AL MVP has been out since
CHICAGO (AP) — It’s purely about the math for Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs.A three-game lead is better than a one-game advantage Brett Anderson Jersey , and that was all that mattered Wednesday.Rizzo homered, drove in three runs and stole two bases in his return to the cleanup spot, and Chicago beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 to strengthen its hold on the NL Central.The Cubs bounced back nicely from their 7-0 loss in the opener of the two-game series, improving to 9-4 against the Brewers this year. But they have six more games left in the season series and St. Louis is gaining quickly, so Rizzo and company coolly packed up their three-game advantage over the second-place Brewers and got ready for a six-game trip.It’s just about the numbers in the middle of August.“I think early on we knew it was going to come down to the wire,” Rizzo said, “so I don’t see us or any team pulling away like crazy. Winning games versus our division is always big, and this one was nice.”Jason Heyward added three hits and two RBIs as Chicago moved 19 games over .500, matching its season high. David Bote had two hits, scored twice and made a terrific barehanded play at third base in his first action since he hit a game-ending grand slam in Sunday night’s 4-3 victory over Washington.Kyle Hendricks (9-9) struck out eight in six-plus innings on his bobblehead day, providing a lift for the Cubs after Jon Lester and Jose Quintana struggled in recent starts.“Psychologically Blake Treinen Jersey , I mean obviously there was a lot of folks that would have been running for the hills had we lost,” manager Joe Maddon said. “The fact that you win the game, it settles down that method. There’s still a long way to go.”Milwaukee had a chance to inch closer to Chicago, but instead lost for the fourth time in six games. Junior Guerra (6-8) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, and first baseman Eric Thames committed an error that helped set up a run.“It was definitely a hard game,” Guerra said. “Some of the things just didn’t go our way today.”The Brewers, who are in position for a wild card, also lost left fielder Ryan Braun and catcher Manny Pina to injuries. Braun departed with tightness on the right side of his rib cage, and Pina hurt his left shoulder when he collided with Javier Baez while he was diving back to second in the seventh.Pina stayed in after the play and scored on Mike Moustakas’ single. But Erik Kratz took over behind the plate in the bottom half of the inning.“We’re going to take him to Milwaukee for tests tomorrow, but he was adamant about staying in the game,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s just kind of precautionary. So we’ll get some tests and we’ll see.”Braun is considered day to day. He got hurt trying to make a sliding catch on Heyward’s RBI double in the third.“I don’t anticipate making a quick move with this one http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-chris-hatcher-jersey , but if it lingers, we’re going to have to make a move,” Counsell said.Rizzo, who had been leading off, drove a 0-1 pitch from Guerra into the basket in left for a two-run shot in the first. The big first baseman also blooped a run-scoring single into center in the Cubs’ three-run fourth, helped by a partly cloudy sky that made life difficult for each team all afternoon.The Brewers closed to 7-4 on Hernan Perez’s RBI single in the seventh. But they wasted a chance for more when Travis Shaw popped out and Jonathan Schoop lined to left with the bases loaded, ending the inning.Albert Almora Jr. then led off the bottom half of the inning with a line drive into the bleachers in left . It was his first homer since June 28 and No. 5 on the year.MINOR MOVESThe Cubs acquired minor league outfielder Terrance Gore from Kansas City for a player to be named or cash. He was assigned to Triple-A Iowa.The speedy Gore is 0 for 11 in 49 major league games. But he has scored 14 times and swiped 21 bases.TRAINER’S ROOMBrewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson is unlikely to return this season after he had shoulder surgery in September, according to Counsell. … RHP Zach Davies, who is coming back from an inflamed right rotator cuff and tight lower back, could make another rehab appearance after he starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday.UP NEXTBrewers: Following a day off, RHP Freddy Peralta (5-3 Sean Manaea Jersey , 4.47 ERA) faces Cardinals RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66 ERA) on Friday night in the opener of a big weekend series in St. Louis. Peralta was tagged for seven runs in three-plus innings in a 10-1 loss at Atlanta on Friday night.Cubs: Lester (12-5, 3.89 ERA) pitches Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh. He is 0-3 with a 10.32 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. RHP Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.42 ERA) gets the ball for the Pirates. A look at what’s happening around the majors Sunday:BIG-N-LITTLETodd Frazier, Michael Conforto and Scott Kingery will be back in familiar territory when the Mets and Phillies play under the lights in the Little League Classic at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The game will be held at Bowman Field, which seats about 2,500 fans as the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Philadelphia affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. Nearby is the field where Frazier, Conforto and Kingery all played in the Little League World Series.GONNA START SOMETHING?Jose Urena is set to start for the Marlins vs. Washington at Nationals Park. Urena’s previous outing lasted only one pitch — he hit dynamic rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a fastball, setting off a bench-clearing incident in Atlanta http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-boog-powell-jersey , and was ejected. Major League Baseball suspended Urena six games, but the right-hander has appealed and can continue to play. There’s speculation Urena will drop his appeal after this game, meaning he would miss the Marlins’ series next weekend at home against the Braves.MISS YOUAstros second baseman Jose Altuve is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for Triple-A Fresno in a game at Tacoma. The reigning AL MVP has been out since July 25 with knee trouble — Houston hopes he can rejoin the club next week in Seattle.Minus Altuve, the World Series champs have dropped 12 of 19 and lost their six-game lead in the AL West. Oakland has tied the Astros atop the division and will try for a sweep at the Coliseum when Sean Manaea (11-8, 3.44 ERA) starts against Justin Verlander (11-8, 2.52 ERA).HIYAYankees lefty J.A. Happ starts against Toronto, the team that traded him late last month. The 35-year-old Happ (13-6, 3.86 ERA) has won all three of his starts for New York. Ryan Borucki (2-2, 3.29) pitches for the visiting Blue Jays.AVAILABLERoyals reliever Blaine Boyer has cleared waivers and is a free agent. The 37-year-old right-hander had a 12.05 ERA in 21 games when he was released. He also was 2-1 with one save, making him the only pitcher on the Kansas City staff with a win-loss record over .500.
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