CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Báez’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday night in a game that was briefly delayed when a drone entered Wrigley Field and briefly landed on the outfield grass.
Automatic runner Ian Happ advanced to third when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th.
After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally to load the bases, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez’s liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.
The Cubs won their fourth straight and strengthened their grip on first place in the NL Central.
Oscar Mercado hit a solo shot off Jon Lester in the fifth to tie the game at 2.
Five Cubs relievers followed Lester with a scoreless inning each. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.
Umpires hastily cleared the field when the small drone flew into the ballpark over the left-center bleachers as Contreras came to bat with with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
After it landed, the blinking drone took off, hovered at about 100 feet, then pulled away and vanished into the night beyond the center-field scoreboard.
Following a 7-minute delay, Contreras resumed his at-bat and grounded out.
Aaron Civale allowed two runs on seven hits, leaving with runners at second and third and none out in the seventh. The right-hander hasn’t won since Aug. 19 and is 0-3 in his last five starts.
Lester yielded two runs on four hits in five innings in his second effective start following two rough ones.
The 36-year-old lefty settled in after struggling with his control in the first inning. Francisco Lindor, who walked to lead off the game, scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Cubs tied it in the second on Jason Heyward’s bloop single. Chicago moved ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Cameron Maybin’s infield single drove in Báez.
OF Ian Happ, the Cubs’ union rep, said he supports isolating players in a playoff bubble starting with the division series. But he said rules “like asking permission to go for a walk” will be taxing. “It feels more like being a zoo animal than baseball player or human being,” Happ said.
Cubs: LHP Andrew Chafin (sprained left index finger) threw 20-plus pitches in a simulated game Wednesday and “looked really sharp,” manager David Ross said. Chafin, acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, has yet to pitch for the Cubs.
Indians: Gold Glove C Roberto Perez didn’t play Wednesday so he could get treatment on an condition that has been affecting his swing. Perez, who previously missed three weeks with a right shoulder strain, is expected back Thursday at Detroit. Austin Hedges, acquired from San Diego at the deadline in a nine-player trade, was behind the plate against the Cubs. … 2B Cesar Hernandez (paternity list) rejoined the team. He pinch-hit in the eighth and remained in the game.
Indians: AL ERA leader Shane Bieber (7-1, 1.53) takes the mound at Detroit on Thursday and tries to rebound from his lone loss, to the Twins last Friday in Minnesota. Rookie RHP Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85) pitches for the Tigers.
Cubs: Following a day off Thursday, RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.29) faces LHP Rich Hill (2-1. 3.81) in the opener of a three-game home set against Minnesota at Wrigley Field.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Mets-Nationals postponed; doubleheader set for Saturday
WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Mets’ already slim playoff chances could be even skinnier by the time they play again.
Friday night’s game between the Mets and the Washington Nationals was postponed because of rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader starting at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.
New York entered Friday barely hanging on in the playoff race, 2 1/2 games behind Miami for second place in the NL East and 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the final wild-card spot.
The Mets did not immediately announce their starters for the twinbill, though Jacob deGrom (4-2, 2.14 ERA) was already set to go Saturday for his last outing of the regular season. Rick Porcello (1-6, 5.46), whose only victory of the season came at Washington on Aug. 5, was scheduled to pitch Friday and could be bumped back a day.
Washington, which was eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday, will play its fourth doubleheader in a nine-day span.
The Nationals will push back three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (4-4, 3.67) a day to make his final start of the season. With a victory, Scherzer would record an 11th consecutive winning season, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the longest active streak in the majors.
Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 6.80), who’s 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA in his last three home starts, will get the nod in the other game for Washington.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Yankees’ Aaron Boone gets tossed after arguing Aaron Judge strikeout call
Home plate umpire John Tumpane ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium after a questionable called strike three on RF Aaron Judge.
One pitch into CF Aaron Hicks‘ at-bat — the third hitter in the lineup, a spot after Judge — Tumpane called a low first strike.
After turning to Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara, Tumpane spun right, ripped off his mask and signaled an ejection.
“Aaron, get out of here,” he said.
Boone emerged from the dugout and got in Tumpane’s face.
“That guy’s got a good f—–g sinker, but those pitches are not f—–g strikes,” Boone said of Alcantara as he pointed his right index finger to the home plate and in Tumpane’s face.
After a leadoff groundout to short by DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees saw Judge go down on the called strike three, in a 3-2 count.
Hicks later worked a full count, too, but got the walk.
With two outs and Hicks on first, DH Giancarlo Stanton worked the count full but struck out swinging, ending the inning.
The Yankees trailed by three runs after the first inning.
LHP J.A. Happ surrendered a two-out, three-run homer to right by Garrett Cooper that put the Marlins up 3-0.
Anthony Davis listed as questionable for Game 5 with sprained ankle
When Anthony Davis has been on the court in the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers have outscored the Nuggets by 9.4 points per 100 possessions. When he sits, the Lakers are -21.3 (stats via NBA.com).
Why that stat matters: Anthony Davis is officially questionable for Game 5 after spraining his ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
“[My] Ankle feels fine. Got tonight, tomorrow before the game to get it back to, I don’t want to say back to where it was, but good enough to play,” Davis said postgame Thursday. “Rolled it pretty bad but not too bad. I’ll be fine.”
Players also are the worst judges of their returns from injuries. This is the playoffs, the Lakers need him on the court, and Davis wants to play. However, ankles are very easy to re-injure once the ligament is stretched, and the issue can become chronic. If Davis missing one game helps the ankle heal to the point it doesn’t linger into the NBA Finals the Lakers have to consider that option.
That said, expect Davis to play.
Davis has been the best Laker throughout the Western Conference Finals. He is averaging 32.3 points a game while shooting 55.3% from the floor, and as noted above the Lakers are dramatically better with him on the court.
The Los Angeles Lakers are up 3-1 on the Denver Nuggets and can advance to the NBA Finals with a win Saturday night in Game 5.
Anthony Davis listed as questionable for Game 5 with sprained ankle originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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