Baez, Heyward Hit 3-Run HRs in 6th as Cubs Defeat Dodgers 7-6
Javier Baez and Jason Heyward each hit three-run homers in the sixth inning and the Chicago Cubs overcame a wild start by Cole Hamels to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 Wednesday night.
Baez chased Walker Buehler with a long, tying drive to left on an 0-2 pitch with two outs, watching for a few seconds before starting his trot.
Pinch-hitter David Bote followed with a double to deep center against Scott Alexander (1-1). Willson Contreras was intentionally walked and Heyward lined a 2-2 pitch to the basket in left-center, making it 6-3.
Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double in the seventh. And the Cubs hung on for their seventh win in eight games after the Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo cut it to 7-6 with a three-run homer against Steve Cishek in the eighth.
Hamels matched his highest walk total in three seasons with six over 5 2/3 innings after issuing none in winning his previous three starts. The four-time All-Star gave up three hits and exited trailing 3-0 after Cody Bellinger hit a two-run homer.
Brad Brach (2-0) got the final two outs in the sixth. Pedro Strop walked pinch hitter Max Muncy leading off the ninth. But he struck out Enrique and got Justin Turner to hit into a double play for his third save in four chances.
The Cubs moved two games above .500 for the first time this season. They’ll try to complete the three-game sweep against the NL West leaders Thursday, when ace Jon Lester returns from a strained left hamstring.
Buehler gave up three runs and four hits. And the Dodgers lost their second in a row after winning seven of eight.
Cubs shortstop Addison Russell singled and scored two runs for Triple-A Iowa against Nashville in his first game as he prepares to return from a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Russell was suspended last fall after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife. While declining to get into any specifics, Russell said in February he was accountable for his past actions and apologized for “the hurt and the pain” he caused.
Barring any postponements, Russell would be eligible to return to Chicago for its series opener against St. Louis on May 3 at Wrigley Field.
Bote rejoined the team after rushing to be with his wife in Colorado for the birth of their third child.
Bote had to hurry to be with her after hitting a tiebreaking single in the ninth in a 2-1 win over Arizona on Sunday.
The Cubs optioned right-hander Alec Mills to Triple-A Iowa following Tuesday’s game.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (strained left knee) rejoined the team Wednesday after pitching six dominant innings during an extended spring training game in Arizona two days earlier. He struck out 16 and allowed just one hit on Monday. The 39-year-old is expected to make his season debut Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (1-1, 3.07) could be making his last start for a while with Hill close to rejoining the rotation.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 2.57) makes his first start since April 8, when he strained his hamstring running the bases in the home opener against Pittsburgh.