SOX’ OF­FENSE LETS LESTER HAVE IT

Chicago Sun-Times - - CUBS BEAT - Rus­sell Dorsey

Jon Lester’s first three starts this sea­son were mas­ter­ful as he avoided both dam­age and hard con­tact, but the long­time ace’s lat­est two out­ings have been ones to for­get.

On Fri­day night, Lester faced a White Sox lineup that came in as MLB’s best against left-handed pitch­ing, with a .943 team OPS against south­paws.

“They’re good. They’re swing­ing the bats well,” Cubs man­ager David Ross said be­fore the Cubs lost 10-1. “They have a ton of slug up and down the lineup. [They’re] the big-swing home run team that can burn you at any minute.”

Lester felt that power early and of­ten as the Sox slugged four homers off him. There was a lot of loud con­tact against Lester start­ing in the sec­ond in­ning as young Sox phe­nom Luis Robert crushed a two-run shot to left field, giv­ing the Sox the early lead.

“Too many hard-hit balls,” Lester said.

He also al­lowed homers to Jose Abreu, Danny Men­dick and Yas­mani Gran­dal in the third and fourth in­nings be­fore be­ing re­moved. Nine balls put in play against Lester were hit at more than 95 mph.

“They have some dam­ag­ing power through­out their whole lineup,” Lester said. “Then you mix in guys like Gran­dal, Abreu and Edwin [En­car­na­cion] that are go­ing to work more of the counts.

“I feel like some of their younger guys are look­ing for that mis­take, and they’re not missing it right now. They’re con­fi­dent against left­ies — they’re swing­ing the bat well against them. If you’re in there for 100 pitches and you’re not ex­e­cut­ing 99 of them, they’re gonna make you pay.”

Lester al­lowed eight runs and nine hits over 3 ⅔ in­nings, strik­ing out three. It was his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive start in which he al­lowed five or more runs.

“I feel like the hits lead­ing up to that point have been hits that I can deal with,” he said. “[But if] you’re giv­ing up two- and three­run homers, it’s hard to come back from those.”

BRYANT, CHATWOOD UP­DATES

Third base­man Kris Bryant missed his third con­sec­u­tive game as he con­tin­ues to get treat­ment on his jammed left wrist. He re­ceived an in­jec­tion Wed­nes­day. Ross said the Cubs wait­ing to see how the wrist re­sponds.

“He’s still pro­gress­ing in the right di­rec­tion,” Ross said. “[We’ll] see how things feel af­ter treat­ment [Fri­day], if he’s able to hit in the cage or on the field. Tak­ing it day-to-day from here on out.”

Bryant is slash­ing .177/.271/.323 with two home runs and four RBI in 16 games this sea­son.

Mean­while, right-han­der Tyler Chatwood saw a spe­cial­ist ear­lier this week af­ter he was put on the 10-day in­jured list Sun­day with a mid-back strain. The visit con­firmed the Cubs’ orig­i­nal di­ag­no­sis.

Chatwood played long toss Fri­day and is sched­uled to throw a bullpen ses­sion Satur­day. ✶

JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IM­AGES

Cubs starter Jon Lester pitches Fri­day against the Sox, who torched him for eight runs in less than four in­nings.

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