(AP) — The Chicago Cubs and Matt Garza are both trying to build off recent momentum. The Cubs are going for their first three-game winning streak of the season, and Garza looks to build off his first victory as a Cub.
The right-handed Garza (1-3, 3.96 ERA), who was acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, won his first game Saturday against Arizona after allowing three runs in eight innings. His 10 strikeouts gave him 51 in April – a franchise record for the month.READ MORE: Woman Questions COVID-19 Clinic After Receiving Results Before Testing
Though Garza has pitched well, the Cubs (14-16) have had trouble winning when he takes the mound. Chicago is 14-6 when its starter lasts more than five innings but 2-4 when Garza accomplishes the feat.
Geovany Soto, Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd homered in a 5-1 win at Los Angeles on Wednesday as the Cubs played their 19th consecutive game against the NL West. Friday will mark the first of six straight home games against Central Division rivals – something manager Mike Quade welcomes.
“I’ve had enough of the West Coast for awhile,” Quade told the team’s official website. “The East Coast and our division, let’s go.
“I look forward to this homestand because we start with Cincy and the Cardinals and we’ll see where we’re at right now.”
Byrd has been hot of late, hitting safely in 11 of 12 games. He’s batting .340 with five multi-hit games in that span.
Garza has never faced the Reds, and he’ll be responsible for slowing down their lineup, which has seemed to find its groove.
Cincinnati (16-15) beat Houston 10-4 on Thursday, winning back-to-back games for the first time since April 11-12. Joey Votto remained the only player in the majors to reach safely in each game with a single in the fourth inning.READ MORE: 4 Dead, 25 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
Votto’s 31-game streak is three shy of Dave Collins’ franchise mark set in 1981.
Ryan Hanigan went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, and Jay Bruce also went 3 for 4, adding a home run in the eighth.
Manager Dusty Baker is excited his squad is finally getting healthy. Homer Bailey returned to pitch six strong innings, and Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his first start in the series finale Sunday.
“It’s nice to be able to have them back,” Baker said. “The next step is to have them back and comfortable. With the injuries and their layoff, who knows? They should be strong in September, and maybe October will be their September with the wear and tear. It could work out great for us.”
Having Edinson Volquez (2-1, 5.67) on the mound against Chicago may also bode well for the Reds.
Volquez is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 19 strikeouts in three career starts versus the Cubs. Only Aramis Ramirez has had a bit of success against him, going 3 for 8.
The right-hander is coming off a solid performance, allowing one run and two hits through five innings of a 4-3 victory in 10 innings against Florida on Saturday.
The Reds averaged 6.9 runs in going 6-1 at Wrigley Field last season.MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old Shot In Hyde Park
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