CHICAGO (AP) — Jon Lester offered no clues. When it comes to
his mid-summer swoon ,
there’s only one thing for the veteran left-hander to do.“Figure it out. A
little rut right now,” he said. “Keep grinding.”Lester was hit hard again and
the San Diego Padres also battered Chicago’s bullpen on their way to a 10-6
victory over the Cubs on Sunday.Cory Spangenberg put San Diego ahead to stay
with a tiebreaking double off Carl Edwards Jr. (3-2) with two outs in the eighth
inning. Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run homer and Travis Jankowski added a two-run
single in the Padres’ four-run ninth against Randy Rosario.Renfroe finished with
three RBIs, helping the last-place Padres salvage a split of the four-game
series after they blew a 5-1 lead in the finale.“It was one of our most
team-oriented wins we’ve had all year where everybody did something positive for
us,” manager Andy Green said.Spangenberg and Jankowski were inserted into the
game as defensive replacements in the seventh inning. Craig Stammen (5-1) got
the win despite allowing pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo’s tying single.Lester was
tagged for five runs and eight hits in five innings. The All-Star left-hander
was 10-2 with a 2.18 ERA after beating the Dodgers on June 26, but has a 6.81
ERA in seven starts since that win in Los Angeles.“I can’t tell you from the
view behind the plate or from center field, but stuff kept getting better in the
game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s what I saw.”One of the biggest
problems for Lester has been the long ball, and it hurt him again on Sunday.
Freddy Galvis golfed a leadoff drive just over the wall in left in the second,
and Franmil Reyes opened the fourth with a massive shot to center that traveled
an estimated 477 feet for baseball’s fifth-longest homer this season, according
to Statcast.The 34-year-old Lester has allowed at least one homer in each of his
last seven starts. Getting him back on track could be the biggest key for
Chicago as it tries to hold off Milwaukee in the NL Central.“Just got to be
better,” Lester said.Asked about his health at this point in the season compared
to past years, Lester said: “Every year is different. I’m here. I’ll take the
ball in five days.”San Diego also got a two-run triple from Eric Hosmer with two
outs in the second. Joey Lucchesi struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings after his
start was pushed back a day due to a bout with food poisoning.“The main thing we
can’t lose focus on is understanding how hard the process is,” Hosmer said.
“We’re going to learn from failure. As long as we’re gaining ground and moving
forward, we’ll be all right. And we definitely did that in this series.”Javier
Baez hit his career-best 24th homer and an RBI double for Chicago, which won
five of seven in the season series against San Diego. Ben Zobrist added two hits
after beginning the game on the bench, including his eighth homer.Rizzo came up
again with a runner on first in the ninth and struck out looking on a pitch that
appeared to be outside , ending the game. Rizzo then had a long conversation
with plate umpire Angel Hernandez before leaving the field.“I feel like I have a
great working relationship with pretty much the whole league,” Rizzo said. “But
with that being said, that call was unacceptable. Angel told me to look at it, I
looked at it David Dahl
, and he was wrong. … Things like that can’t happen, and it
happened all game.”COMING AND GOINGSan Diego lost right-handers Tyson Ross and
Jordan Lyles on waiver claims. Ross was picked up by St. Louis, and Lyles was
claimed by Milwaukee.Right-hander Trey Wingenter was promoted from Triple-A El
Paso. Green said right-hander Brett Kennedy will come up from the minors to
start Wednesday against the Brewers in his major league debut.The 24-year-old
Kennedy is 10-0 with a 2.72 ERA in 16 starts for El Paso.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs:
Maddon said RHP Yu Darvish (triceps and elbow injuries) felt good after throwing
55 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. “We’re in the process of talking about
what we’re going to do with him in Kansas City,” Maddon said.UP NEXTPadres:
Following an off day, LHP Clayton Richard (7-10, 4.99 ERA) faces Brewers RHP
Chase Anderson (7-7, 3.65 ERA) in the opener of a three-game set at Milwaukee.
