Cubs lineup vs. Pirates, Bryant to leadoff

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Cubs lineup vs. Pirates, Bryant to leadoff

The Chicago Cubs are only 0.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central race.

Friday afternoon's batting lineup for the first game of the three-game series between the Cubs (35-24) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (31-31) at 1:20 p.m. CDT will be the following:

1. Kris Bryant 3B
2. Jason Heyward RF
3. Ben Zobrist 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo 1B
5. Willson Contreras C
6. Albert Almora Jr. CF
7. Javier Baez SS
8. Ian Happ LF
9. Mike Montgomery P

Cubs will have the Montgomery on the mound (1-1, 3.89 ERA) against righty Chad Kuhl (4-3, 3.86 ERA).

Joe Maddon has standout third baseman Kris Bryant in the leadoff hole to try to get him out longest homerless streak of his career. The veteran manager tries to put struggling players in the first spot to try to get them going. We will see if it pays off putting one of the game's best sluggers there this afternoon. It is Bryant's first time batting leadoff in his career.

Cubs shortstop Addy Russell is still out of the lineup with his bruised middle finger as Javy Baez will be filling in at shortstop. However, Russell has been taking batting practice today as he appears close to returning to the lineup.

The contest will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (out-of-market only), and MLB.TV.


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