Giants look to continue offensive onslaught vs. Cubs

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Kevin Gausman pronounced himself healthy and ready to go for the San Francisco Giants, who host the Chicago Cubs on Saturday in the third contest of a four-game series.

The right-handed Gausman left his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers after six innings due to tightness in his left hip. He said it bothered him while running and fielding but not when pitching.

“It’s kind of weird,” Gausman told reporters. “I tweaked my right groin against Miami earlier this year and I don’t know if I kind of overcompensated without knowing it and ended up doing something to my left hip.

“But the good thing is it doesn’t really bother me when I pitch, so it doesn’t limit anything I’m trying to do out there.”

The 30-year-old Gausman (6-0, 1.40 ERA) is enjoying a surprise standout season in his second campaign with the Giants.

Gausman was named National League Pitcher of the Month earlier this week after going 5-0 with an 0.73 ERA in six starts in May. He struck out 49 in 37 innings.

Despite exiting, Gausman defeated the Dodgers last Sunday when he allowed just two hits and struck out seven. He has pitched 17 scoreless innings over his last three starts.

Gausman has struggled against Chicago, going 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA in four appearances (three starts). Javier Baez (2-for-6) and Joc Pederson (2-for-10) each have homered against Gausman.

Gausman will be looking to help the Giants beat Chicago for the third straight day in the series between NL division leaders.

San Francisco received a homer and four RBIs from Brandon Crawford to record a 7-2 win on Thursday. The Giants smacked four homers on Friday while notching an 8-5 triumph for their eighth win in the past 10 games.

Alex Dickerson slugged a three-run homer, Steven Duggar hit a two-run shot, while Jason Vosler and LaMonte Wade Jr. added solo blasts as the Giants retained their one-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the NL West.

Pederson homered for the second straight game and Kris Bryant also went deep Friday for the Cubs, who hold a one-game edge over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Chicago had won 14 of 17 games prior to the consecutive losses in San Francisco.

The Cubs put up their most fight in the dugout as Anthony Rizzo confronted catcher Willson Contreras after the bottom of the seventh inning. Manager David Ross intervened and continually pushed Rizzo away as the first baseman continued to bark at Contreras.

“That’s just part of the family atmosphere I think you get in baseball and guys competing at the highest level and trying to continue to fight and do what’s best and win,” Ross said. “Sometimes you aren’t going to see eye to eye, that’s pretty normal in the environment of the big leagues. … I don’t think it’s anything that’s a huge deal.”

Rizzo downplayed the incident and said it was unfortunate that it was caught by television cameras.

“I love Willson, the way he plays for this team, for our city, with the passion he brings, you can’t match it in this league,” Rizzo said. “It’s just one of those incidents where the beauty of playing with our group for so long is that we can have these talks and move on.”

Right-hander Kohl Stewart (1-0. 0.00) will be on the mound Saturday for the Cubs.

Stewart performed well in his first start of the campaign against the Padres on Monday. He allowed one unearned run and three hits over five innings. He struck out two and walked one.

The 26-year-old Stewart has never faced the Giants.

–Field Level Media

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