Jason Hammel to start for Cubs on Tuesday against the Reds following minor hamstring issue

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Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel left his final start before the All-Star break — an important outing against the rival Cardinals — after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring. But it appears he won’t miss a single turn in Chicago’s rotation.

According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Hammel made it through a successful side session on Saturday afternoon and is lined up to start Tuesday night against the Reds. “It was as close to normal as I could get,” Hammel said of Saturday’s workout.

The 32-year-old owns a superb 2.86 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 105/18 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 total innings this season for the Cubs. He’s been a bargain so far on a two-year, $20 million free agent deal.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.