The Chicago Cubs find themselves in the midst of a stretch in which getting a chance to catch their breath hasn’t been easy.And while Hurricane Florence and accompanying storms threatened to prevent the Cubs and Washington Nationals from playing a makeup game Thursday at Nationals Park Kevin Pillar Jersey , it now appears everything is a go.Rain that hovered over Washington, D.C. last weekend forced the Cubs to make a quick trip east that is being sandwiched between Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers and the start of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds that starts Friday at Wrigley Field.Article continues below ...Already in a hectic stretch, Thursday’s game will make the 30th straight day the Cubs have played while they have seen their lead over the Brewers in the National League Central dwindle to one game.“I love my teammates but seeing them 30 days in a row is not what I intend to do on a daily basis,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The one day away from them goes for two weeks seeing them.”The threat of hurricane-like weather along the East Coast kept Thursday’s game in question before it was determined that the most serious conditions will steer clear of Washington. Earlier this week, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein asked for a common-sense solution and argued that forcing the Cubs to play the makeup game Thursday seemed unreasonable.“I know (MLB) would not send us into a situation with any danger or risk,” Epstein said in a radio interview on Chicago’s 670 The Score on Wednesday. “And then I cannot imagine that they would send us into a situation where there’s a chance of rain given what we experienced in Washington last weekend and given the situation that would create 30 straight days with a game scheduled in the middle of a pennant race, which is just about unprecedented.”Mike Montgomery (4-5, 3.85 ERA) will start for the Cubs on Thursday, making only his third start since Aug. 7. Montgomery surrendered a pair of earned runs over four innings in his last start and will face Washington for the first time as a starter in his career.The Nationals http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-russell-martin-jersey , who took two of three games in last weekend’s rain-shortened series, have won five straight games after sweeping a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Stephen Strasburg finished off the sweep Wednesday with a seven-inning masterpiece in Washington’s 5-1 victory.Before Wednesday’s game, the Nationals activated right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from the disabled list after he had been sidelined with a right wrist injury. Hellickson, who had been part of the starting rotation, will return in a role that manager Dave Martinez told reporters Wednesday remains “up in the air.”“At the moment right now, we’re taking it one day at a time,” Martinez said, according to the team’s official website.Hellickson said he prefers to return to his previous role.“I’m a starter — never came out of the bullpen,” Hellickson told reporters, according to MLB.com. “I’m a starter so I don’t think (heading to the bullpen) is something I really want to do.”Joe Ross (0-0) Josh Donaldson Jersey , who is coming off Tommy John surgery last year, will start Thursday. Ross faced the Cubs last week but had his outing wiped out after 1 2/3 ininings when rain forced the game to be postponed. Ross is 0-2 with a 3.44 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs. PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have been baseball’s best first-inning team and they added to those numbers with Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer Wednesday night.The way Clay Buchholz has been pitching, it was more than enough.Goldschmidt homered to set the all-time mark at Chase Field, Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings and the Diamondbacks earned a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.“It seems like every day. This team is pretty amazing when you look at the runs scored in the first inning,” Buchholz said.The Diamondbacks have a knack for jumping on teams early, leading the majors in first-inning runs with 109.Goldschmidt increased the total with his two-run shot off Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2), passing Luis Gonzalez with his 96th homer at Chase Field. Goldschmidt had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and has reached safely in 27 straight.Buchholz (7-2) yielded four hits and struck out seven with no walks for his eighth straight game of at least five innings and three runs or fewer allowed.David Peralta also hit a two-run shot to homer for the third straight game. The Diamondbacks have won six of seven to maintain a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West over Colorado.“It all started with Clay tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He goes out and gives us seven scoreless and really set the tone for us for the course of this game.”The injury-depleted Angels had five hits — two by Rene Rivera — and lost for the fifth time in six games.“I thought we had some pretty good looks at him (Buchholz), hit some balls hard, but he got in his rhythm and started to change some speeds midway through Joe Carter Jersey ,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.Buchholz has been sharp the past two months, entering Wednesday’s game 5-1 with 2.00 ERA over seven starts, including his 10th career complete game against San Diego last Thursday. He kept the Angels off balance most of the night, allowing three singles and a double.Despaigne gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings against Texas on Friday in his second start since being acquired from Miami on Aug. 14 for cash. The right-hander served up Goldschmidt’s first-inning homer and a run-scoring single to Nick Ahmed in the fourth.Despaigne allowed three runs and five hits in four innings.“He made a couple of mistakes: One to Goldschmidt and the other one to Ahmed,” Rivera said. “Besides that he was OK. His pitch count was a little high but overall he did OK.”PUJOLS’ PLAYAngels 1B Albert Pujols made a spectacular play in the sixth inning to take a hit away from Steven Souza Jr. Souza hit a ball off the end of the bat down the line and Pujols made a diving stop, tossing the ball to pitcher Ty Buttrey as he was rolling over to get the out.PERALTA’S RUNPeralta has been one of the best hitters in baseball in August, going 21 for 51 with eight homers and 14 RBIs in his past 12 games. He has six homers in nine games and 25 on the season after going 2 for 4 against the Angels.“I keep saying it, he’s on his way to having a special year,” Lovullo said.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: 2B David Fletcher was replaced by Kaleb Cowart in the fourth after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the top half. Scioscia said Fletcher is day-to-day with a bruise and hopes to have him back Friday against Houston.UP NEXTAngels: LHP Andrew Heaney is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Astros going into Friday’s game.Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley is 4-0 with a 3.26 ERA over his last eight starts heading into Friday’s home game against Seattle.