Thursday, April 14, 2016

Reds, Cubs wrap up their series at Wrigley Field

Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez had his first hitless game on Monday after he started the season 10-for-20 with four homers in his first five games. He had two hits on Wednesday, and he could have a chance to stay hot in Thursday's series finale vs. the Cubs, when the Reds draw starting pitcher Jason Hammel.
In his brief career vs. Hammel, Suarez is 4-for-8 with a double.
Meanwhile, Hammel will be pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time since Oct. 21, when he took the loss in the deciding Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Mets. In that game he gave up five runs on four hits (including two homers) over 1 1/3 innings.
Hammel spent the offseason working on improving himself both mentally and physically, and he had a nice spring. He posted a quality start in his first outing this season, vs. the D-backs, giving up one run on four hits and three walks over six innings and striking out six.
"I had that 'look in the mirror' moment," Hammel said of his NLCS loss. "I'm a good enough professional to where I understand -- and I hope other people would, too --- that I'm not a robot. It is what it is. I've made changes, and that's in the past. This is 2016. I know what I have to do, and I know what I can do. I'm really not trying to prove anything. I'm going to do my thing."
The Reds will have Raisel Iglesias on the hill starting his third game of the season. Iglesias, who has a 2.31 ERA after his two starts, struck out 10 Cubs over seven innings the last time he faced them, on Sept. 2, 2015, at Chicago.
Things to know about this game
• Reds shortstop Zack Cozart could return to the lineup after leaving Monday's game with tightness in his right lower quadriceps. Cozart did not start on Wednesday.
• Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is considered day to day with soreness in his right quadriceps as well.
• With catcher Kyle Schwarber out for the season with a knee injury, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will mix and match behind the plate to work with Hammel. Schwarber was paired with Hammel during the spring, and the plan was for him to catch Hammel during the season to give Miguel Montero a break. Maddon said he would go with the best matchup, and Montero will catch on Thursday.

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