Baez homers, Hamels sharp again in Cubs' 3-1 win over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A little break in the action did Javier Baez some good.

Baez bounced back from a couple of strikeouts with a big home run, Cole Hamels pitched six strong innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Monday night.

Baez has homered in back-to-back games for the fifth time this season and has six in his past 10 games with 14 RBIs.

He struck out swinging in his first two at-bats before a 22-minute rain delay in the fourth.

''I was so mad,'' Baez said. ''Not that I struck out, but it was pitches way out of the zone. After the rain delay I went out there with a different attitude and just trying to be patient. The first AB I was, like, damn, it's my first time here and they're yelling for me. I was really nervous and really happy.''

Baez hit the first pitch from reliever Kevin McCarthy (4-4) in the sixth inning to center for his 25th home run, putting the Cubs ahead 2-1.

''It was just a bad pitch,'' McCarthy said. ''It was down the middle and he got it. He's just hot right now. He's seeing the ball well and he got that one.''

Baez doubled in the eighth to score Jason Heyward, upping his RBI total to an NL-leading 88.

''He's just a dangerous, dangerous hitter,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He's going to attack. You don't have to throw him strikes. He struck out the first two times with pitches way out of the zone. But he's got 25 homers, so there are enough mistakes being made. But you make a pitch that's not way out of the zone, he's so talented and so strong, he'll drive it out of the ball park.''

Hamels (7-9) is 2-0 since the Cubs acquired him in a July 27 trade with the Texas Rangers. He allowed one run and seven hits.

''I've faced these guys twice before this season,'' Hamels said. ''Pretty familiar with what they're able to hit, what they're not able to hit. I think noticing the curveball being pretty effective we'd like to stick with that and I think that was the case.''

Alcides Escobar's two-out second-inning single scored Rosell Herrera for the first earned run Hamels allowed at Kauffman Stadium in four career starts, covering 21 2/3 innings.

Royals starter Jakob Junis worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth. Ben Zobrist and Heyward hit ground ball outs to end the inning.

The Royals loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Hamels retired Hunter Dozier on a grounder to first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a full-count pitch.

Junis was removed after five innings and 87 pitches, allowing one run and five hits while striking out eight, one shy of his career high.

Zobrist led off the fourth with a triple and scored on Junis' wild pitch.

Cubs relievers Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop limited the Royals to one single over the final three innings. Strop earned his eighth save in 11 chances, working a spotless ninth.

The Royals have lost five straight and are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in the majors at 34-78.

ZOBRIST RETURNS

Zobrist, who hit .303 with two home runs in 16 postseason games for the Royals in 2015, was back in Kansas City for the first time since the club won the World Series. He received a standing ovation before his first at-bat.

ROYALS LONG TRIP

The Royals were home for the first time since July 25, after a 3-7, three-city, 11-day trip to New York, Chicago and Minnesota. It included a rainout in New York, which was made up with a day-night doubleheader, plus two rain delays in Minnesota. ''It seemed like it was a year,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) threw before the game for the first since going on the disabled list on July 24. ''It was good to get him out there doing some baseball stuff. It was good for him and for his head, too,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''There's no regress, but there's no finish lines attached.'' ... RHPs Brandon Morrow (right biceps inflammation) and Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) played catch before the game. Darvish is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Wednesday.

Royals: OF Brian Goodwin (left groin strain) took batting practice. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery, who was a 2008 Royals' first-round pick, starts the middle game of the series.

