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Lester goes 7 innings to help Cubs beat Marlins 5-3

The Chicago Cubs are more popular than ever – even on the road.When Jon Lester gave up a three-run homer in the first inning Saturday, he drew upon a long-ago lesson from former teammates Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett: Start the start over.Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester showed exactly why he’s the ace of this ball club on Saturday at Marlins Park.”Addison looks really comfortable”, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I was looking around, ‘Did somebody walk in the door? Is it A-Rod and J-Lo?'” Maddon said with a smile.Nope, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez weren’t causing a scene. The only exception is the Boston Red Sox, a team he played for and has never faced.Cleveland’s Corey Kluber struck out a season-high 13 and allowed three hits in seven innings, but throwing errors by second baseman Jason Kipnis and catcher Yan Gomes led to two unearned runs in the first.Carl Edwards pitched a scoreless eighth, and Wade Davis did the same in the ninth, earning his 15th save of the year. After walking Stanton and giving up a single to Yelich, Lester threw his worst pitch of the afternoon to JT Realmuto.Arrieta also picked up two of the Cubs’ 16 hits.”It’s not a great situation”, he said. I am not going to continue to stump for my belief that IP is among the most underrated statistic in modern baseball. But it would be nice to have a packed crowd with Marlins fans so that Cubs fans or Mets fans can’t get tickets.The Indians swept a four-game series at Target Field last weekend, but the Twins have responded in the first two games of this series.Lester, who threw almost 110 pitches in the effort, allowed just four base hits over seven innings of work, striking out four and walking just one.CHICAGO – The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past. Either way I think it is right we spend a little bit of time talking about the most expensive pitcher in Cubs history, Jon Lester.Royals 5, Blue Jays 4 • Whit Merrifield hit a two-run, two-out double that capped a four-run rally in the ninth, and host Kansas City beat Toronto to reach.500 for the first time since April.The Cubs now stand just a half game back for first place. He is hitting.382 (13 for 34) with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games.”I feel fine, I feel OK”, Russell said. “Then we had the lefty (Yelich), and I didn’t make my pitch”.If Lester (5-4) can continue to follow a lackluster first two months with the kind of finish that made him the runner-up in Cy Young voting past year, it could be a game-changer for the Cubs in a National League Central race that might be won with fewer than 90 wins.The Marlins managed only three hits in the win, which came 2 days after getting just two hits in a 2-1 victory over Washington.Albert Almora Jr. continued the inning with an opposite-field double, tying the game 3-3.Bryant’s three-run shot, his 16th, extended the Cubs’ lead to 5-1 in the fourth. The last Cubs’ rookie to hit at least 10 home runs in his first 34 career Major League Baseball games was Bob Speake in 1955 (also hit 10). “We battled. That’s what good teams do”. “That’s the key to being able to drive in runs”.Marlins: SS Adeiny Hechavarria (oblique), who has been the disabled list since May 10, is expected to the rejoin the Marlins on Tuesday for the start of their series against the Mets – if he’s not traded before then.Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendicks (right hand), who hasn’t pitched since June 4, is believed to be nearing a return – though the Cubs have not set a definitive target date.Cubs’ Ben Zobrist, who was out with inflammation in his left wrist is hopeful of making his return to the lineup from the DL on Friday. The Cubs have won 11 fewer games than a year ago at this same point, and most of that can be traced to the rotation.