Cubs Within Victory Of Division Title


Published on September 26 2017 6:11 am
Last Updated on September 26 2017 6:11 am


ST. LOUIS -- Say cheese!

Addison Russell and the Chicago Cubs were all smiles after moving within a victory of another division title Monday night.

Russell hit a three-run double in the first inning, then made a food run for a fan in enemy territory while the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-2. Chicago can wrap up the division with a win Tuesday against the Cardinals or a loss by Milwaukee against Cincinnati.

Russell helped the Cubs get to starter Luke Weaver (7-2) early, then made some friends out of rival fans. After diving into the stands chasing a foul ball down the third-base line and spilling a man's tray of chips, Russell emerged from the dugout a few innings later with a plate of nachos and delivered it to the fan. Russell stopped to take a selfie before heading back to play shortstop.

"That was pretty entertaining," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Someone brought a plate of nachos to the dugout a little later, and Russell decided to make the delivery.

"Normally I don't do that," Russell said with a laugh. "But being the case of me being nachoed all over, even on my cleats, I thought `What, why not?' A once-in-a-lifetime experience. He had a great night at the ballgame.

"You don't want to get in front of a man and his nachos," he added.

The loss eliminated St. Louis from NL Central contention and dimmed the Cardinals' wild-card hopes. Colorado entered Monday leading Milwaukee by two games and St. Louis by 2 1/2. The Brewers were idle Monday, and Miami played at Colorado.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was taken out of the game in the seventh inning after he took two foul balls off his catcher's mask. Carson Kelly took over for Molina. St. Louis announced he is in concussion protocol.

"I haven't heard from the medical team yet and I don't know what's going on," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Obviously, the first one gave us some concern. After checking him, he said everything was OK and he was ready to go and he just needed a second.

"Unfortunately, the second one got him a little bit better and at that point, there was not going to be a conversation. We needed to get him out."

Jon Lester (12-8) pitched six innings, allowing five hits and a run for the Cubs. Chicago is 11-2 in its last 13 games and 19-8 in its last 27.

Lester brought an 8.22 ERA over his last five starts, allowing seven earned runs in two of those outings.

"Much better game tonight," Lester said. "I felt better."

Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the third inning, but left the game shortly after fouling a pitch off his left leg in the eighth inning. Not until after hitting a single, though. Maddon thought Baez might be able to play Tuesday.

Kris Bryant hit a homer and added two singles for Chicago.

Weaver gave up eight runs over three innings. Chicago stopped his streak of winning seven consecutive starts, the longest by any Cardinals rookie since Ted Wilks in 1944.

With two outs in the first, Russell hit a double to right, scoring Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist. Jason Heyward followed Russell with a run-scoring double.

Bryant hit his 29th homer of the season in the second with two outs for a 5-0 Cubs lead.

Jedd Gyorko got a run back for the Cardinals in the second with a one-out home run, the first of his three hits, into left field to cut the lead to 5-1.

Baez hit his first homer since Sept. 13 with two outs, driving in Zobrist and Heyward in the third, giving Chicago an 8-1 advantage.

St. Louis rookie Luke Voit hit a pinch-hit home run in the seventh.

The Cubs added two runs in the eighth to complete the scoring.

White Sox 4, Angels 2

With seven losses in eight games, the Angels have let their playoff chances slide away in the last week of the season.

James Shields tossed seven strong innings, Nicky Delmonico drove in a pair of runs and the Chicago White Sox beat Los Angeles 4-2 on Monday night.

With six games remaining, the Angels trail Minnesota by five games for the second AL wild card. They would be eliminated with a loss Tuesday, or a win by the Twins.

"We are where we are," manager Mike Scioscia said. "The one thing we can control is what we're doing. We didn't get it done tonight, and that's disappointing. But we have to come out here tomorrow with the same energy and get the game on our terms."

Mike Trout hit his 30th homer for Los Angeles. Trout joins Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Jose Canseco and Joe DiMaggio as the only players in AL history to reach 30 homers four times before their age-26 season.

"It's pretty cool, but we lost," Trout said. "It's disappointing. It was a tough loss."

Delmonico went 2 for 4. Matt Davidson and Adam Engel each had an RBI for Chicago, which has won four of five.

Shields (5-7) allowed two runs on four hits. The 35-year-old has won three of his last four starts.

Aaron Bummer and Gregory Infante combined for a scoreless eighth, and Juan Minaya got the final three outs for his seventh save in eight chances.

"He has been keeping us in the ballgame, attacking the strike zone," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said of Shields. "He's got that action that's coming from a little lower arm slot now. He's running balls to both sides of the plate, changing speeds and doing a really nice job."

Ricky Nolasco (6-15) allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits in five-plus innings.

Delmonico had a two-run double with two out in the first. Both runs were unearned because of a throwing error by shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Los Angeles got a run back in the second on Martin Maldonado's RBI single.

The White Sox took a 3-1 lead in third. Avisail Garcia led off with a triple and Davidson followed with a sacrifice fly.

Trout hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Chicago reclaimed a two-run lead in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Engel.

Monday, September 25 Scoreboard

New York Yankees 11, Kansas City 3

Atlanta 9, New York Mets 2

Washington 3, Philadelphia 1

Toronto 6, Boston 4

New York Mets 3, Atlanta 2

Houston 11, Texas 2

Chicago White Sox 4, Los Angeles Angels 2

Chicago Cubs 10, St. Louis 2

Miami 5, Colorado 4

San Francisco 9, Arizona 2

Seattle 7, Oakland 1

Los Angeles Dodgers 9, San Diego 3

Tuesday, September 26 Schedule (All Times Central)

Tampa Bay at New York Yankees, 6:05 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 6:05 p.m.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

Toronto at Boston, 6:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.

Atlanta at New York Mets, 6:10 p.m.

Cincinnati at Milwaukee, 6:40 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis, 7 p.m.

Houston at Texas, 7:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Detroit at Kansas  City, 7:15 p.m.

Miami at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.

Seattle at Oakland, 9:05 p.m.

San Diego at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.