MLB Roundup: Baez hits grand slam, Cubs get boost from Mets errors in 16-4 romp

CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez insisted he was seeing the ball well and had his timing down, though his approach was a little off and the results weren’t what he wanted.

This time, everything clicked.

Baez hit a grand slam and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of a season-high four errors by the New York Mets in a 16-4 romp on a chilly Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Baez, who struck out four times Tuesday, scored three runs in this one and hit his sixth career slam off reliever Trevor Hildenberger in the sixth inning to make it 14-4. The flashy shortstop became the first player to go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in one game and then hit a grand slam in the next since Gorman Thomas did it for Milwaukee in the first two games of the 1978 season, according to STATS.

“I felt really good,” Baez said. “I’ve seen the ball good. My hitting coaches knew it.”

David Bote drove in four runs as the Cubs won their second straight after losing six of eight. Matt Duffy added three RBIs and Willson Contreras had two hits and scored twice.

Chicago scored its most runs since putting up 16 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, 2019. The fact that they scored 10 without the longball before Baez connected was a positive sign for manager David Ross.

“There were some balls well-hit even before that, a lot more of a line-drive approach I feel like, staying up the middle, and I think that’s where you see the singles come from — a couple groundballs getting through there, just out of the reach of their infielders,” he said. “Use the big part of the field and trusting and staying within your approach.”

Francisco Lindor hit his first homer for New York, and Pete Alonso launched a mammoth shot onto Waveland Avenue. But the Mets have lost the first two games of the three-game series.

Lindor connected against Zach Davies in the first. J.D. Davis made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third, but things turned around in a big way in the fourth.

The Mets committed three errors in a seven-run fourth to match their highest total in an inning since April 16, 2019, at Philadelphia. The Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate and chased David Peterson (1-2) on the way to their most lopsided win of the season.

“We’re not trying to lose games,” Lindor said. “We’re working as hard as we can every single day to win ballgames. But we’re gonna lose at least 50 games. If we win 112, that‘s impressive right there. At least, we’re gonna lose 50. We understand that. We understand that we’re gonna struggle. We’re gonna have bad days, we’re gonna have good days. The best baseball teams, they stay even-keeled.”

Phillies 6, Giants 5

PHILADELPHIA — Andrew Knapp hit the winning single in the ninth inning, Bryce Harper had a tying solo homer in the seventh and Philadelphia beat San Francisco.

Harper walked off Wandy Peralta (2-1) to open the ninth, and Brad Miller’s fourth hit of the game put two runners. Knapp hit a one-out single to left, and Harper beat Alex Dickerson’s throw him, scoring standing up and touching the plate with his fingertips to help the Phillies avert a three-game sweep against their former manager Gabe Kapler and the Giants.

Hector Neris (1-1) struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the win.

Darin Ruf had a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh off Brandon Kintzler and the Giants went ahead 5-4 in the inning after left fielder Andrew McCutchen dropped a routine flyball for an error with two outs.

Mickey Moniak hit his first career home run for the Phillies five years after they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft.

Nationals 1, Cardinals 0

WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer struck out nine in six innings to move up to No. 21 on the career list, and Alex Avila drove in the lone run with one of his two doubles, helping Washington edge St. Louis.

Scherzer (1-1) retired 12 of his last 13 batters, working in short sleeves in gusts of 30 mph on a 50-degree late afternoon.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out Dylan Carlson swinging through a 93 mph fastball with his 109th and final pitch. The righty’s strikeout of Justin Williams to end the fourth gave Scherzer 2,814 for his career, moving him one ahead of Hall of Famer Mike Mussina. Next up: Mickey Lolich, whose 2,832 strikeouts rank 20th in MLB history.

Washington scored in the second off Carlos Martinez (0-4) on Avila’s two-out double to left.

Brad Hand worked the ninth for his third save this season. It’s his 24th successful save chance in a row, the longest active streak in the majors.

Brewers 4, Padres 2

SAN DIEGO — Omar Narvaez hit a two-run homer, Jace Peterson added a solo shot and Milwaukee beat San Diego to complete a three-game sweep.

San Diego right-hander Dinelson Lamet left his season debut after two scoreless innings due to right forearm tightness. The Padres closed out a 1-5 homestand with their seventh loss in nine games overall.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler was ejected in the eighth after he calmly walked out to argue balls and strikes with home plate umpire Tom Hallion.

San Diego had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth before Eric Hosmer struck out to end the game, giving Josh Hader a hard-earned third save.

Brent Suter (1-1) got the win with four strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. Keone Kela (2-1) took the loss.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4, completion of suspended game

Diamondbacks 8, Reds 5, 10 innings

CINCINNATI — Josh VanMeter hit a tying three-run homer in the ninth inning against his former team and Arizona beat Cincinnati for the second time Wednesday.

In the conclusion of Tuesday’s night’s suspended game, Arizona held on for the victory. Stefan Crichton pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save.

The Diamondbacks trailed 3-0 heading to the ninth in the regularly scheduled contest. But Amir Garrett issued two walks before VanMeter drove a 2-2 pitch deep to right for his first homer of the season. VanMeter broke into the majors with Cincinnati in 2019 and was traded to Arizona on Aug. 31.

