Castillo’s average fastball checks in at 95.8 mph

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One of the hottest pitchers in baseball was at his best early on Shane Greene Jersey , yet the Cubs‘ high-powered hitters didn’t get discouraged.Javier Baez hit one of three solo home runs off Cy Young contender Aaron Nola to reach 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, and Jon Lester pitched six shutout innings to continue his mastery of the Phillies in NL Central-leading Chicago’s 8-1 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rizzo also went deep off Nola (15-4), who gave up three home runs in a game for the second time over 88 starts in his four-year career.Murphy’s homer was a game changer. Nola fanned seven of the first nine hitters before Murphy’s two-out shot to right field in the third inning gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.“It can really lead to a frustrating dugout,” Lester said of the early struggles, “but you didn’t hear it or see it.”Murphy looked bad while weakly fouling off the previous two pitches before launching a 1-2, 94-mph fastball into the seats“We just grind out at-bats,” Murphy said. “We really made Aaron work today.”Chicago, which has won 10 of 12, leads the Cardinals by 5 ½ games.“We’ve been playing as well as we’ve played all year the last two weeks,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “The guys have been doing wonderfully and it’s impressive.”Lester (15-5) surrendered eight hits, struck out seven and walked none while improving to 8-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 10 career regular-season starts against the Phillies.The Phillies began the day three games back of Atlanta, which hosted Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Jorge Alfaro had two hits, including an RBI double in the ninth, for Philadelphia.“That’s just an incredible offense, and today they just won,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “I think that’s the long and short of it.”Kapler moved Nola up a day to give him another start at home, where the star right-hander has been dominant. It backfired. Nola gave up four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks.“Every loss right now hurts as a team, but I’m going to put this one behind me,” Nola said.Rizzo led off the fourth by hitting an 0-1, 85 mph changeup over the wall in left, and Baez, the league leader in RBIs entering Sunday, hit a 1-2 fastball out to left in the sixth.Nola also gave up an RBI triple to Kyle Schwarber in the sixth to snap a string of 17 straight home starts allowing three runs or less. He dropped to 9-1 at home, where his ERA rose from 1.94 to 2.21. Nola’s overall ERA increased from 2.10 to 2.23.The other top contenders for the NL Cy Young, Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, will pitch on Monday.NOT HIS DAYNola continued to struggle on Sept. 2. The right-hander has allowed multiple homers in a game 10 times, including all three starts he has made on Sept. 2 (2018 Sparky Anderson Jersey , 2017 and 2015). Overall, Nola has a 9.82 ERA on Sept. 2 while allowing 24 hits, including seven homers, over 14 2/3 innings.NOLA’S NEMESISMurphy is batting .345 (10 for 29) with two homers and six RBIs against Nola.CARDS ALLOWEDMajor League Baseball has told teams that it’s OK for pitchers to use the kind of scouting cards that umpire Joe West confiscated from Philadelphia reliever Austin Davis on the mound Saturday.Kapler said Sunday that he’d been informed the cards were legal. They are, provided they don’t delay games, MLB told clubs in clarifying the policy.GREAT COMPANYThe 25-year-old Baez became the fifth Cubs player to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season before age 25 or during the year reaching that age, joining Ernie Banks, Kris Bryant, Rizzo and Ron Santo.TRAINER’S ROOMPhillies: 1B Justin Bour, out since Aug. 23 with a left oblique strain, was activated from the DL.UP NEXTCubs: LHP Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.70) looks to remain perfect with the Cubs on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, where he faces RHP Zach Davies (2-5, 5.23). Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA in six starts since being traded to Chicago from Texas.Phillies: Begin six-game road trip with a three-game set at Miami on Monday afternoon, with RHP Vince Velasquez (9-9, 4.05) opposing Marlins RHP Jose Urena (4-12, 4.56). MIAMI — Wei-Yin Chen will make his final home start of the season Friday in a year in which he has been dominant at Marlins Park.Chen, a Miami Marlins left-hander, is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA at home this season. Batters are hitting .190 with five homers against him at Marlins Park, where he has also struck out 66 in 71 innings.On the road, Chen has been brutal – 1-8 with a 9.29 ERA and 14 homers allowed.Article continues below ...Chen’s counterpart Friday will be former Marlins right-hander Luis Castillo (10-12, 4.52 ERA).Castillo’s average fastball checks in at 95.8 mph, and he has reached 100 with his heater. Even so, the Marlins traded him twice during his days as a prospect. The first deal — to the San Diego Padres — fell through because of an injury to another player.Team executives finally dealt Castillo, who beat the Marlins on July 30, 2017, which stands as the only time he has faced Miami.In that 2017 game at Marlins Park http://www.tigersfanproshop.com/authentic-jack-morris-jersey , Castillo was brilliant, striking out six in eight innings while holding the Marlins to three hits, one walk and one run. He threw 106 pitches that day, including 70 for strikes.This year, Castillo has been an enigma. He was 3-8 in even-numbered months and 7-4 in odd-numbered months.In other words, he had a 7.23 ERA in April, 6.75 in June and 5.57 in August. Conversely, he has posted a 3.48 ERA in May, 2.25 in July and 1.46 in four September starts.Castillo is also 6-5 with a 3.51 ERA at home this year but 4-7 with a. 5.56 ERA on the road.Chen, who is 6-11 with a 4.93 ERA overall this season, will no doubt pitch carefully to Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett, who was dominant Thursday in Cincinnati’s 4-2 win over Miami.Gennett’s final big play of the night came with two outs and two on in the ninth as the Reds were attempting to protect their two-run cushion. Miami’s Miguel Rojas hit a smash that appeared destined to be an RBI single.However, Gennett dove to his left and made the game-ending assist from the outfield grass.“I got a good jump, dove, and the ball went in my glove,” Gennett said. “Things happen fast on the field. I don’t try to dive and slam my head on the ground unless I feel I have a good chance of getting the ball.”Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said he was “amazed” by the play.“That ball is a hit on most days,” Riggleman said. “Scooter made a great play.”Beside his defense, Gennett also hit a two-run homer and a two-run double, driving in all four Cincinnati runs.He went 2-for-3 on Thursday, raising his batting average to .318.Gennett is chasing the National League batting title and trails only Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, who is hitting .319.Meanwhile, Miami (59-93), which has the worst record in the NL, was held to seven hits Thursday – six singles and one double.The Reds, who are in last place in the NL Central, are 66-88.

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