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Cubs arrive at Yankee Stadium for first time since 2014

Sportsnaut
Jun 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Cubs third baseman Christopher Morel (5) hits an RBI double against the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino took the mound last Saturday following lengthy perfect-game bids by teammates Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.

A hard liner by Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera that went for a second-inning single was Severino’s only blemish. Coming off one of the best starts of his career, Severino takes the mound Friday night when the New York Yankees host the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

The Cubs are expected to activate Wade Miley (1-0, 3.38 ERA) for his fourth start of the season after he missed nearly three weeks due to a strained left shoulder.

Severino (4-1, 2.95) is pitching after the Yankees survived Cole allowing five homers in a 10-7 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in Minneapolis. The Yankees got two homers from Joey Gallo while DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks also went deep.

Against Detroit, Severino fanned 10 for his first double-digit-strikeout game in more than three years. He permitted just two baserunners in seven innings during the 3-0 win.

Severino is again performing as a solid member of New York’s rotation. Injuries limited him to total of seven games (three starts) from 2019-21 after he went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 2018.

“I feel great. I’m bouncing back pretty good,” Severino said. “My arm is stretching out every five days, and I’m ready to help.”

Severino’s lone start against the Cubs occurred on May 7, 2017, when he allowed one run and four hits in seven innings during a no-decision. New York wound up winning 5-4 in 18 innings.

The only Cub remaining from that contest is Willson Contreras, but he is likely to follow Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant as the latest member of the 2016 championship team to get traded.

Contreras is hitting .277 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs for a team who takes a three-game losing streak into its first trip to Yankee Stadium since 2014.

The Cubs are playing for the first time since Keegan Thompson allowed seven runs in three innings of a 9-3 road loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Christopher Morel, the Chicago leadoff hitter, hit his third homer in that contest. He has reached safely in all 21 straight games, shattering the team rookie record of 13 set by Contreras in 2016. He is the first player to reach safely in the first 21 games of his career since current Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli reached in the first 24 games of his career with the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003.

“That’s the spark he brings,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Morel. “He’s ready to go when he steps in the box.”

Morel could be joined in the outfield by rookie Seiya Suzuki, who hit .245 with four homers and 21 RBIs before sitting out the past 12 games because of a sprained left ring finger.

Miley missed the first month of the season due to left elbow inflammation before returning May 10. He will pitch for the first time since allowing three runs in six innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 22.

Miley is 0-4 with a 5.98 ERA in 11 career starts against the Yankees. His last start against the Yankees came on June 22, 2019, for the Houston Astros, when he allowed four runs in five-plus innings during a no-decision.

–Field Level Media