Richard is 0-4 with a 7.05 ERA in his last seven starts.Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels
(6-9, 4.53 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Kansas City on
Monday night. It will be Hamels’ second start since he was acquired in a July 27
trade with Texas. RHP Jakob Junis (6-11, 5.12 ERA) pitches for the Royals. For
Brian Dozier, getting traded meant a dash to the airport and a long trip to
Dodger Stadium. For Jake Diekman, it was a lot easier – he simply rode the
bullpen cart from one clubhouse to the other at Chase Field.Chris Archer,
Jonathan Schoop and a bunch of relievers moved on deadline day, a flurry of 15
swaps Tuesday before time ran out to make deals without waivers.The trade market
kept spinning at a dizzying pace. Every team except San Francisco made at least
one deal since the All-Star Game, with Tampa Bay swinging seven.Archer, a
two-time All-Star, hugged teammates at Tropicana Field before heading to
Pittsburgh. He is 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 17 starts this season, and joins a
Pirates club that has pushed back into the playoff race even after trading away
Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen in the offseason.”They’re super-hot right now,
and they want me,” Archer said. ”I’m excited to be part of the organization that
wants me, part of a rich baseball history ,
a hard-working community. I can’t wait to get there.”The Rays sent former
All-Star catcher Ramos to NL East-leading Philadelphia, while Leonys Martin,
Kevin Gausman and Cameron Maybin also switched sides as contenders tweaked their
rosters.And why not? All but four National League teams began the day within 5
1/2 games of a playoff spot. The American League is more spread out – division
leaders Boston, Cleveland and Houston have been busy.Manny Machado, Cole Hamels,
Zach Britton, Mike Moustakas and Ian Kinsler were among the big names that moved
earlier this month.Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom, J.T. Realmuto and McCutchen had
been mentioned in trade speculation, but stayed put.”I think whenever you hear
your name or see your name on stuff, you always wonder. But I think that’s just
the business side of the game,” Harper said. ”It’s part of the game.”One of
Harper’s teammates packed up.Exactly a year after getting traded from Minnesota
to Washington, reliever Brandon Kintzler was part of another deadline deal. This
time, the Nationals sent him to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.”I thought
they were joking. I figured it’s not April’s Fools. They called me in, I said,
`Am I traded?’ They said yeah,” Kintzler said.An All-Star last year, Kintzler
turns 34 on Wednesday.”Birthday again tomorrow, so I’m traveling on my birthday
again, so that’s great. It is what it is Tyler
Anderson Jersey
,” he said.Dozier had been a fixture in Minnesota’s
lineup for years. But the Twins dipped this season, and they sent the
power-hitting second baseman to the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers for
infielder Logan Forsythe and two minor leaguers.Rather than starting at Target
Field in Minneapolis, the 31-year-old Dozier hustled to join his new club as it
hosted Milwaukee. He’s now part of a revamped infield for the defending NL West
champion Dodgers, who added Machado two weeks ago.”Brian’s brand here in
Minnesota, I don’t know if you can get much better than that,” Twins manager
Paul Molitor said. ”Everything that he’s done for the community and the way that
he’s played the game, he’s set a great example for our young guys throughout,
and you’re going to miss a guy like that.”The New York Mets had discussions
about their talent-rich young pitchers, who include deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and
Zack Wheeler.”We were not going to move those players unless it involved
considerable talent coming back in our direction,” assistant general manager
John Ricco said.Diekman definitely was on the go.The 31-year-old lefty struck
out two while pitching for Texas on Monday night in a win at Arizona. The
Diamondbacks reacquired reliever Brad Ziegler from Miami early Tuesday, then
boosted their bullpen by getting Diekman from the Rangers.Wanting to make
Diekman’s move easy, the Diamondbacks offered the services of the bullpen cart
used to ferry relievers into the game.”They asked and I was like, `Yeah, I don’t
want to carry all of my stuff,”’ Diekman said.—AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum,
AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell and Bob Baum and AP freelance writers Mark
Didtler and Harvey Valentine contributed to this report.—
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