INF Jeimer Candelario was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday. He was hitting .143 (3-for-21) with a double and two RBIs in six big league games with the Cubs. At Iowa, he was batting .340 (33-for-97) with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 22 RBIs in 28 games for Iowa this season.
RHP Pierce Johnson was called up from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday for his first major league roster appearance. Johnson was 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 12 outings with Iowa this season. He has struck out 21 batters in 14.0 innings pitched, an average of 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Since moving to the Iowa bullpen in late July of 2016, Johnson has gone 5-0 with a 3.22 ERA.
RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-2) overcame early shakiness with an increasingly sharp outing on Wednesday, allowing two runs on six hits, all over the first three innings. He permitted just one baserunner and no hits over his final three. "That game was one of my better ones for sure because I got stronger in those later innings," he said. Hendricks had a National League-low 2.13 ERA in 2016.
LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 3.45 ERA) makes his ninth start and is 3-1 all-time against Cincinnati with a 3.72 ERA. Lester has five no-decisions this season and is coming off a May 13 loss in St. Louis, as he allowed four runs on six hits, walked four and matched a season high as he struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings.
2B Ben Zobrist was 2-for-3 with a double, walk and two RBIs in his first game since May 13. It was his first multi-hit game since April 28.
RHP Wade Davis picked up his ninth save in nine opportunities this season with a 1-2-3 inning with the third out coming on a reversed call as Reds SS Joey Votto was ruled out on a throw from Cubs SS Addison Russell to outstretched 1B Anthony Rizzo. Davis has now converted his last 15 opportunities dating to last season and is the only National League pitcher with at least 10 innings pitched and no earned runs allowed.