Cubs Game Notes For Monday at Pittsburgh

  • This marks only the second meeting of the season between these NL Central rivals after the Cubs took two of three from the Pirates at Wrigley Field in April. Chicago hasn’t lost a series in Pittsburgh since July 8-10, 2016, going seven consecutive series without losing there – the franchise’s longest streak without a series loss in the Steel City in the live-ball era.
  • The Cubs, however, arrive in Pittsburgh having lost five consecutive series on the road after dropping two of three at Cincinnati over the weekend. They are an NL-worst 4-12 on the road since May 27, averaging 3.88 runs – tied with St. Louis for the second fewest runs per game in MLB.
  • All-Star Javier Baez hit a grand slam in Saturday’s 6-0 win over the Reds to give him 20 home runs in his 81st game of the season. He didn’t hit the 20-homer mark last season until July 27 in his 101st With 20 homers, 20 doubles, 56 RBI and 55 runs, he is the first middle infielder to enter July with at least 20 home runs, 20 doubles, 50 RBI and 50 runs since the Marlins’ Dan Uggla in 2008.
  • Kyle Hendricks, who is slated to come off the injured list and start Tuesday, has a 5.49 road ERA compared to a 1.65 mark at home. That difference of 3.84 is the fourth largest in MLB among ERA qualifiers (with home better than road). In nine starts against the Pirates since 2016, Hendricks’ 1.88 ERA is the lowest by any pitcher that has made at least eight start against Pittsburgh in that time span.
  • The Pirates won nine of their final 14 games of June after opening the month with a 2-10 record. They’re averaging 7.8 runs while batting .335 in their last nine wins compared to 2.0 runs and a .230 average in their last five defeats.
  • All-Star Josh Bell has driven in only four runs in his last 10 games but still leads the majors with 70 RBI. He is the first Pirate to enter July with at least 70 RBI since Hall of Famer Willie Stargell had 79 in 1971.
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