Chicago Cubs

Early lead doesn't last long as Giants drop series at Wrigley


Early lead doesn't last long as Giants drop series at Wrigley


CHICAGO -- Javier Baez hit a three-run home run and the Chicago Cubs overcame another wild outing from Tyler Chatwood to beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3 on Sunday night.

Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and Chicago's bullpen was stellar as the Cubs took two of three in the weekend series.

Chatwood walked five and allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander leads the NL with 45 walks, including six in his previous start against Cleveland, when he allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings. Chatwood is 3-4 with a 4.10 ERA in the first season of a $38 million, three-year contract he signed in December.

Left-hander Randy Rosario (1-0) replaced Chatwood and escaped a bases-loaded jam. The rookie - promoted from the minors Saturday - allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings for his first major league win.

San Francisco starter Ty Blach (3-5) also struggled, allowing five runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He walked four and struck out three.

After San Francisco took a 1-0 lead on two walks and two infield hits, Mac Williamson hit a two-out, two-run single to right to make it 3-0 in the first.

The Cubs quickly tied it with three runs in the bottom half.

Kris Bryant delivered a one-out run-scoring double. Anthony Rizzo followed with a liner up the middle. The ball hit off Blach's glove and struck second base umpire Cory Blaser before rolling slowing towards first base as Bryant scored all the way from second.

After Kyle Schwarber singled to right to put runners on the corners, Addison Russell hit a grounder up the middle. Again, Blach got a glove on it but couldn't make the play, giving Russell a tying hit.

Baez gave the Cubs a 6-3 lead with his three-run blast to right in the fourth off reliever Pierce Johnson. Chicago added two more in the fifth on an RBI pinch-hit single by Tommy La Stella and an RBI double by Almora.


Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (broken left pinky) tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday night in a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento. He threw 47 pitches and had eight strikeouts. ... C Buster Posey (sore right hip) missed his second straight game. Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey may play Monday.

Cubs: OF Ian Happ was held out of the lineup because of a sore shoulder. Manager Joe Maddon said Happ should be able to start Monday. ... RHP Yu Darvish, placed on the 10-day DL on Saturday with triceps tendinitis, will have a precautionary MRI on Tuesday.


Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (1-4, 5.68 ERA) looks to snap a three-start losing streak in the opener of a three-game series Monday night at Colorado. RHP Chad Bettis(4-1, 3.30) pitches for the Rockies.

Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery (0-1, 5.33 ERA) makes his first start of the season as Chicago has a quick turnaround for a matinee at Pittsburgh. RHP Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.20) goes for the Pirates.

Pablo Sandoval to make first career start at second base


Pablo Sandoval to make first career start at second base

Pablo Sandoval already proved he's the ultimate utility man earlier this season by throwing a perfect 1-2-3 inning in his pitching debut. On Sunday, Sandoval will add another new one to his résumé. 

Sandoval is making his first start ever at second base for the Giants Sunday night against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He previously played 2/3 of an inning at second base for the Red Sox last season against the Orioles. 

This is a first for Sandoval, but he has been taking ground balls at second base recently. 

The Giants' depth at second base has been depleted by injuries this season. Joe Panik and Alen Hanson are both on the disabled list, leaving Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez as the only other options.

Chicago is starting right-hander Tyler Chatwood against the Giants and Sandoval, a switch-hitter, has hit much better left-handed than right-handed this season. Both of his home runs this year have come as a lefty and he is batting .259 left-handed compared to .133 right-handed. 

And, Sandoval has a lot of previous success off of Chatwood. Sandoval has hit .333 for his career off Chatwood (6-for-18), including two home runs.

After Sandoval's pitching debut, he made it clear he's willing to do anything to help the team win. 

"Like I told Bochy, whenever you need me, I'm going to be there. No matter what. Pitching, catching, short, second, outfield, manager one day, coach, third base... whatever you need me to do, I'm gonna do it," Sandoval said on his role with the Giants

Slotting over to second base is just the latest example of Sandoval taking full advantage of his second chance in San Francisco. 

Giants halt losing streak, hang on to beat Cubs


Giants halt losing streak, hang on to beat Cubs


CHICAGO -- Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer, Brandon Belt drove in two runs and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Saturday night to stop a three-game slide.

Andrew McCutchen had two hits and drove in a run as San Francisco won for the first time on an eight-game trip. Chris Stratton (6-3) shook off a shaky start and lasted five innings for his third straight win.

Chicago lost for the third time in four games. Javier Baez hit his team-leading 12th homer, and Kyle Schwarber homered, doubled and scored two runs.

The Cubs blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Jose Quintana (5-4) allowed four runs and five hits in just 4 1/3 innings.

Stratton issued each of his three walks in the second, including four straight balls to Jason Heyward that forced in the game's first run. But Stratton wriggled out of the jam, getting Quintana to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

The right-hander allowed three runs and four hits with six strikeouts.

Schwarber hit his ninth homer in the third, but Crawford responded with an opposite-field drive into the basket in left in the fourth. It was Crawford's sixth homer.

After Baez connected in the bottom half, San Francisco went ahead to stay with two in the fifth. McCutchen hit a tying RBI double and scored on Belt's two-out single.

Belt made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, driving in Gorkys Hernandez.

The Cubs got one back on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single in the eighth, but the rally fizzled from there. Hunter Strickland pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.


The Cubs placed right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, part of a flurry of pregame moves.

Catcher Victor Caratini was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Veteran catcher Chris Gimenez and left-handed reliever Randy Rosario were brought up from the minors, and infielder Efren Navarro was designated for assignment.

Darvish is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in his first season after finalizing a $126 million, six-year deal with the Cubs in February. He was slated to start the series finale against the Giants on Sunday night, but Tyler Chatwood will move up a day to take his place.


Giants: Buster Posey (right hip soreness) was held out. He is day to day. "He's had some history of this and then it clears up," manager Bruce Bochy said. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner (fractured pinky) was set to make his first rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday night. Bumgarner likely will make two more starts in the minors, Bochy said. ... 2B Joe Panik (sprained left thumb) will begin a rehab assignment with Sacramento on Monday. ... 2B Alen Hanson (strained left hamstring) ran the bases Saturday and is scheduled to play an extended spring training game Monday before beginning a rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose on Wednesday.

Cubs: Willson Contreras was hit on the left wrist by Stratton in the second inning and was attended to by trainers, but remained in the game.


Giants LHP Ty Blach (3-4, 4.37 ERA) faces Chatwood (3-4, 3.74 ERA) on Sunday night. Chatwood has lost two straight and leads the majors with 40 walks.