Royals: Rookie RHP Brad Keller is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 11 starts since moving into the rotation on May 30.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
CHC65-47
000101010390
KC34-78
010000000180
  • W: C. Hamels (7-9)L: K. McCarthy (4-4)S: P. Strop (8)
  • HR: CHC - J. Baez (25)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
A. Rizzo 1B40000101.263.360.446.8061.0
B. Zobrist 2B51200014.311.395.462.8574.5
D. Bote 3B00000000.328.419.508.9270.0
J. Heyward RF31100104.283.348.416.7643.0
J. Baez 3B-2B41221023.302.335.594.9298.0
K. Schwarber DH30000111.245.364.476.8400.5
W. Contreras C40100033.280.369.448.817-0.5
I. Happ LF40000042.241.366.420.786-2.0
A. Russell SS40200010.266.334.371.7061.5
A. Almora CF30100101.302.339.409.7482.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield CF40000011.304.372.432.803-0.5
    A. Gordon LF30100100.251.324.356.6812.0
    S. Perez C30100000.232.272.431.7042.0
    H. Dozier 3B40200004.218.275.345.6192.0
    R. Herrera RF41100012.257.290.355.6451.5
    J. Bonifacio DH30100001.204.287.330.6171.0
    a- B. Phillips PH-DH10000000.184.245.327.5720.0
    A. Mondesi 2B40000013.259.273.398.671-0.5
    A. Escobar SS40110011.201.251.273.5231.5
    D. Butera 1B30100011.188.271.281.5520.5
    • a-grounded out for Bonifacio in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Baez (31)
    • 3B - B. Zobrist (2)
    • HR - J. Baez (25)
    • RBI - J. Baez 2 (88)
    BATTING
    • RBI - A. Escobar (22)
    • 2-Out RBI - A. Escobar (10)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo; Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo)
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - R. Herrera
    • DP - (Escobar-Mondesi-Butera)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Hamels (W, 7-9)6.07111204.381.3620.0
    S. Cishek (H, 16)1.00000101.891.033.5
    B. Kintzler (H, 18)1.01000003.301.212.0
    P. Strop (S, 8)1.00000202.741.0911.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Hamels (W, 7-9)6.0
    S. Cishek (H, 16)1.0
    B. Kintzler (H, 18)1.0
    P. Strop (S, 8)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Junis5.05112804.981.3611.0
    K. McCarthy (L, 4-4)1.22110213.801.29-4.0
    T. Hill0.10000005.231.440.0
    B. Flynn0.11110004.201.65-2.0
    J. Hammel1.21002205.911.611.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Junis5.0
    K. McCarthy (L, 4-4)1.2
    T. Hill0.1
    B. Flynn0.1
    J. Hammel1.2
    PITCHING
    • HBP - C. Hamels (14)
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Hamels 97-66, S. Cishek 11-7, B. Kintzler 7-4, P. Strop 10-9
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Hamels 6-9, S. Cishek 1-1, B. Kintzler 1-1, P. Strop 1-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Hamels 26, S. Cishek 3, B. Kintzler 3, P. Strop 3
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Junis (5), J. Hammel (2)
    • IBB - J. Hammel (4)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 87-53, K. McCarthy 19-12, T. Hill 6-3, B. Flynn 6-4, J. Hammel 26-15
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 4-2, K. McCarthy 2-0, T. Hill 1-0, B. Flynn 1-0, J. Hammel 1-2
    • Batters Faced - J. Junis 21, K. McCarthy 6, T. Hill, B. Flynn 2, J. Hammel 8
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    CHC65-47
    000101010390
    KC34-78
    010000000180
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Rizzo 1B40000101.263.360.446.8061.0
    B. Zobrist 2B51200014.311.395.462.8574.5
    D. Bote 3B00000000.328.419.508.9270.0
    J. Heyward RF31100104.283.348.416.7643.0
    J. Baez 3B-2B41221023.302.335.594.9298.0
    K. Schwarber DH30000111.245.364.476.8400.5
    W. Contreras C40100033.280.369.448.817-0.5
    I. Happ LF40000042.241.366.420.786-2.0
    A. Russell SS40200010.266.334.371.7061.5
    A. Almora CF30100101.302.339.409.7482.0
    Total34392141219-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      W. Merrifield CF40000011.304.372.432.803-0.5
      A. Gordon LF30100100.251.324.356.6812.0
      S. Perez C30100000.232.272.431.7042.0
      H. Dozier 3B40200004.218.275.345.6192.0
      R. Herrera RF41100012.257.290.355.6451.5
      J. Bonifacio DH30100001.204.287.330.6171.0
      a- B. Phillips PH-DH10000000.184.245.327.5720.0
      A. Mondesi 2B40000013.259.273.398.671-0.5
      A. Escobar SS40110011.201.251.273.5231.5
      D. Butera 1B30100011.188.271.281.5520.5
      Total3318101513-----
      • a-grounded out for Bonifacio in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Baez (31)
      • 3B - B. Zobrist (2)
      • HR - J. Baez (25)
      • RBI - J. Baez 2 (88)
      BATTING
      • RBI - A. Escobar (22)
      • 2-Out RBI - A. Escobar (10)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo; Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - R. Herrera
      • DP - (Escobar-Mondesi-Butera)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Hamels (W, 7-9)6.07111204.381.3620.0
      S. Cishek (H, 16)1.00000101.891.033.5
      B. Kintzler (H, 18)1.01000003.301.212.0
      P. Strop (S, 8)1.00000202.741.0911.0
      Total9.0811150---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Hamels (W, 7-9)6.0
      S. Cishek (H, 16)1.0
      B. Kintzler (H, 18)1.0
      P. Strop (S, 8)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Junis5.05112804.981.3611.0
      K. McCarthy (L, 4-4)1.22110213.801.29-4.0
      T. Hill0.10000005.231.440.0
      B. Flynn0.11110004.201.65-2.0
      J. Hammel1.21002205.911.611.0
      Total9.09334121---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Junis5.0
      K. McCarthy (L, 4-4)1.2
      T. Hill0.1
      B. Flynn0.1
      J. Hammel1.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • HBP - C. Hamels (14)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Hamels 97-66, S. Cishek 11-7, B. Kintzler 7-4, P. Strop 10-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Hamels 6-9, S. Cishek 1-1, B. Kintzler 1-1, P. Strop 1-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Hamels 26, S. Cishek 3, B. Kintzler 3, P. Strop 3
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Junis (5), J. Hammel (2)
      • IBB - J. Hammel (4)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 87-53, K. McCarthy 19-12, T. Hill 6-3, B. Flynn 6-4, J. Hammel 26-15
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 4-2, K. McCarthy 2-0, T. Hill 1-0, B. Flynn 1-0, J. Hammel 1-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Junis 21, K. McCarthy 6, T. Hill, B. Flynn 2, J. Hammel 8
      • 8TH INNING
        Baez doubled to deep right, Heyward scored31
      • 6TH INNING
        Baez homered to center21
      • 4TH INNING
        Zobrist scored, Heyward to second on wild pitch11
      • 2ND INNING
        Escobar singled to left center, Herrera scored01
      • 9TH INNING
        • J. Hammel Pitching:
        • A. Russell: Foul, Russell grounded out to third
        • A. Almora: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Almora walked
        • A. Rizzo: Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Rizzo lined out to center
        • B. Zobrist: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Zobrist flied out to left
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Pedro Strop relieved Brandon Kintzler
        • David Bote at third base
