Lester fails to get 20th victory as Reds win 7-4


CINCINNATI (AP) — Left-hander Jon Lester failed to become a 20-game winner on Saturday, struggling for the first time since mid-July as the Cincinnati Reds pulled away to a 7-4 victory over what’s likely to be the Chicago Cubs’ lineup for the first game of the playoffs.

Lester (19-5) gave up five runs in only five innings, including Eugenio Suarez’s two-run homer and a pair of RBIs by Joey Votto. The left-hander hadn’t allowed five runs in a start since July 9.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been getting players — especially his starting pitchers — some rest heading into the postseason. Even so, the Cubs have won eight of 12, finishing one of their best regular seasons with a flourish. Chicago’s 102 victories are its most since 1910.

Tim Adleman (4-4) gave up three runs in five innings as part of a rare Reds victory over Chicago.

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