Hammel pitches Cubs to season-high ninth straight win


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<span style=Photo by Joe Camporeale / USATODAY">
Photo by Joe Camporeale / USATODAY

CHICAGO -- Jason Hammel pitched seven shut out innings and won his fifth consecutive start to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night for the Cubs' season-high ninth straight win. Chicago (71-41) is now a season-high 30 games over .500.

Hammel (12-5) established a career-high with his 12th win of the season by pitching seven innings, giving no runs and striking out six. It is the first time in his career he has won five consecutive starts.

The Cubs got the first run of the game in the third when Anthony Rizzo had a RBI single to right to score Kris Bryant who had doubled earlier in the inning.

In the fifth, Hammel singled to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Dexter Fowler's RBI double scored Hammel to up the Cubs' lead to two.

In the eighth, Cubs reliever Pedro Strop injured his leg trying to field a grounder. Strop had to be helped off the field by trainers and was replaced by Travis Wood. Kole Calhoun doubled to center off Wood to put two on with no outs. The Cubs turned to young reliever Carl Edwards, Jr who gave up just one run with a strike out of Mike Trout, a RBI ground out by Albert Pujols and a ground out by Andrelton Simmons.

Trout and Pujols combined to go 1-30 against Cubs pitching this season in four games.

Addison Russell added an insurance run with a solo home run in the eighth. It was his 13th home run of the season which matches his total from last season.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 24th save.

The Cubs will try to stretch the winning streak to 10 games on Thursday at 7:05 PM CT against the rival Cardinals when Jon Lester (12-4, 2.93) faces Carlos Martinez (10-7, 3.29).

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