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Pittsburgh at Chicago

Venue: Wrigley Field
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The Chicago Cubs have captured five straight home series after taking one against an NL contender to open this six-game homestand.

They'll welcome another one of the league's top teams to Wrigley Field on Monday night in the start of a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Chicago (42-58) improved to an NL-best 12-3 at home since June 25 after winning the final two games of a weekend series against St. Louis. Anthony Rizzo hit his first career walk-off homer with a two-run shot in the 10th inning in Sunday's 4-2 victory.

"This is something I've always dreamed of doing since I was a little kid," said Rizzo, who is 7 for 15 with three homers and seven RBIs over his last four contests. "I've never done it before - not in the minors, not in Little League, not ever. This is awesome."

These teams are meeting again after the Cubs outscored Pittsburgh 9-4 in taking two of three at PNC Park last week.

The Pirates' Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32 ERA) was a hard-luck loser in a 2-0 defeat in the opener of that series. He struck out 11 and allowed one run and two hits over seven innings.

"It was fun to watch him go to work, too, with the fastball-curveball-changeup combination," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Bedard has not pitched since that outing because the Pirates (58-43) inserted the newly acquired Wandy Rodriguez into their rotation Saturday in Houston. Bedard, who has never pitched at Wrigley Field, has yielded one run and four hits over 13 innings against Chicago this year.

Pittsburgh's lineup will be boosted Monday with the return of Andrew McCutchen, who leads the majors with a .368 average. The star center fielder did not start Sunday's 9-5 defeat at Houston since Hurdle wanted to rest him.

McCutchen popped out as a pinch-hitter and went 4 for 12 in the four-game series. He's 6 for 18 against the Cubs this year to lead the Pirates.

The Pirates' four-game win streak ended Sunday. They continue to lead the wild-card race, but fell three games behind NL Central leader Cincinnati.

Garrett Jones homered, extending the club's streak with at least one to a team-record 19 straight road games. The Pirates lead the majors with 72 road homers.

Pittsburgh took two of three in all three visits to Wrigley last year, homering nine times as McCutchen and Neil Walker each went deep twice.

The only Pirates hitter with more than one at-bat against right-hander Justin Germano (0-1, 3.00) is shortstop Clint Barmes, who is 2 for 4. Germano will pitch Monday for Chicago in his first start since Oct. 3, 2010, with Cleveland.

"He's crafty," manager Dale Sveum told the Cubs' official website. "He's not going to light up a radar gun, but he's got great arm speed on all his offspeed pitches and can change speeds on a slow curveball - anywhere from 68-75, 78 mph curveball, changeup.

"He sinks the ball, keeps the ball down. He's kind of crafty as much as anything but has command of four pitches."

Germano's lone previous appearance for Chicago came July 21 when he allowed one run over three innings at St. Louis.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Erik Bedard, LHP
2012 stats
100.0 Innings Pitched 8.2
5-11 Wins-Losses 0-1
4.32 Earned Run Average 1.04
45 Walks 2
93 Strikeouts 8
89 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
13.0 Innings Pitched -
1-1 Wins-Losses ---
0.69 Earned Run Average -

Justin Germano, RHP
Weather
weather image  Scattered tstorms late. More clouds than sun. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
87°F69°F8mph/S61%52%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central7881.491244-6 L 1
Chi Cubs1st NL Central10257.642-8-2 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Justin Germano
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Barmes42000.500
Burnett000000
Correia000000
Grilli000000
Hanrahan000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Erik Bedard
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Soriano116131.545
Valbuena31001.333
Soto31001.333
Johnson337038.212
Mather61003.167
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Pittsburgh -135 Chi. Cubs 125
Injuries
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
F. CervelliHand
G. ColeElbow
B. CumptonElbow
E. DiazLeg
N. FelizArm
J. HarrisonGroin
K. HayesRibs
S. MarteBack
A. MeadowsOblique
J. MercerForearm
C. SadlerForearm
A. SchugelShoulder
C. StewartKnee
Chi Cubs
PlayerInjury
A. AcevedoKnee
D. BeelerElbow
A. BrooksHip
A. CrowElbow
J. HammelElbow
Z. RosscupShoulder
K. SchwarberKnee
J. SolerSide
C. VillanuevaAnkle
M. ZagunisFoot
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 11CHCCHC 5-3Warren Cingrani 
Apr 13CHCCHC 9-2Lackey Simon 
Apr 14CHCCHC 8-1Hammel Iglesias 
Apr 21CINCHC 16-0Arrieta Finnegan 
Apr 22CINCHC 8-1Lester Moscot 
Apr 23CINCIN 13-5Wood Lackey 
Apr 24CINCHC 9-0Hammel Simon 
Jun 27CINCHC 11-8Arrieta Straily 
Jun 28CINCHC 7-2Patton Hoover 
Jun 29CINCHC 9-2Hendricks Reed 
Jul 4CHCCHC 10-4Hendricks Reed 
Jul 5CHCCIN 9-5Finnegan Lackey 
Jul 6CHCCIN 5-3DeSclafani Cahill 
Sep 19CHCCHC 5-2Hammel Wood 
Sep 20CHCCHC 6-1Lester Smith 
Sep 21CHCCHC 9-2Lackey Stephenson 
Sep 30CINCHC 7-3Buchanan Smith 
Oct 1CIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Oct 2CIN 3:10 PM EDT