The Diamondbacks broke it open with five runs in the 10th. Pavin Smith scored on an error on second baseman Alex Blandino, and Wyatt Mathisen had a key two-run single.

The Reds scored two runs in the bottom half of the 10th, but Taylor Clarke (1-0) got Eugenio Suarez to ground out to shortstop and retired Joey Votto on a fly ball to left to end it. Cionel Perez (1-2) got the loss.

Tuesday’s night’s game was halted because of heavy rain, and soon snow, after Reds reliever Lucas Sims walked in a run to give the Diamondbacks the lead in the eighth.

J.B. Bukauskas (1-0) got the third out in the seventh for the win in his major league debut. Garrett (0-1) took the loss.


Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3

BOSTON — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit an RBI single in the first inning and Toronto scored three more runs in the second in its victory over Boston.

Trent Thornton started and went two innings in a bullpen game for the Blue Jays. Six relievers followed and held down Boston’s potent offense.

Ryan Borucki (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Garrett Richards (0-2) was the loser.

Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer in the eighth for Boston.

Athletics 13, Twins 12

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics extended their winning streak to 11, rallying from a two-run deficit and beating the Twins when Luis Arraez threw away Ramon Laureano’s grounder for Minnesota’s second error of the 10th inning.

Nelson Cruz had two home runs and four RBIs for the Twins, and Byron Buxton hit a two-run homer against Lou Trivino for a 12-10 lead in the 10th.

Alex Colome (1-2) got the first two outs in the bottom half with the automatic runner on second, then walked Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus, loading the bases.

Mark Canha hit what should have been a game-ending grounder to second baseman Travis Blankehorn, who entered as a pinch runner for Josh Donaldson in the 10th, but Blankenhorn allowed the ball to bounce off his glove for a run-scoring error.

Laureano hit a one-hopper to Arraez for what again should have been the final out. Arraez, who had moved to third from second base to third for the 10th, sailed his throw over first baseman Willians Astudillo as the tying and winning runs scored.

Oakland started the season 0-6, split its next two games, then went on the 11-game winning streak, the longest in the major leagues since the A’s won 11 in a row from May 16-27, 2019. Deolis Guerra (1-0) got the final out of the 10th.

Matt Olson homered twice and had three RBIs for the A’s.

Minnesota was swept in the three-game series, the first time the Twins were swept this season.

Rangers 7, Angels 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Adolis Garcia hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning in Texas’ victory over Los Angeles.

Nate Lowe also homered immediately after Garcia’s drive for the Rangers. They have won six of nine after jumping on Los Angeles’ bullpen for six late runs to take two of three at Angel Stadium.

Garcia added his 411-foot, go-ahead homer off Mike Mayers (1-1) to his impressive list of big hits for Texas since coming up last week for his first significant big league action since 2018.

Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Jose Iglesias hit solo homers for the Angels.

Royals 9, Rays 8

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez hit a game-ending RBI single and Kansas City beat Tampa Bay to avoided a series sweep.

Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier and Carlos Santana homered for Kansas City, which trailed 6-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning.

Scott Barlow (1-0) allowed Joey Wendle’s tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth, but got the win when the Royals rallied.

Diego Castillio (0-1) was the loser.


Marlins 3, Orioles 0

MIAMI — Rookie Trevor Rogers didn’t allow a runner past second base while pitching a career-high seven innings in his 11th major league start, and Miami split the two-game series with Baltimore.

Jesus Aguilar broke a 0-0 tie with a two-out, two-run double in the fifth.

Rogers (2-1) allowed four hits and one walk while striking out eight, lowering his ERA to 1.64 as he gained his third career win.

The other two came against two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

Yimi Garcia completed the four-hitter by pitching a perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

Bruce Zimmermann (1-2) allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Pirates 3, Tigers 2, 1st game

Tigers 5, Pirates 2, 2nd game

DETROIT — Tyler Anderson pitched five solid innings and Pittsburgh beat Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.

Detroit rallied to win the second game, with Jonathan Schoop hitting a go-ahead home run in a three-run fifth inning.

In the opener, Pittsburgh scored all of its runs in the fourth inning after Michael Fulmer (1-1) retired the Pirates in order through the first three. Pittsburgh has won five of its last seven to pull within a game of .500.

Anderson (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Kyle Crick worked a perfect sixth, and Richard Rodriguez retired the Tigers in order in the seventh and final inning for his second save.

Spencer Turnbull (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in five innings to win the second game, his season debut after recovering from COVID-19. Gregory Soto pitched the seventh for his second save. Miguel Yajure (0-1) gave up four runs and hour hits in 4 2/3 innings in his Pirates debut.

Rockies 6, Astros 3

DENVER — Austin Gomber got his first victory for Colorado, allowing two hits over six innings on a wintry afternoon to send Houston to its ninth loss in 10 games.

It was 34 degrees at first pitch and light snow fell throughout the game, gaining in intensity.

Gomber (1-2) allowed Yuli Gurriel’s two-run homer in the second but just one hit and a walk after. Houston starter Jose Urquidy (0-2) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings,.

Gurriel drove in all three runs for the Astros. Houston also was 7-10 last year before winning eight in a row.

Yonathan Daza hit his first major league home run in his 58th big league game. Dom Nunez doubled, singled and drove in two runs for Colorado.

By Paul Wager