|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 17, 2017
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 38,675
Cubs' Lester looks to stay hot versus Reds
CHICAGO -- Jon Lester hopes to resume a positive post-All-Star break run as the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds wrap up a four-game series at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
Lester (8-7, 3.99 ERA) is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA in six starts since the break with one blip -- allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits over six innings in a 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
"It's like a start over for us at the break," Lester said recently. "As of now, that stuff is going well. There are some clunkers in there I wish I could take it back or grind through better and have a better outcome."
The Reds counter with ex-Cub right-hander Scott Feldman (7-7, 4.43 ERA).
The Cubs (63-56) will look for a third victory in the series win while the Reds (50-71) seek to avoid their fifth loss in six games.
The pressure at least will be off Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman went 1-for-4 on Wednesday and missed a chance to tie a record held by Ted Williams for the most consecutive games reaching base at least twice.
Votto's hot stretch -- which included a 17-game hitting streak -- was halted at 20 games, leaving intact Williams' 21-game record set in 1948.
"To me, he's the best guy going in baseball right now," Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta told WSCR-AM on Wednesday. "What he is able to do is hit quality pitches for power."
Feldman makes his second start since coming off a 25-day stay on the disabled list caused by right knee inflammation. He is tied with Michael Lorenzen for the Reds' lead in wins, and tied with Tim Adleman for the club lead in starts, and his nine quality starts are a team high.
Feldman pitched for the Cubs in 2013 before a trade to Baltimore. Since then, he has faced the Cubs twice -- both this season, going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA. He allowed no runs on two hits over seven innings in a 5-0 victory on June 30.
"My hopes are that he'll be able to maintain what we saw those first couple of months, as far as being able to go out there and take the field and do all the little things that he had to do as a pitcher -- field your position, swing the bat, run the bases, et cetera, without too much issue," Reds manager Bryan Price said recently.
Lester is 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 home starts compared to 4-4, 4.27 in 11 appearances away from Wrigley Field. Lefties are batting only .184 against him while right-handers are hitting .264.
Lester is 4-1 with a 4.79 ERA in 11 career starts against Cincinnati, all coming since he joined the Cubs. Lester is 2-0 with a 3.94 in five Wrigley Field starts against the Reds.
The Cubs continue their homestand with a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays starting Friday.
The Reds next travel to Atlanta for their first games at SunTrust Park. That three-game series also opens Friday.
Updated August 17, 2017