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Preview: Reds at Cubs

GAME: Cincinnati Reds (54-76) at Chicago Cubs (74-56)
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 01 – 8:05 PM EST
WHERE: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
LINE: 147, -160 N/A TOTAL: N/A

The Chicago Cubs’ six-game homestand got off to a rocky start, but they’ll try to turn things around when they host the Cincinnati Reds for the middle contest of a three-game series Tuesday. The Cubs’ bullpen was roughed up in a 13-6 loss in the opener — their fifth loss in six games as they try to nail down their first postseason appearance since 2008.

Chicago hasn’t lost a series to Cincinnati this season and leads the season series 9-5, but the Reds tagged Cubs relievers for 10 runs — the last six unearned — on Monday. Now the Reds aim for consecutive victories — something they achieved only once in August, on Aug. 12-13. The Reds send right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the mound in hopes he can continue to neutralize Cubs sluggers Anthony Rizzo (0-for-11) and Kris Bryant (1-for-6). Chicago counters with veteran right-hander Dan Haren, who is 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) against the Reds, including a 1-1 mark and 2.19 ERA in two meetings this season.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), WGN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Anthony DeSclafani (7-10, 3.84 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Dan Haren (8-9, 3.90)

The Reds have dropped the last four games DeSclafani has started, and the rookie has been tagged with the loss in his last three outings. The 25-year-old has recorded quality starts in six of his last seven outings but has suffered from poor run support, including a 1-0 loss to Zack Greinke and the Dodgers his last time out. DeSclafani has faced the Cubs three times this season, allowing two earned runs in 18 1/3 innings.

Haren has struggled since coming over from Miami, posting a 6.31 ERA in five starts with the Cubs. The 34-year-old was tagged for five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings in a loss at San Francisco his last time out and has not yet recorded a quality start for Chicago. Haren has surrendered at least one home run in each of his last eight starts, giving up 14 over that span and 29 this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Cubs acquired OF Austin Jackson from Seattle on Monday; Jackson is batting .471 during a nine-game hitting streak.

2. The Reds must sweep their five remaining games against the Cubs this season to avoid losing the season series for the first time since 2009.

3. Chicago has hit 59 home runs since the All-Star break, tied with the New York Mets for the most in the National League.

PREDICTION: Reds 5, Cubs 3