BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Backup goaltender Kyle Reynish made two key saves to help Real Salt Lake tie the Chicago Fire 0-0 on Wednesday night.With a point for the tie, Salt Lake (7-3-2) took the Western Conference lead - a point ahead of San Jose and Seattle. Salt Lake is 2-0-2 in its last four matches.Reynish, seeing his first action of the season, started with regular keeper Nick Rimando sidelined by a right shoulder injury. Reynish made a difficult save on Dominic Oduro in the sixth minute, and ranged to his left to stop Marco Pappa's hard 16-yarder with 5 minutes remaining in regulation time.Rimando is expected back Saturday against Seattle.Sean Johnson picked up his first shutout of the season for Chicago (3-2-3).Paulo Junior had Salt Lake's best opportunity to score. Johnson stopped his 17-yard shot 20 seconds into the second half, the most difficult of his three saves. Before and after that, the Fire defense marked Real closely, especially with defender Austin Berry's coverage of forward Alvaro Saborio. Saborio, Real's leading scorer with four goals in the first 11 matches, was held to one shot.The Fire controlled the scoreless first half. Reynish watched Oduro's header carom off the crossbar 3 minutes before stopping him from close range. Chicago also pressed late in the first half, with midfiender Sebastian Grazzini's shot from 15 yards out in the 40th minute deflecting wide before it reached the goal.Salt Lake lost midfielder Javier Morales with a right quadriceps strain 28 minutes into the game. Morales was replaced by Luis Gil.
LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.
With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.
Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.
“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”
Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.
Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.
“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.
“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”
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