform. Some of that had to do with not executing, some of it had to do with a little bit of bad luck. Some just had to do with not being on top of my game."

Arrieta makes his eighth appearance (seventh start) against the Blue Jays. He is 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA against Toronto.

Updated August 18, 2017

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