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The Chicago Cubs will try to extend their season-best winning streak to seven games when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Friday afternoon to open a three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Chicago (49-35) has outscored opponents 56-35 during its six-game winning streak [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/kareem-martin-jersey]Authentic Kareem Martin Jersey[/url] , which has pushed the team 14 games above .500 for the first time this season. The Cubs have scored at least five runs in eight straight games.

Through 84 games, the Cubs’ plus-104 run differential is by far the best in the National League.

“We’re all just trying to pass it along to the next guy,” Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber said recently to The Athletic. “We obviously want to have our at-bat and help out the team in some way. Get on base somehow, drive in guys, get the guy over. Whatever it is, we want to do that. And then it’s up to the guy behind us.

“We have full faith in everyone on this team. That’s the bottom line, we want to pass it on to the next guy.”

Cincinnati (38-49) has enjoyed the same type of positive momentum in recent weeks and is playing its best baseball of the season as it arrives to Chicago’s North Side. The Reds have won four of their past five games and 13 of 17 after concluding a three-game series with the Chicago White

During the past 17 games, the Reds have scored at least five runs 14 times.

“It’s our offense, we’re never down,” Reds pitcher Sal Romano said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Doesn’t matter how many runs we’re down, they’re able to come back and swing it.”

The rejuvenated Reds have won or tied each of their past five series.

“I think that it’s getting to the point now where teams, when they come to play us or when we come to play them, there’s a little bit of [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/cody-latimer-jersey]Authentic Cody Latimer Jersey[/url] , ‘Oh, shoot, we’ve got the Reds,'” Reds pitcher Jared Hughes told the Enquirer. “That’s what we want.”

Cincinnati has won six of nine games against Chicago this season, including a four-game sweep in June.

Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery (3-2, 3.55 ERA) is slated to make his eighth start. The 29-year-old has provided much needed stability in the rotation after highly touted free-agent signing Yu Darvish went to the disabled list.

In 14 career appearances (four starts) against the Reds, Montgomery is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He has walked 11 and struck out 29 in 37 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati will turn to right-hander Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.83), who is set to make his 18th start of the season and the 22nd start of his career. The 23-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his past six outings.

This will be Mahle’s third career start against the Cubs. In his first two meetings, both of which took place this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Cubs hitters Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez and Schwarber each have gone deep against Mahle this season. Baez has been almost perfect against the pitcher, going 4-for-5 with a triple to go along with the homer.

However [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/patrick-omameh-jersey]Authentic Patrick Omameh Jersey[/url] , the Cubs are focused on making hard contact rather than blasting long home runs.

“We’re not trying to hit home runs,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to The Athletic. “We’re moving the baseball. We’re hitting it to all fields.”

The Latest on the NFL playoffs on wild-card weekend (all times local):

6:25 p.m. ET

All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce is out for the rest of the Chiefs’ playoff game against the Titans after sustaining a concussion late in the first half.

The injury also puts his status in question for next week should the Chiefs advance.

Kelce was being tackled when the Titans’ Johnathan Cyprien delivered a blow with his shoulder. Their helmets also collided and Kelce appeared to be dazed when he got to his feet.

The Chiefs lead 21-3 early in the third quarter.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



6:10 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are taking a 21-3 lead into halftime of their wild-card playoff game against Tennessee after driving 79 yards in 1:52 and scoring on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson.

Kansas City converted on third-and-6 early in the drive, when the Titans called timeout in hopes of getting the ball back, then moved effortlessly downfield the rest of the way.

Robinson crossed the goal line with 3 seconds left in the first half.

Alex Smith was 19 of 23 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the half.

His counterpart, Marcus Mariota, was 7 of 13 for 82 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



6 p.m. ET

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is being evaluated for a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Titans’ Johnathan Cyprien late in the first half of their playoff game.

The second-team All-Pro caught a pass over the middle and was going to the ground when Cyprien tried to lay a shoulder into him. Their helmets collided and Kelce lay on the turf stunned.

When he got up, he was wobbling toward the end zone and officials called for the training staff.

Kelce was taken immediately to the locker room.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:55 p.m. ET

The Titans are on the scoreboard after Ryan Succop’s 49-yard field goal, and they got some help from the officiating crew just to trim their deficit to 14-3 late in the first half.

Marcus Mariota took a vicious hit from Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson on a delayed blitz, and he clearly dropped the ball before he hit the ground. But the play was blown dead by the officials, so even though Justin Houston picked up the fumble, the Titans got a chance to kick a field goal.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid spent an entire timeout arguing the call to no avail.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:20 p.m. ET

The Chiefs lead the Titans 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, which is precisely the same score after 15 minutes when these teams met in the regular season in 2016.

The Titans wound up rallying for a 19-17 victory.

In fact, the Chiefs carried a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter of that game. But the Titans mounted a comeback [url=http://www.newyorkjetsteamonline.com/terrelle-pryor-sr.-jersey]Authentic Terrelle Pryor Sr. Jersey[/url] , and former Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop hit a 52-yard field goal on the final play of the game – after a timeout by Andy Reid gave him another shot – to give Tennessee the win.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



5:15 p.m. ET

The Chiefs that won five straight to start the regular season and four straight to finish it have apparently showed up in the playoffs, racing to a 14-0 lead over the Titans.

Alex Smith connected with tight end Travis Kelce for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 2:15 left in the first quarter. It was the second straight TD drive for Kansas City, both covering 75-plus yards.

Smith is 8 of 11 for 154 yards and the score. Kareem Hunt has 25 yards rushing and the other TD.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:55 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are on the board first in their playoff game against Tennessee with Kareem Hunt, this season’s NFL rushing champion, plunging in from 1 yard out for a touchdown.

The teams swapped scoreless drives before Kansas City went 81 yards in just under three minutes.

Two big plays set up the short TD run: Tyreek Hill caught a pass underneath the coverage and raced 45 yards, then tight end Travis Kelce caught a 27-yard pass to the 2-yard line.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:35 p.m. ET

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters hid out in the locker room during the national anthem before their playoff game against Tennessee, just as he has done all season.

Peters has never fully addressed the reason he protests during the anthem.

Fans unfurled a field-length flag during the rendition, and a B-2 bomber flew overhead, while the Titans and the rest of the Chiefs stood on their respective sidelines at attention.

Tennessee won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4:30 p.m. ET

Jon Gruden may be getting an up-close look at his future rival.

Gruden is providing the color analysis for ESPN’s broadcast of the Chiefs-Titans playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Associated Press and several other outlets have reported that Gruden will be introduced as the coach of their AFC West-rival Oakland Raiders on Tuesday.

Play-by-play man Sean McDonough congratulated Gruden on his transition back to coaching, and the former Raiders and Buccaneers head coach replied: ”Nothing is official yet but these Chiefs fans have been on my case since I got here.”

– Dave Skretta reporting in Kansas City



4 p.m.