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Cubs at Arizona Tonight

After appearing to right themselves after the All-Star
break, the Chicago Cubs fell into a little funk recently. The
Arizona Diamondbacks are in the same boat.
The teams' recent play adds intrigue to the matchup of potential
playoff teams this weekend.
The Cubs (59-54) are leading the National League Central, but the
streaking St. Louis Cardinals are only one game behind. The D-backs
(64-50) are 5 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals for the second NL
wild card, but they have fallen 17 games behind the NL West-leading
Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs won 14 of their first 17 games following the break to
overtake the Milwaukee Brewers for the division lead, but they are
only 2-6 since.
Chicago's worst loss might have been catcher Willson Contreras, who
sustained a hamstring injury in a 3-1 loss at San Francisco on
Wednesday. He is expected to be out for two to four weeks.
Contreras hit five home runs in six games before leaving the
Wednesday game in the eighth inning, and he was second in the
majors with 10 homers since the break. Trade-deadline acquisition
Alex Avila is expected to handle most of the catching duties while
Contreras is sidelined.
The Cubs have lost three series in a row as they send John Lackey
(9-9, 4.81 ERA) to face Arizona on Friday. Lackey will oppose
Taijuan Walker (6-5, 3.60).

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