MLB Baseball

1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi Cubs0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 150
Tampa Bay1 3 0 0 3 0 0 1 x 8100
8
  W: B. Snell (4-6)   L: J. Lester (11-8)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 20, 2017
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 24,238

Cubs try to keep momentum going against Rays

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Cubs at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. The Cubs swept aside the Cardinals in three games over the weekend to push their winning streak to six. Chicago now has six winning streaks of at least six games since the start of last season, second most in the NL behind the Dodgers with seven.
  2. The Rays snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday. Tampa Bay has 20 wins in games decided by one run this season after winning just 13 such games a season ago.
  3. Jason Heyward was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in Sunday's win against the Cardinals. The Cubs are now 20-3 (.870) when Heyward has multiple hits this season, the best team record in baseball for a player with 20+ multi-hit games.
  4. Evan Longoria two hits and two RBI in the win on Sunday over Boston. Longoria leads the Rays with 14 multi-hit, multi-RBI games this season, one more than both Logan Morrison and Steven Souza Jr.
  5. Mike Montgomery got the win in two innings of relief in his last appearance on Thursday against the Mets. Montgomery is the first Cubs pitcher with at least 55 innings pitched as a starter and reliever since Les Lancaster in 1991.
  6. Chris Archer suffered his third straight loss after allowing three runs on six hits in four innings against the Yankees last Wednesday. It marks the fourth time in his career that Archer has lost three straight starts, and the first time since a four-game slide from June 11-28, 2016.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/19/2017 thru 9/20/2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Chicago Cubs got a warm welcome in manager Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field on Tuesday, and they will try to get out of town with a two-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays when the series concludes Wednesday.

The first-place Cubs (84-66) have won seven straight, but the Milwaukee Brewers matched them Tuesday night with a win to stay 3 1/2 games back in the National League Central. Chicago is gearing up for a four-game series at Miller Park this weekend.

"I feel like we're playing really good baseball right now," said Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber, who hit a solo home run as a designated hitter Tuesday, a role he could pick up again if the Cubs return to the World Series. "The way that our guys are just going out there and competing, it's really good to see, especially this time of year. It's getting to crunch time."

Unlike some of the NL's other leading teams, the Cubs are peaking in September, on the mound and at the plate. Momentum is an important thing in the final two weeks of the regular season as well.

"We just have to keep this same pace we're going at and not worry about however many games we've won or whatever it is," Schwarber said after Chicago's 2-1 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. "Just take it a day at a time and keep that same focus every day, like we've been doing. Good things are going to happen."

On Wednesday, those efforts will start with Cubs pitcher Jon Lester. The left-hander was to pitch Tuesday but had that start bumped back a day, which means he won't pitch against the Brewers on Sunday. Lester (11-7, 4.30 ERA) and took the loss against the Rays on July 4, giving up six runs on five innings.

The Rays know Lester well from his Boston Red Sox days -- he is 13-10 in his career against Tampa Bay with a 4.22 ERA, and the 10 losses are the most he has against any major league team. By comparison, he is 15-4 against the Baltimore Orioles, 13-6 against the New York Yankees and 15-9 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tampa Bay, struggling to stay mathematically alive for the second American League wild card, will counter with lefty Blake Snell (3-6, 4.25 ERA). Snell hasn't lost in his past nine starts, the longest stretch of its kind by a Rays starter this season, after going without a win for much of the season.

Snell pitched well against the Cubs in July at Wrigley Field, allowing no runs in five innings. He was in line for the win until the Rays bullpen took a loss.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, trying to stay optimistic despite his team dropping eight of 11 games, focused on the pitching and defense coming off a tough loss Tuesday in which the Rays were held to one hit.

"Our bullpen came in in some high-leverage situations to keep it right there and give the opportunity to the offense to get right back in there or tie it up," he said. "They did everything they could."

Updated September 20, 2017

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