Franmil Reyes looks to continue his solid start as a Cub when Chicago visits the Washington Nationals for the rubber match of a three-game series on Wednesday.
Reyes, who homered and singled in the Cubs’ 7-5, 11-inning win Tuesday, has produced at least one hit in each of his six games since being claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians.
The 27-year-old outfielder/designated hitter batted .213 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 70 games this season with the Guardians. In six games with the Cubs, he is batting .346 (9-for-26) with a double, triple, two homers, five RBIs, three runs and a 1.080 OPS.
“He’s done a really nice job,” Chicago manager David Ross said after the Tuesday game.
Left-hander Drew Smyly (5-6, 3.69 ERA) gets the start for the Cubs on Wednesday as he looks to follow up his impressive performance last week in the “Field of Dreams” game in Iowa. Smyly tossed five shutout innings and allowed four hits while beating the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out nine and walked two.
After a subpar outing against the San Francisco Giants on July 30, Smyly has responded with 11 2/3 scoreless innings while winning his past two starts.
He is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) at Nationals Park.
Washington will counter with former Cub Cory Abbott (0-2, 5.94). The right-hander pitched in seven games last season for Chicago, including one start, and went 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA.
Called up from Triple-A Rochester in June, Abbott moved from the bullpen into the rotation for Washington due to injuries. The 26-year-old impressed against the New York Mets in his first start, but he has allowed 10 runs over 7 2/3 innings in his past two outings.
On Tuesday night, the Cubs squandered a 4-0 lead before prevailing. They took a 5-4 lead in the 10th inning but lost it. In the 11th, they plated two, with Patrick Wisdom doubling home the lead run, moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on Seiya Suzuki’s single.
“The guys just kept having good at-bats and putting pressure on the defense,” Ross said. “We made some mistakes in there and still ended up coming out with a win. I think that shows the character of this group. Continue to fight, continue to have good at-bats.”
It was a frustrating night for the Nationals, who rallied twice to tie the game but couldn’t take the lead. They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning after tying it 4-4 on solo homers from Luke Voit and Lane Thomas, but Victor Robles grounded out.
“We had our chances,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said after his team fell to 1-7 in extra-inning games. “We had our moments to put the game away. We just couldn’t do it.”
One bright spot came in the 10th, when 21-year-old shortstop prospect CJ Abrams, recalled Monday from Rochester, singled home the tying run to snap an 0-for-8 start to his Nationals tenure.
“I’m glad he got his first hit — and a big one at that,” Martinez said. “But the kid’s not afraid. He goes out there and competes. He had some good swings today. I told him, ‘It’s just a matter of time before the ball starts dropping in there for you.'”
–Field Level Media