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Cubs Defeat Angels in 10, Reds Phillips to Return on Friday

It was a rough Wednesday for the NL Central as the Chicago Cubs (24-33) were the sole team to walk away with a win. But it didn’t come easily as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels (26-33) 8-6 in 10 innings.

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo

After getting off to a rough start in his first four appearances at the plate, the sixth and final time was the charm for the Cubs Anthony Rizzo as the player hit a three-run double in the 10th, enabling the Cubs to get the win.

Rizzo now has a Cubs-high 39 RBIs and is showing the team he is worth the seven-year, $41 million extension that he signed last month.

Contributing to the win was a three-run homer by Cody Ransom in the fifth inning to tie the game at 4-4.

Rizzo said of the game via MLB.com, “We had a chance to sweep here and we lost a heartbreaker yesterday, and to come back today and play a good game, a clean game, and get the win, it’s really nice.”

Earlier in the game it was all about the Angels Mark Trumbo, who hit a pair of homers. The first one came in the eight inning to tie the game but his final one was in the 10th after the Cubs had an 8-5 lead.

Cubs pitcher righty Matt Garza (1-0) started the day on the mound. This represented start No. 4 for the player since exiting the disabled list. In his 6 1/3 innings of pitching, he threw 103 pitches–a season high–and gave up four runs and seven hits. In the second inning, Angels Howie Kendrick smacked a two-run homer off of Garza.

James Russell relieved Garza and gave up a homer to Trumbo in the eighth. Cubs closer and former Angel Kevin Gregg (2-0) finished things off for the final 1 1/3 innings.

For the Angels, lefty Jason Vargas (5-3) took the mound for more than five innings, giving up five runs with 11 hits. Wednesday’s start was his first since his selection as the May AL pitcher of the month from his 5-0 record and 2.30 ERA.

The Cubs will have the day off on Thursday before hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates (35-25) for a weekend series. On Friday, Cubs lefty Travis Wood (5-3) will take the mound while Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano (3-2) has pitching duty.

The Pirates Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen both sit at 20/1 to win this year’s NL MVP award.

Reds Second Baseman Phillips Expected for Friday Return

Brandon Phillips

Brandon Phillips

This weekend, the second-place Cincinnati Reds (36-23) will host the first place St. Louis Cardinals (38-20). Fortunately for them, after last Saturday’s hit on his left forearm, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is expected to return for the series.

Both the player and Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Wednesday that while Phillips could have been ready earlier, they’ll wait until Friday for him to resume play.

In his absence this week, Jack Hannahan got the start at second base.

Having Phillips back in the lineup is a good thing as he has a .296/.347/.481 batting line with nine homers and 45 RBI over 54 games for the season, according to HardballTalk.com. Earlier this week, Phillips sat the top of NL All-Star voting for second basemen.

Meawhile, teammate first baseman Joey Votto is also grabbing All-Star votes. He sat as the top for his position as of Tuesday.

With both the Cardinals and Reds losing in Wednesday’s games, Cincinnati sits 2.5 games behind.

For this year’s World Series, Bovada has the Reds at +1200 to win it while the Cardinals sit at +750.

Looking at Thursday’s NL Central games, St. Louis (-165, 7.5 o/u) will wrap up its series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers (-142, 9 o/u) will play the Philadelphia Phillies.



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