Cubs keep winning against stumbling Giants

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 02, 2016 02:33 PM
Cubs keep winning against stumbling Giants
Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell hits a two-run single against the San Francisco Giants during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Addison Russell hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to lead the surging Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 win over the sagging San Francisco Giants in their Major League Baseball match on Thursday night.

The Cubs spoiled a shaky Jeff Samardzija's return to Wrigley Field and started September on a winning note after going 22-6 to match the 1932 team for the best August in franchise history.

The major league leaders also moved a season-high 39 games over .500 and 15 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central — their largest lead in the standings since the 1907 team finished 17 games ahead of Pittsburgh, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Samardzija lasted just four innings, giving up three runs and five hits, in his first start as a visitor at the famed ballpark since being traded by the Cubs, and the Giants' bullpen gave away the lead in the seventh.

The Cubs were trailing 4-3 going into the seventh when Hunter Strickland (3-2) gave up a leadoff single to Dexter Fowler and walked Kris Bryant.

Will Smith walked Ben Zobrist with one out to load the bases before retiring Jason Heyward on a pop fly. But Russell then blooped a two-run single to left off Cory Gearrin.

That gave Chicago a 5-4 lead and made a winner of Joe Smith (2-4), who worked two scoreless innings in relief after returning from a strained left hamstring.

The Giants are trying to lock down a playoff spot and rediscover the touch that gave them the best record in baseball at the All-Star break. Since then, they are a major league-worst 15-28.

In New York, Christian Yelich hit a three-run homer that helped Miami beat the New York Mets and a shaky Jacob deGrom 6-4 to end its season-worst five-game losing streak.

Yelich homered and singled twice, drove in four runs and stole two bases. He also made a dashing, diving catch in center field with the bases loaded and two outs. That made up for him later dropping a routine fly for an error.

Jose Urena (3-5) outpitched deGrom (7-8) as Miami averted a four-game sweep. Down 6-1, the Mets made it close, boosted by pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer in the ninth off Fernando Rodney.

The Mets fell two games behind idle St. Louis for the second wild-card spot, with the Marlins another game back.

In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman homered and the Braves broke it open with a five-run fifth inning, beating the San Diego Padres 9-6 to complete their first three-game sweep at Turner Field this season.

In the only other major league game Thursday, Byron Buxton homered in his return to the majors, and Trevor Plouffe continued his resurgence with a two-run shot as Minnesota ended a 13-game losing streak by beating the visiting Chicago White Sox 8-5.

Minnesota got to Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who entered the day leading the American League with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana (11-10) allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings and saw his ERA rise to 3.05.

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