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CHICAGO — The Cincinnati Reds have given the Chicago Cubs fits all season. But just when Reds appeared on the verge of winning their sixth straight game against the reigning National League Central champions Womens Kyle Palmieri Jersey , the Cubs turned to a familiar ally.

The comeback.

The Cubs twice rallied from five runs down on Saturday to pull out an 8-7 victory. They will head into Sunday’s matinee at Wrigley Field with a chance to capture the series. Having staff ace Jon Lester on the mound certainly won’t hurt.

Lester will take his 11-2 record and 2.25 ERA into the start a day after the Cubs produced four eighth-inning runs for their dramatic win.The Cubs’ last eight wins all have come after they fell behind early.

“I love the fight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the team’s 50th win of the season. “Both sides wanted to win (and) we got it in the end.

“We’ve been in this situation all week.”

Added Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, who homered in the seventh inning before the Cubs mounted their latest comeback: “We never quit.”

The rally stunned the Reds, who appeared in line for their sixth win in their last seven games and their 15th in the past 19. Instead, Lester will take the mound in search of his eighth straight victory.

Lester was named NL Pitcher of the Month in June and is tied for the league lead in victories. Lester, who has won seven straight starts dating to May 23, will look to keep rolling against the Reds, against whom he is 6-1 in 14 starts.

In Lester’s last start — an 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins — he added an extra bonus — a solo home run. But Lester, who has struggled traditionally from the plate, won’t get too wrapped up in the excitement.

“If I get hits Geronimo Allison Jersey , I get hits,” Lester told reporters after his last outing on July 1. “The home run is awesome, it’s cool, especially at home. But at the end of the day, I know I’m a pitcher and I’m not a hitter.”

The Cubs, who are playing without third baseman Kris Bryant — whom Maddon said will begin a minor league assignment soon — may be without right fielder Jason Heyward. He left Saturday’s loss in the third inning after fouling a ball off his groin.

The Reds enter Sunday’s series finale looking for their sixth straight series. But after Cincinnati touched up Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood for seven runs only to see Jared Hughes surrender a three-run lead, the Reds will attempt to regain their winning ways after Saturday’s shocker.

Cincinnati’s bullpen had, until Saturday, been able to protect late leads, which made Saturday’s loss so unfathomable. It marked only the third time this season the Reds lost after leading heading into the eighth inning.

“We’ve come back on a few clubs like that Frank Ragnow Color Rush Jersey ,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Today, (the Cubs) did it to us.”

Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.53) will start Sunday for the Reds and will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing June. He finished the month 1-3 and allowed at least three earned runs in each of his five outings. Castillo is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.

In Carlos Martinez’s first eight starts of the year, the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander pitched at a Cy Young Award level. While his record was only 3-2, his ERA was a miniscule 1.62 and he gave up only five earned runs in a seven-start stretch.

But a strained right lat cost him four weeks, and Martinez hasn’t been the same pitcher since being activated from the 10-day disabled list on June 5. He has walked a whopping 12 batters in 7 2/3 innings, including seven on Sunday in 3 2/3 innings during a 6-3 loss at Cincinnati.

Martinez will need to be sharper Saturday night when St. Louis tries to square its three-game weekend series with the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium, where it absorbed a frightful 13-5 pounding Friday night.

Chicago (39-27) produced seven extra-base hits, including homers by Kris Bryant Oren Burks Jersey , Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Bryant’s two-run blast over the Cubs’ bullpen in the third snapped an 0-for-17 skid, and Schwarber’s 465-foot moonshot to center in the fifth was one of the longest homers in stadium history.

Bryant’s homer also snapped a 24-game streak without a long ball. It came after manager Joe Maddon gave him two days off in Milwaukee, followed by a schedule-enforced off-day on Thursday.

“Rest in this game cures everything,” Maddon said.

Does that work for Martinez as well? Martinez (3-3, 2.50 ERA) admitted he didn’t completely turn it loose in his return outing against Miami on June 5.

He aired it out to 99 mph in his last appearance but simply couldn’t control his breaking pitches and was reduced to a one-pitch pitcher by the time the Reds touched him for four runs in the fourth inning.

While upset with umpire Gerry Davis’ strike zone, Martinez knew command was a bigger issue than what was or wasn’t being called.

“I think some of my breaking balls were not good,” he said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone with my breaking ball and cutter, too. That’s why you saw a lot of four-seamers. They hit a lot of foul balls. I missed a lot.”

Martinez has been up and down in his career against Chicago, going 4-4 with a 4.53 ERA in 24 outings, 14 of them starts. It will be his first start of the year against the Cubs.

Chicago counters with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (4-6 Josh Jones Jersey , 3.48), who is coming off a 7-1 loss Sunday to Pittsburgh that had little to do with his performance. Hendricks permitted just three hits and a run in five innings, but Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison led off the game with a homer. The Pirates feasted on the Cubs’ bullpen for five runs in the sixth.

Hendricks has pitched fairly well in his career against the Cardinals (36-31) with little to show for it, going 2-2 in 10 starts with a 3.32 ERA. This will be his first appearance in 2018 against St. Louis.

Chicago’s Friday outburst against Michael Wacha, who had an eight-game winning streak snapped, led to the Cardinals running up the white flag early. They removed catcher Yadier Molina after five innings and even let reliever John Brebbia take an at-bat in the ninth after using all of their position players.

“We were trying to conserve arms and get a couple of guys off their feet,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
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