REDS (23-28) AT CUBS (30-20)
2:20 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-O, MLB.TV
The Chicago Cubs will welcome the visiting Cincinnati Reds in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday afternoon.
Chicago is looking to avenge a series loss against the Reds earlier this month, in which it dropped two out of three games on the road. The Cubs have won 18 of their past 26 games and have posted a 10-1-2 record in their past 13 series.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati will try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since May 12-14. The Reds have scored a half-dozen runs or more in three straight games but have allowed 24 runs in the meantime.
The Reds claimed the series opener 6-5 on Friday night but fell short 8-6 on Saturday afternoon. Both teams clubbed three homers apiece during Saturday’s wind-blown contest, and David Bote broke a 6-all tie in the eighth inning with a double.
Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.30 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season. The eighth-year veteran has registered three quality starts in his past four outings, and he has allowed more than three earned runs only once this year.
In seven career starts against the Reds, Quintana is 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA. He has walked 17 and struck out 32 in 36 2/3 innings. That includes one appearance against Cincinnati this season, in which Quintana allowed three runs on six hits in five innings May 16, taking the loss in a 4-2 defeat.
Quintana is seeking the 75th win of his career. He is 24-17 with a 3.82 ERA since joining the Cubs during the 2017 campaign.
The Reds will counter with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.51 ERA), who is in his first season in Cincinnati after spending the past six years with the Washington Nationals. Roark has lost back-to-back outings against the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, and he was not pleased with Reds manager David Bell’s quick hook after five innings in his most recent outing.
Cameras captured a dugout conversation between the two, with Bell explaining his decision to lift Roark for a pinch hitter.
“No, I didn’t want to come out,” Roark said in comments published by The Athletic. “They had a different plan. Sometimes everybody’s not happy all the time. On to the next one.”
In nine games (eight starts) against the Cubs, Roark is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA. He has walked 10 and fanned 43 in 50 1/3 innings.
One of Roark’s toughest challenges will be Cubs slugger Kris Bryant, who has reached base safely in 32 of his last 34 games. Bryant is hitting .357 (30-for-84) with 24 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, nine homers and 21 RBIs in 24 games in May.
“Early in the season, my timing was off,” Bryant recently told the Chicago Tribune. “Now, I feel like I’m right where I need to be. That’s always a good thing: knowing your timing is there, and all you got to do is see the ball and hit it.”
The Reds have won three of five games against the Cubs this season. In 2018, Chicago won the series 11-8.
–Field Level Media