        • Brett Phillips hit for Jorge Bonifacio
        • B. Phillips: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Phillips grounded out to first
        • A. Mondesi: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Brian Flynn relieved Tim Hill
        • B. Zobrist: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Zobrist reached on an infield single to third
        • J. Heyward: Heyward reached on fielder's choice to second, Zobrist out at second
        • Jason Hammel relieved Brian Flynn
        • J. Baez: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Baez doubled to deep right, Heyward scored
        • K. Schwarber: Schwarber intentionally walked
        • W. Contreras: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Baez to third, Schwarber to second on wild pitch, Foul tip, Contreras struck out on foul tip
        • I. Happ: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Happ struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Brandon Kintzler relieved Steve Cishek
        • S. Perez: Ball, Perez popped out to second
        • H. Dozier: Dozier reached on an infield single to pitcher
        • R. Herrera: Ball, Foul, Ball, Herrera grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Dozier out at second
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • K. McCarthy Pitching:
        • A. Russell: Strike looking, Russell reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • A. Almora: Almora grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Russell out at second
        • Tim Hill relieved Kevin McCarthy
        • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Rizzo grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Steve Cishek relieved Cole Hamels
        • D. Butera: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Butera struck out swinging
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Ball, Merrifield flied out to deep right
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Kevin McCarthy relieved Jake Junis
        • J. Baez: Baez homered to center
        • K. Schwarber: Ball, Foul, Ball, Schwarber grounded out to second
        • W. Contreras: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Contreras struck out swinging
        • I. Happ: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Happ struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Herrera struck out on foul tip
        • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Bonifacio singled to center
        • A. Mondesi: Ball, Strike looking, Mondesi lined out to right
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Escobar lined out to shortstop
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Junis Pitching:
        • I. Happ: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Happ struck out swinging
        • A. Russell: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Russell singled to center
        • A. Almora: Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Almora singled to left, Russell to second
        • A. Rizzo: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Rizzo walked, Russell to third, Almora to second
        • B. Zobrist: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Zobrist reached on fielder's choice to first, Russell out at home, Almora to third, Rizzo to second
        • J. Heyward: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Heyward grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Foul, Escobar grounded out to first
        • D. Butera: Strike looking, Foul, Butera singled to center
        • W. Merrifield: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
        • A. Gordon: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Gordon singled to right center, Butera to second
        • S. Perez: Foul, Foul, Ball, Perez hit by pitch, Butera to third, Gordon to second
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Dozier grounded out to first
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Junis Pitching:
        • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Ball, Zobrist tripled to deep right
        • J. Heyward: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Heyward walked
        • J. Baez: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Baez struck out swinging
        • K. Schwarber: Pickoff attempt to first, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Zobrist scored, Heyward to second on wild pitch, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Schwarber struck out swinging
        • W. Contreras: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Contreras struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Dozier singled to left center
        • R. Herrera: Strike swinging, Foul, Herrera flied out to right
        • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Bonifacio reached on fielder's choice to third, Dozier out at second
        • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Mondesi flied out to deep right
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Junis Pitching:
        • A. Russell: Foul, Strike looking, Foul tip, Russell struck out on foul tip
        • A. Almora: Strike looking, Almora grounded out to shortstop
        • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Rizzo flied out to left
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Merrifield flied out to right
        • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Gordon grounded out to second
        • S. Perez: Perez fouled out to catcher
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Junis Pitching:
        • K. Schwarber: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Schwarber grounded out to shortstop
        • W. Contreras: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Contreras singled to right, Contreras out at second
        • I. Happ: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Happ struck out looking
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • R. Herrera: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Herrera singled to center
        • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Bonifacio grounded out to third, Herrera to second
        • A. Mondesi: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi popped out to second
        • A. Escobar: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Escobar singled to left center, Herrera scored
        • D. Butera: Ball, Foul, Butera flied out to deep right
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Junis Pitching:
        • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Rizzo flied out to left
        • B. Zobrist: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Zobrist struck out looking
        • J. Heyward: Heyward singled to center
        • J. Baez: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Baez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Merrifield lined out to center
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gordon walked
        • S. Perez: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Perez singled to left center, Gordon to second
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Dozier grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Perez out at second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)