Russell, Soler homer lead Cubs in 9-5 win over Astros

Sep 13, 2016, 04:49

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 2 -At Toronto: J.A. Happ got his 18th win, Melvin Upton Jr. hit a two-run homer and Toronto beat Boston, closing within one game of the AL East-leading Red Sox. "Just keep the process", Russell said. In fact, Banks hit the 20-90 mark in all five of those seasons, meaning that Russell has a lot of catching up to do if he's going to catch Banks in that category.

HOUSTON (AP) - Mike Fiers did not have his best stuff Sunday night, and the Chicago Cubs jumped on him quickly.

With the St. Louis Cardinals falling to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs' magic number to clinch the National League Central division has already fallen to 6 games.

Marwin Gonzalez drove in a run with a third-inning squeeze bunt for the Astros, who began the day 2 1/2 games back for the AL's second wild card. The Astros then loaded the bases with one out, but Justin Grimm induced pop-ups by Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus to end the threat.

The Cubs scored nine runs in the first four innings, providing plenty of cushion for Jake Arrieta, who was pulled in the sixth after allowing two hits, a walk, a hit batsman and two wild pitches. "It was just one of those things where I went out there and gave everything I had and then just really ran out of everything completely in the sixth to try to battle through it".

Third baseman Yulieski Gurriel and Gattis clubbed back-to-back home runs to open the bottom of the ninth off Cubs right-hander Trevor Cahill, one last-ditch effort to rally by an Astros offense that faced a deficit before it could get going.

Fiers has danced around trouble his last two starts, allowing 15 hits over 10 innings but limiting the damage to five runs (three earned).

In a tight game against a first-place team, Collin McHugh didn't worry about giving the ball to the Houston Astros bullpen. After Russell and Baez singled in succession, with Russell going first to third on the Baez single to center field, David Ross delivered a sacrifice fly to right field. He walked Anthony Rizzo leading off, and pinch-runner Matt Szczur advanced on a wild pitch.

Bregman put the Astros ahead with an opposite-field home run to right-center against John Lackey (9-8) in a two-run third.

"I definitely haven't had much luck with the wins and losses this year", Lackey said. Russell, 22, became the second-youngest Cubs player to hit 20 homers in a season (Ron Santo hit his 20th at 21 during the 1961 season). Still, the Astros mustered enough of a fight to chase Arrieta in the sixth.

"He's been remarkable", Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "So it's rare that you get that opportunity to hit a three- or four-run homer and get right back into it". Altuve vomited several times before and during the game, Hinch said. Astros SS Carlos Correa missed a fourth consecutive game with left shoulder inflammation.

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