Back-to-back walk-off loses, 8th straight loss for reeling Indians
CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Báez’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday night in a game that was briefly delayed when a drone entered Wrigley Field and briefly landed on the outfield grass.
After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally to load the bases, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez’s liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.
The Cubs won their fourth straight and strengthened their grip on first place in the NL Central.
Five Cubs relievers followed Lester with a scoreless inning each. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.
Umpires hastily cleared the field when the small drone flew into the ballpark over the left-center bleachers as Contreras came to bat with with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
After it landed, the blinking drone took off, hovered at about 100 feet, then pulled away and vanished into the night beyond the center-field scoreboard.
Following a 7-minute delay, Contreras resumed his at-bat and grounded out.
Aaron Civale allowed two runs on seven hits, leaving with runners at second and third and none out in the seventh. The right-hander hasn’t won since Aug. 19 and is 0-3 in his last five starts.
Lester yielded two runs on four hits in five innings in his second effective start following two rough ones.
The 36-year-old lefty settled in after struggling with his control in the first inning. Francisco Lindor, who walked to lead off the game, scored from third on a wild pitch.
OF Ian Happ, the Cubs’ union rep, said he supports isolating players in a playoff bubble starting with the division series. But he said rules “like asking permission to go for a walk” will be taxing. “It feels more like being a zoo animal than baseball player or human being,” Happ said.
Cubs: LHP Andrew Chafin (sprained left index finger) threw 20-plus pitches in a simulated game Wednesday and “looked really sharp,” manager David Ross said. Chafin, acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, has yet to pitch for the Cubs.
Indians: Gold Glove C Roberto Perez didn’t play Wednesday so he could get treatment on an condition that has been affecting his swing. Perez, who previously missed three weeks with a right shoulder strain, is expected back Thursday at Detroit. Austin Hedges, acquired from San Diego at the deadline in a nine-player trade, was behind the plate against the Cubs. … 2B Cesar Hernandez (paternity list) rejoined the team. He pinch-hit in the eighth and remained in the game.
Indians: AL ERA leader Shane Bieber (7-1, 1.53) takes the mound at Detroit on Thursday and tries to rebound from his lone loss, to the Twins last Friday in Minnesota. Rookie RHP Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85) pitches for the Tigers.
Cubs: Following a day off Thursday, RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.29) faces LHP Rich Hill (2-1. 3.81) in the opener of a three-game home set against Minnesota at Wrigley Field.