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    Friday, January 27, 2023

    MLB roundup

    Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitches in the first inning of Wednesday's game against the Indians in Cleveland. The Cubs won, 7-2. (Tony Dejak/AP Photo)


    Cubs 7, Indians 2

    Bell bottoms were in style and Nixon was in the White House the last time the Chicago Cubs started a season this hot.

    Their rookie manager isn't taking any credit for the fast start.

    “I mean, I’ve got a good team,” David Ross said. “That’s what it is. We’ve got good players.”

    Kyle Hendricks pitched six strong innings in his first appearance against Cleveland since Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and Anthony Rizzo homered, leading the Cubs to a win over the Indians on Wednesday night to match their best start in 50 years.

    Hendricks (3-1) didn't have much trouble with the slumping Indians, who came in batting a major league-worst .192. He allowed one run and seven hits — threw 18 straight strikes in one juncture — and handled everyone in Cleveland's lineup but Franmil Reyes, who got three hits.

    The Cubs are 12-3 in their first season under Ross, matching the club's start after 15 games in 1970.

    Since taking over, Ross has preached about being positive and energetic and the constant chatter coming Chicago's dugout is evidence his players are listening.

    “There is nothing to complain about because the talent’s there, the character’s there, the commitment, the focus, the energy, the work,” Ross said. “It's not easy, especially in the environment we’re dealing with now. I’ve got really good players, man.

    “I just put them in the lineup, and I start trying to cheerlead them on. They’re really good.”

    Rizzo homered in the third off Carlos Carrasco (2-2), David Bote drove in two runs and Kris Bryant connected for a 430-foot shot as the Cubs swept the two-game interleague set.

    Hendricks hadn't faced the Indians since Nov. 2, 2016, when he started the dramatic finale as the Cubs beat the Indians in extra innings to clinch their first Series title since 1908. The right-hander is as efficient now as he was four years ago.

    “I’m just happy that we are where we are right now,” he said. “You never know why things click at a certain time. I think we missed baseball so much being out for so long that it just gave us that little breather, and guys are really just excited to be around each other and excited to be playing the game again.”

    Carrasco was pulled in the fifth after a shaky, seven-walk outing over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struggled with his control from the outset, but he was able to work around two, two-walk innings without giving up any runs.

    “He was really yanking a lot of fastballs to the lefties and away to the righties,” manager Terry Francona said. “Shoot, he was probably in the fourth inning and his strike-to-ball was even. There were a lot of walks. He was pitching out of danger the entire time.”

    It's been a tough few days for the Indians.

    Not only are they struggling to score, but they're still sorting through the situation with starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, who broke team rules and COVID-19 protocols when they left the team hotel in Chicago last weekend and risked exposure to the virus.

    Francona did not say if the players have yet been tested. And as for their fractured relationship with teammates, Francona said that could take time to heal.

    “I know that they’ve got some trust to earn back and they’re gonna have to earn that back,” he said. “I don’t know how easy that will be.”

    Francisco Lindor and Javier Báez followed eerily similar paths to stardom. Both were born in Puerto Rico, moved to Florida and were drafted one pick apart in 2011.

    They're close friends and two of the game's best middle infielders. Just ask Jason Kipnis, who played with Lindor in Cleveland and is teammates with Báez.

    “They’re both better at baseball than me,” he said. “I don’t know what’s in the water over there, but these guys’ natural ability to play this game is astonishing. "

    Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber was scratched from the starting lineup with a bruised right knee suffered when he got hit with a pitch Tuesday. He struck out pinch-hitting in the ninth.

    Marlins 14, Blue Jays 11 (10 innings)

    Magneuris Sierra hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning and Miami overcame Toronto’s seven home runs in the final game of its season-opening, three-week road trip.

    Bo Bichette went 5 for 5 for the Blue Jays, a day after homering during a 10-inning win in their first game at their new Buffalo home. He connected again as Toronto became the fourth team in major league history to lose while slugging at least seven homers.

    After this detour to Sahlen Field, the Marlins finally get to go home.

    Miami has an off day before facing Atlanta for three games to start a seven-game homestand. The Marlins’ grueling road odyssey began with a trip to Atlanta on July 21 for a pair of exhibition games and moved on to Philadelphia for a season-opening, three-game series.

    Royals 5, Reds 4

    Streaking Salvador Perez had three more hits, including a homer and RBI double, Reds left-hander Wade Miley made another early exit after a misstep, and Kansas City beat Cincinnati for its fifth victory in six games.

    The Royals’ offense has led the way during the surge. It scored one run at a time to keep it going, led by Perez’s homer, double and single.

    Brad Keller (2-0) allowed two singles in six shutout innings. The bullpen barely held on.

    Jesse Winker, Freddy Galvis and Josh VanMeter homered in the seventh, cutting it to 5-4. Josh Staumont escaped a two-on threat in the eighth with a pair of called third strikes.

    Trevor Rosenthal walked the bases loaded with one out in the ninth but got Christian Colón to ground into a double play, earning his fourth save in as many chances.

    The Reds wasted a chance to get back to .500 and lost their only left-handed starter after less than two innings. Miley (0-2) appeared to hurt himself when he stepped awkwardly while covering first base in the second inning.

    Twins 12, Brewers 2

    Byron Buxton hit two solo homers and Miguel Sanó added another as Minnesota jumped to an early lead and routed Milwaukee.

