CHICAGO – Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back home runs as the Chicago Cubs roughed up Kyle Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Wednesday.
Starlin Castro, Rizzo and Baez, the nucleus of Theo Epstein’s rebuilding effort, drove in all four runs against the NL-leading Brewers. Castro and Chris Coghlan contributed three hits each.
Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada (2-1) was coasting until he was chased in the seventh, when he allowed consecutive home runs to Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado. Wada allowed two runs on five hits in 6⅔ innings. He struck out five and walked one.
“My slider inside was good” said Wada. “The two pitches I made (when I gave up homers in the seventh) weren’t really bad. Major league batters are really impressive. I have to raise my own game.”
Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 16th save in 20 tries.
Lohse (11-7) allowed four runs on seven hits in three innings, and tweaked his right ankle during an at-bat.
It was his shortest outing of the season and marked the second time in his last three starts that he failed to pitch into the fifth inning.
Lohse originally injured his ankle Aug. 2 against St. Louis.
“I was able to make the adjustment, make the pitches to get through (his previous start against) L.A.,” Lohse told MLB.com. “Tonight, it didn’t feel right from the start, then (I) kind of tweaked it trying to check that swing and from there I just couldn’t push off the way I want to. I just need to be careful.
“I was really sore after the last start because I was making adjustments. Last time I pitched I was throwing probably all upper body and today was probably the same. . . .”
Coghlan hit Lohse’s second pitch of the game off the center-field wall for a double and scored on Rizzo’s sacrifice fly. Castro drove in Baez on a single to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Baez and Rizzo sent the crowd buzzing in the third inning with back-to-back shots. Baez hit a tape-measure shot onto Waveland Avenue leading off the inning and Rizzo hit Lohse’s next pitch into the right-field basket for a 4-0 advantage. It was Baez’s fourth of the season and Rizzo’s 27th.
After not hitting a home run since July 22nd, Rizzo has hit home runs in consecutive games.
Padres 5, Rockies 3
In San Diego, Rymer Liriano’s first big league homer was a two-run shot in the fourth inning and Abraham Almonte also went deep to help the Padres equal their season high with five straight wins.
Cardinals 5, Marlins 2
In Miami, Justin Masterson pitched seven scoreless innings in his best outing since joining St. Louis to avert a series sweep.
Nationals 3, Mets 2
In New York, Asdrubal Cabrera hit his first home run for Washington and tumbled over a retaining wall to make a terrific catch, leading the Nationals to their 10th straight victory at Citi Field.
Braves 3, Dodgers 2
In Atlanta, Ervin Santana won his sixth straight start at Turner Field and Justin Upton drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning as the hosts won for the third time in 14 games.
Giants 7, White Sox 1
In Chicago, San Francisco scored seven runs in the seventh inning after a video review led umpires to overturn an out call at home because White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers illegally blocked Gregor Blanco as the Giants won.
With out in the seventh, Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu fielded Joe Panik’s broken-bat grounder to easily throw out Blanco. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the play, and umpires ruled Flowers’ left leg was illegally blocking the plate before the ball arrived.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura argued the call and was immediately ejected, setting off an epic protest in which he repeatedly kicked dirt on the plate.
Red Sox 5, Reds 4
In Cincinnati, Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs to help Boston wrap up its first winning road trip of more than three games this season.