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CHICAGO -- Trounced by the team that swept them out of the NL Championship Series last fall, the Chicago Cubs got back to the business of beating their other opponents.Kris Bryant hit his NL-best 24th home run before leaving with a bruised leg, Willson Contreras and Addison Russell also went deep, and the Cubs pounded the struggling Cincinnati Reds 10-4 on Monday.Playing the NL Centrals last-place team was just what the major league-leading Cubs needed after getting outscored 32-11 in a four-game sweep by the Mets in New York.The power of 24 hours, manager Joe Maddon said. We had a tough stay in New York City.It looked a whole lot easier against a Reds team that could challenge the franchise record of 101 losses.Cincinnati fired pitching coach Mark Riggins in an effort to shake up a staff with the majors worst ERA, then lost for the 11th time in 13 games.Bryant hit a two-run drive in the second inning and scored three times before exiting with a bruised lower left leg in the fifth. He was hurt making a catch in left field in the top half when center fielder Albert Almora Jr. ran into him.Matt Szczur batted for Bryant in the bottom half. He would have stayed in had the game been closer and should be fine for Tuesday, Maddon said.Almora said he didnt hear Bryant calling for the ball and took responsibility for the collision.I came in after the game and I tried to find him, Almora said. Hes doing all right. I gave him like 15,000 hugs.Contreras capped a three-run second with a solo drive off Cody Reed (0-3) that made it 6-0. Russell drove in three runs and scored two.Kyle Hendricks (7-6) gave up an unearned run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings as the Cubs started a four-game homestand on a winning note after going 4-7 on their longest trip of the season.Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back home runs for Cincinnati in the seventh. But the Reds committed two errors and Reed struggled again on the mound.The left-hander gave up eight runs -- four earned -- and five hits in four innings after getting rocked at home by the Cubs last week. He also walked three and hit two batters with pitches as his ERA remained 9.00 after four career starts.Hes a top prospect and now hes having some struggles at this level, manager Bryan Price said. He needs to fight his way through that and get back to what weve seen before.GOING DEEPThe Cubs, who swept three games in Cincinnati last week, scored three runs in each of the first two innings.Bryants towering drive to center in the second left him two homers shy of his total last season on the way to winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. He connected after going deep six times during the 11-game trip.Contreras homer to left was his fifth since being called up from Triple-A on June 17.IN ORDERChicago OF Jason Heyward responded with a solid day at the plate after being dropped from second to sixth in the batting order. He had a two-run double and finished with two hits.TRAINERS ROOMReds: Price said he hopes to have RHP Jumbo Diaz (sore right ankle) available on Tuesday. The swellings out and its still tender to the touch, Price said before the game. I dont really need him today.Cubs: OF Dexter Fowler (strained right hamstring) said he is feeling better but is not sure if he will return before the All-Star break. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Monday. Manager Joe Maddon did not rule out the possibility that Fowlers first game back could be the All-Star Game.UP NEXTRHP John Lackey (7-4, 3.27 ERA) looks to get back to winning for Chicago, while Reds LHP Brandon Finnegan (3-7, 4.48) tries to bounce back from the shortest start of his career. Lackey is 0-2 in his past four starts, though he pitched into the seventh in a no-decision against the Mets last week. Finnegan gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings against Washington.Tom Owen Jersey . With the short-handed Warriors needing help from someone -- anyone -- to stop a three-game skid, ONeal returned from right knee and groin injuries that had sidelined him for four games and put up season highs with 18 points and eight rebounds. It was just enough to help lift Golden State to a 102-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Monty Stickles Jersey . McPhee said that Ovechkins father Mikhail is in stable condition after having the surgery this week and is no longer in intensive care. "Weve told him to stay as long as necessary with your dad," he said. Ovechkin and his Russian national team were eliminated from the mens hockey tournament in Sochi on Wednesday with a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Finland. http://www.custom49ersjersey.com/custom-r-c-owens-jersey-large-1508d.html . Fernandez, coached in Toronto by former two-time Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser, scored 267.11 points and is the first champion to successfully defend since Russias Evgeny Plushenko in 2005 and 2006. Charles Haley Jersey . -- Stanfords Kevin Danser knelt on one knee and hardly moved on the sideline as Michigan State celebrated its Rose Bowl victory and his