    The victory gave the AL Central-leading Twins a 2-1 series win over the Brewers, who dropped to 2-6 at home.

    Minnesota starter Kenta Maeda (3-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced. He allowed two runs in 6 2 / 3 innings, striking out five and walking one.

    Brewers left-hander Eric Lauer (0-2) surrendered seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

    The Twins set the tone in the second inning, jumping to a 5-0 lead. The Twins led 12-0 before Milwaukee pushed across its two runs in the sixth inning on a single by Luis Urías.

    Orioles 5, Phillies 4

    Rio Ruiz, Chance Sisco and Anthony Santander homered to lead Baltimore past Philadelphia.

    Baltimore reliever Miguel Castro wiggled out a jam in the eighth thanks to a fantastic diving stop by Ruiz. Cole Sulser worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

    The Orioles took the first two games of the series and have won four straight completed games -- they are also winning a game that was suspended Sunday against Washington.

    The Orioles ran through six pitchers and reliever Shawn Armstrong (2-0) got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

    Zach Eflin (0-1) struck out a career-high 10 and walked only one in six innings. But the bullpen continued to struggle.

    Astros 5, Giants 1

    Martín Maldonado hit a three-run home run to back a strong start by Zack Greinke and help Houston beat San Francisco.

    The game was tied with no outs in the sixth when Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker and Abraham Toro hit consecutive singles. Houston took a 2-1 lead when Correa scored on a wild pitch by Caleb Baragar (2-1). Maldonado then knocked his two-strike homer into the seats in left field to make it 5-1.

    Greinke (1-0) allowed one run and scattered seven hits over a season-high 6 1/3 innings for his first win. He struck out seven and walked one.

    American League

    Athletics 8, Angels 4

    Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olson and Robbie Grossman homered, center fielder Ramón Laureano made three nifty catches and Oakland averted a sweep with a win over Los Angeles.

    Piscotty put the A’s ahead with his solo drive in the fourth inning. Olson and Grossman also went deep off Griffin Canning (0-3).

    Seven of the Athletics’ nine hits were for extra bases, including a pair of doubles by Matt Chapman.

    Chris Bassitt (2-0) went 5 2/3 innings en route to his third straight win against the Angels. The right-hander gave up four runs on five hits while striking out four.

    Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon hit solo homers for the Angels.

    White Sox 7, Tigers 5

    Tim Anderson had four hits and finished a double shy of the cycle, and Luis Robert hit a bases-clearing double to lift Chicago past Detroit.

    Anderson and Eloy Jimenez led off the game with consecutive home runs.

    Anderson had a triple and added two singles before striking out on three pitches in the eighth.

    Jonathan Schoop and Willi Castro homered for the Tigers, who scored four unearned runs in the fourth before Matthew Boyd (0-2) gave the lead right back.

    Dylan Cease (3-1) allowed one earned run and seven hits in six innings. Alex Colome working a perfect ninth for his fifth save in five chances.

    Rangers 7, Mariners 4

    Todd Frazier scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, Willie Calhoun then hit a two-run single and Texas overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Seattle.

    Derek Dietrich started the Rangers’ five-run eighth with his one-out single, before Elvis Andrus doubled and pinch-hitter Frazier was hit by a pitch. Dietrich scored on No. 9 batter Jeff Mathis’ bloop single to left center before Shin-Soo Choo’s sacrifice fly tied the game. Then came the wild pitch by Taylor Williams, who had just taken over for Erik Swanson (0-1).

    Dietrich had three hits and was hit by a pitch, becoming the first player since Joey Gallo in June 2015 to reach base safely four times.

    Jonathan Hernandez (3-0), the fourth Texas pitcher, pitched a scoreless eighth before Rafael Montero’s perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

    Seattle scored all of its runs in the second off Jordan Lyles. Austin Nola led off by lining a 424-foot homer into Seattle’s bullpen in left-center. Daniel Vogelbach then made it 3-0 when he pulled a 442-foot shot into the right field seats. Kyle Lewis later added a sacrifice fly.

    National League

    Dodgers 6, Padres 0

    Tony Gonsolin and five relievers combined on a six-hit shutout, Justin Turner hit a three-run homer, and Los Angeles beat San Diego and avoided losing three in a row for the first time since last August.

    The Dodgers played small ball to score two runs in the fifth, then Turner slugged his second three-run blast of the season in the eighth off Craig Stammen.

    Blake Treinen (1-1) got the win, striking out three in 1 1/3 innings.

    San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. was hitless in four at-bats, including a strikeout that snapped his nine-game hitting streak.

    Zach Davies (2-2) took the loss, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

    Diamondbacks 13, Rockies 7

    Starling Marte homered and drove in four runs as Arizona battered Colorado in a Coors Field slugfest featuring 34 hits, but none by blistering Charlie Blackmon.

    Blackmon went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 15 games, and his average dipped to .472. Nolan Arenado homered twice and doubled for the Rockies.

    Marte had three hits, including a go-ahead single in an eight-run seventh inning. It was 5-all going into the inning.

    Nick Ahmed had three hits and a pair of RBIs and Kole Calhoun added three hits with an RBI for the Diamondbacks.

    Ryan McMahon connected for a three-run homer to chase Arizona starter Luke Weaver with one out in the fourth inning. Garrett Hampson added a career-high four hits for the Rockies. A total of 11 players had multihit games, seven with at least three hits

    Andrew Chafin (1-0) picked up the win with an inning of scoreless relief.

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