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 1/11/2019 11:24 PM
 
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Even with a little extra help http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/au... , which was ruled illegal, the Phillies couldn’t stop the Cubs offense.Kyle Hendricks pitched six strong innings, Javier Baez notched his NL-leading 99th RBI and star third baseman Kris Bryant doubled and had two hits in his return from the disabled list to lead Chicago past Philadelphia 7-1 on Saturday night.Ian Happ homered and Baez had three hits for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who have won nine of 11. Chicago is ahead of St. Louis by 4 ½ games.“You look at the whole of the game, I thought we played really well,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Some good at-bats, some clutch moments. Up and down, I was really pleased.”Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was not happy, particularly when veteran umpire Joe West confiscated an information card from reliever Austin Davis in the eighth inning.Kapler said Davis was using the card merely for information on the Cubs hitters. But West said it was illegal under Rule 6.02(c)(7), which states that the pitcher shall not have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.“I told him we don’t allow him to carry anything on their glove, person or clothing except in some cases where there’s a rain situation we allow them to put a rosin bag in their pocket,” West, umpiring his 41st season, said. “Other than that they can’t have anything on the pitcher.”The card didn’t appear to help though, as Bryant singled to right on the first pitch after Davis consulted it. West then took it prior to Davis striking out pinch-hitter Addison Russell.“I think it’s actually a really good thing for baseball,” Kapler said. “I don’t really quite understand this one.”Bryant had been sidelined since July 23 with left shoulder inflammation. The 2016 NL MVP doubled and scored in the third in addition to singling in the eighth.Hendricks (11-10) allowed one run on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.“Kyle was outstanding,” Maddon said. “When they started getting something going, Kyle didn’t change. The game did not speed up on him.”Nick Williams had two hits and an RBI for the Phillies Adam Eaton Jersey , who fell three games back of Atlanta in the NL East.The Cubs, helped by another Phillies error, scored a pair of runs in the first off Zach Eflin (9-6). Daniel Murphy led off with a double and reached on shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s throwing error on Baez’s infield single. Baez scored on Ben Zobrist’s opposite-field double. It was the 104th error by Philadelphia, which entered second in the majors to St. Louis (105).Chicago tacked on two more runs in the third to go up 4-0 on Kyle Swarber’s two-out triple off the wall in left-center.The Phillies got a run back in the fourth on Williams’ RBI single before Happ’s one-out solo shot to right made it a four-run game again.Davis committed the Phillies’ 105th error, a throwing miscue that led to two unearned runs in the ninth.GRAY AREAWest called the league office after the game and admitted the use of the card may be in a gray area.“I didn’t want to throw him out,” West said. “I know it’s foreign but he’s not trying to cheat. Maybe he’s trying to get an advantage because he’s reading the scouting report, but it wasn’t pine tar, it wasn’t an emery board, it wasn’t whatever.“In the long run, maybe they’ll let him (have the card). Right now, my hands are tied until they say yes or now. Right now, until the office says it’s OK to carry this, he can’t do it.”SLUMPING EFLINEflin gave up four runs – three earned – on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings. The right-hander continued to struggle since being demoted to Triple-A following his Aug. 10 start at San Diego, dropping to 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA while allowing 32 hits in 20 1/3 innings. The move was made not due to performance, but to allow the Phillies to add a bat.However, neither Kapler nor Eflin attributed his recent struggles to the roster move.“I don’t think there’s any correlation there,” Kapler said.STREAK SNAPPEDPhiladelphia’s Roman Quinn grounded out pinch-hitting in the fifth, snapping a nine-game hitting streak. Quinn still is batting .405 with two doubles, three triples, a homer and five RBIs over his last 10 contests.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: Russell http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/au... , out since Aug. 20 with a left middle finger sprain, was activated from the DL. He struck out in the eighth.Phillies: RHP Edubray Ramos, Davis and INF/OF Pedro Florimon all were activated from the DL.UP NEXTPhillies RHP Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.10) was bumped up from his scheduled start on Monday to face Cubs LHP Jon Lester (14-5, 3.67) in a marquee pitching matchup to wrap up the three-game series on Sunday. ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuna Jr. loves being a spark at the top of the Braves‘ batting order.“It’s part of my personality and the kind of baseball player that I am,” he said through a translator. “That’s the energy I try to bring. The energy is contagious, and I just try to make sure I bring it out there and help everyone win in that way.”Acuna hit his seventh leadoff homer of the season and scored the tiebreaking run in a four-run eighth inning to help NL East-leading Atlanta beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Sunday.The 20-year-old Acuna singled off Steven Brault to begin the eighth, advanced on a bunt and scored from second on a headfirst slide after second baseman Kevin Newman errantly let Freddie Freeman’s hard grounder bounce between his legs and roll into shallow right field.Acuna’s first-inning shot was his 23rd overall and tied the franchise record for leadoff homers that Marquis Grissom set in 1996.The Braves increased their division lead over Philadelphia to four games.Ozzie Albies kept the eighth going, chasing Brault (5-3) with an RBI single to leave the bases loaded. Dovydas Neverauskas’ wild pitch to Dansby Swanson added another run, and Swanson singled to make it a four-run lead.Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings for Atlanta, giving up four hits, one run and two walks. He struck out five and has a 1.10 ERA in his last five starts.Jonny Venters (4-1) got the last out of the Pirates’ eighth to earn a win in relief for the second straight game.Brault allowed four hits, one walk and three runs — one earned — in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two.Acuna went 3 for 4. The dazzling rookie is hitting .346 with 16 homers, 31 RBIs and 36 runs scored in 42 games since he was moved to the leadoff spot. His homer on Nick Kingham’s second pitch glanced off the third-level scoreboard facade in left field.“I’m just trying to do my part by coming out with the same energy and enthusiasm and thankfully the results have been good,” Acuna said.Kingham took the rotation spot of Ivan Nova, who is away for personal reasons, and gave up four hits and one run with four strikeouts in five innings. He did not issue a walk for the first time in his last 12 starts.“He settled in, changed speeds, efficient with his pitches,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was a good outing.”The Pirates have scored just 46 runs since Aug. 12 Michael Taylor Jersey , the fewest in the majors over that span. They went ahead in the first when Teheran issued a pair of two-out walks and Colin Moran had an RBI single.It didn’t take long for Acuna to tie it.“Every time he steps in the box in the first inning it’s like the biggest thing for us,” Teheran said. “You never know when he’s going to hit a homer, but in his first at-bat it’s like he’s got everyone’s attention, and we’re waiting for that big swing.”DREAM OPPORTUNITYRHP Touki Toussaint will make his second career start when Atlanta begins a three-game series Monday against Boston.Toussaint was chosen over fellow prospects Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright after pitching at least six innings and allowing one earned run in winning his last three starts at Triple-A Gwinnett.The Red Sox lead the majors with 94 wins, are 50 games over .500 and rank first in the majors in runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage. It will be a big jump in competition after the Haitian-American Toussaint won his debut against the struggling Miami Marlins last month.“You dream of this as a little kid,” Toussaint said. “You want to be in the World Series pitching against the best.”HE’S BACKThe Braves announced during the game that they have reacquired OF Preston Tucker from Cincinnati for cash considerations. Tucker was dealt to the Reds on July 30 in the trade that brought OF Adam Duvall to Atlanta. Duvall, who struck out as a pinch-hitter to strand two runners in scoring position in the seventh, is batting .103 with no RBIs in 25 games with the Braves.TRAINER’S ROOMAtlanta RHPs Arodys Vizcaino, sidelined 53 games with right shoulder inflammation, and Jose Ramirez, sidelined 120 games with the same diagnosis, will begin rehab assignments Monday at Gwinnett and then appear Tuesday at Single-A Rome.UP NEXTPirates: RHP Trevor Williams (11-9, 3.30 ERA) will face Matt Harvey (6-7, 4.97) as Pittsburgh opens a three-game series against Cincinnati. Williams has gone 4-2 with a 0.84 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.Braves: Toussaint (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will make his second career start as Atlanta opens a three-game home series against Boston. Nathan Eovaldi (5-7, 4.35) pitches for the Red Sox.
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