MLB Baseball

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Chi Cubs0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 241
Milwaukee0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 371
  W: J. Hader (3-5)   L: B. Kintzler (3-3)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 7, 2019
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 44,323

Brewers want to follow Cain's lead down stretch

As the Milwaukee Brewers try to stay afloat in the National League playoff race, their center fielder/leadoff hitter is coyly following suit.

Officially listed as dealing with a knee bruise as the Brewers aim to climb the NL wild-card standings, Lorenzo Cain recently hinted that there might be more to the injury.

"We'll leave it as a bruise," he said with a grin to reporters.

Regardless of how much he's hobbled, the Brewers will look to rely on Cain as they continue their home series with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.

"Right now, (team doctors) told me I need rest to get it better," Cain said. "I don't really have time for rest. It's the same, but I'm good enough to play, so I'll get out there and see what I have. It's affecting me, as far as running. But hitting and everything else is fine. As far as getting to top speed the way I want to, it's definitely affecting me."

Cain singled, walked twice and scored two runs Friday in Milwaukee's 7-1 victory against Chicago, which evened the four-game weekend series at one win apiece.

The Brewers, who trail Chicago by four games in the chase for the second NL wild-card spot, are leery about taxing Cain too much.

"We'd like to have him in there every day, but if we have to give him some rest, I think we can work around that," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

The Cubs, who trail the first-place St. Louis Cardinals by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central, will look to right-hander Yu Darvish, who will pitch for the first time since Aug. 27. The Cubs held Darvish (5-6, 4.25 ERA) out of his most recent turn in the rotation because of tightness in his right forearm.

Improved control has helped Darvish approach the .500 mark. He has a 2.93 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break, with 72 strikeouts and just three walks in 55 1/3 innings.

Darvish enters Saturday with 152 1/3 innings pitched this season after logging just 40 in 2018 as he experienced elbow problems and underwent arthroscopic surgery.

Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said the team will closely monitor Darvish's comfort and stamina as Chicago makes a playoff push of its own.

"If there's an opportunity to get him out of there sooner in a situation, it would be great," Hottovy said. "To buy some extra innings down the stretch if we're going to need it. ...

"We're just trying to be right by him, what's best for our team and those situations. And what's best for our team is having Darvish every start the rest of the season -- not just one game going eight or nine innings."

Darvish defeated the Brewers behind five innings of one-run ball in his lone start against them this season, on Aug. 4. He is 1-1 with a 2.05 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.

Milwaukee lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 4.14 ERA) will get the start Saturday. He pitched three hitless innings against the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field, and he is 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA in four starts against them this season.

Gonzalez, who hasn't pitched past the fifth inning since July 26, is 4-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 14 career starts against Chicago.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 7, 2019

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