Cardinal teammates made their way to the locker room. Kyle Nelson Jersey . If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency.TORONTO -- The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays are familiar foes.As American League East rivals, they played 19 times this season, with the Blue Jays winning 10 of them.The slim advantage is the reason the American League wild-card game is being played Tuesday at Rogers Centre after Toronto and Baltimore finished in a tie in the standings at 89-73.We know everything about them, they know everything about us, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. Youre playing a team from your division, theres no secrets. It really comes down to who executes better, or who gets the big hit or whatnot.The teams met just last week at Rogers Centre with the Orioles winning two of the three games to force a tie for the first wild-card spot. The tie could not be resolved on the weekend as Baltimore won two of three against the Yankees in New York while the Blue Jays won two of three from the Red Sox in Boston.Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.77 ERA) will start for Baltimore against Torontos Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.We had probably three options, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, and Chris was one of those good options.Showalter said that in a one-game playoff, the other candidates to start also could play a big role in the game as relievers.These games usually have a lot go on in them, Showalter said. So everybody gets a chance to play a big part in it if its a competitive game.Stroman has not won since Aug. 14. He took the loss against the Orioles on Thursday when he allowed four runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out three in seven-plus innings.Despite going 0-5 in six September starts, Stroman had a respectable 3.41 ERA in those outings.Stroman was chosen over left-hander Francisco Liriano, who struck out 10 in 6 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday in a no-decision against Tillman.It wasnt easy, Gibbons said. I think Stros the perfect guy. Big game. Weve seen him do it before. He did that a couple of times for us last year. Hell throw strikes.Liriano will be available from the bullpen, as will right-hander Marco Estrada.Tillman went 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in four starts against Toronto this year, posting a 2.38 ERA in two starts at Rogers Centre. Last Wednesday, he gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits in 5 2/3 innings during a no-decision. He walked three and struck out two.I know what theyre going to do, they knew what Im going to do, Tillman said. The same goes the other way with Stro.dddddddddddd. Weve seen him plenty. Hes seen us plenty. So I dont think there are any secrets here. I think itll be the same kind of game that you always see.Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who defeated the Blue Jays on Thursday, and righty Dylan Bundy were the two other candidates to start and will be available from the bullpen.Jimenez, who has a 2.45 ERA in his past seven starts, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday in Toronto.In 24 career starts against the Blue Jays, Tillman is 5-10 with a 5.44 ERA, and he is 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA in 13 starts in Toronto. Last season, Tillman was 0-4 with a 11.72 ERA in four starts vs. the Jays.Stroman is 2/3 with a 5.07 ERA in seven career games (six starts) against the Orioles. He is 1-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts against Baltimore this season.There are no pitches you can take off, Stroman said of the Orioles lineup. Each pitch you have has to be executed. You make a mistake, and they make you pay. So thats the mentality going into it.Stroman was 1/3 with a 7.76 ERA in five starts in June, then made adjustments.I definitely had an up-and-down year and battled a lot of adversity, Stroman said. I think Ive done a pretty decent job at making adjustments throughout the year that were key for me and able to pay off down the stretch. Im at a point now where I feel great, mechanics feel great, body feels great. Im actually feeling at my strongest now. So Im excited.The Blue Jays had the scoring advantage over the Orioles head-to-head this season, 97-81, and they went 6-4 vs. Baltimore at home. Toronto also had a 29-28 edge in home runs.The winner goes to Texas to play the AL West champion Rangers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.The Blue Jays won their two regular-season games in October after going 11-16 in September. They have averaged an AL-worst 3.69 runs per game in their 29 games in September-October.Because both teams did not clinch their wild-card spots until the final game of the season, the term battle-tested is being uttered by each side.It wasnt easy, but you know, maybe this is a better way to head into the playoffs -- battle-tested, Gibbons said.Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said the same about his own team: This team is battle-tested. Were ready for whatever gets thrown at us. ' ' '
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