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Cubs stretch vs. playoff contenders continues

CHICAGO – The Cubs kick off a three-game series tonight versus the Reds, part of a 10-day, 10-game homestand.

They've won seven of their last 10 games and will try to prevent the Reds from clinching the National League Central at Wrigley Field. The Cubs cap the homestand with a three-game set with the Cardinals, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot.

Tonight marks Dusty Baker's 3,000th game as a manager in his 19th year. Baker spent four seasons as the Cubs' manager (648 games).

Right-hander Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24 ERA) starts for the Cubs while right-hander Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93) takes the mound for Cincinnati.

Darwin Barney has not struck out in 48-consecutive plate appearances, the longest current stretch in the majors.

Reds starting lineup

1. Brandon Phillips, 2B2. Drew Stubbs, CF3. Joey Votto, 1B4. Ryan Ludwick, LF5. Jay Bruce, RF6. Scott Rolen, 3B7. Ryan Hannigan, C8. Wilson Valdez, SS9. Homer Bailey, P

Cubs starting lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF2. Luis Valbuena, 3B3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B4. Alfonso Soriano, LF5. Starlin Castro, SS6. Steve Clevenger, C7. Brett Jackson, CF8. Darwin Barney, 2B9. Justin Germano, P

-- Meghan Montemurro

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