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LOS ANGELES — A four-time All-Star who has finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting three times [url=http://www.authenticsatlantafalcons.com/cheap-justin-bethel-jersey]Justin Bethel Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Jon Lester looks to be getting even better in his 13th major league season.
And it leaves the Chicago Cubs with no better pitcher to stop a losing streak that was extended to five games Monday with a 2-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lester will try for his sixth consecutive victory when he faces the Dodgers on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series. He will square off against the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling, who had his own six-game streak come to an end last week in Chicago
The Lester-Stripling matchup is the second one in a span of six days.
Lester not only has a 1.64 ERA over his five-start win streak, he has pitched at least six innings in seven consecutive starts and has a 1.67 ERA over his last 12 outings.
“(Lester) is just slowing the game down,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Monday’s game in L.A. “He has gone to another level of maturation pitching-wise so I have really been enjoying watching him go about his business.”
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Stripling (6-2, 1.99) was not terrible in his outing against the Cubs last week, Lester was just better. The right-hander gave up three runs to the Cubs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over six innings. He sounded eager for a rematch.
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Lester (9-2, 2.10) held the Dodgers to just five hits in his scoreless outing Wednesday as the Cubs closed out a series victory. It is the only series the Dodgers have lost since the middle of May when they were in Miami.
Not only are the Dodgers 16-5 in June, they have 48 home runs in the month after hitting two Monday and nine in their past two games. Since a May 17 victory in Miami, the Dodgers are 26-9.
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The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez has three home runs in two games and has six in his last 13 games. He is expected to be in the starting lineup Tuesday against the lefty Lester. Hernandez, the Dodgers’ super-utility player, has a career .874 OPS against left-handed pitching.
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