Baseball's best matchup for the next three days did not disappoint to open things up on Monday night. It took 11 innings, but the Chicago Cubs took over first place in the NL Central with a 7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Anthony Rizzo had the official go-ahead hit with a solo home run, before the Cubs would add on with four more runs afterward. They did trail by a score of 2-1 before scoring six times in the final four innings, and have now won seven in a row against the Brewers. They also relied a lot on their bullpen, which threw five scoreless innings, as Randy Rosario improved to 3-0 by retiring all six batters he faced. Jason Heyward finished with three RBIs on the night, including a two-run double during his team's five-run 11th, as well as a game-tying RBI single in the eighth inning against Josh Hader. Milwaukee's bullpen surrendered the lead, despite coming in with a league-best 2.53 ERA. Opposing left-handed batters were also just 2-for-36 against Hader coming in to play, but none of that mattered on this night. Chicago took three of four at Miller Park earlier this season, before sweeping a four-game set at Wrigley Field later in the year. Matt Albers gave up the winning blast to Rizzo and suffered the loss for the Brewers. The Cubs now hold a half-game lead in the Central on the Brewers, who will look to find a way to beat their division rivals on their home field Tuesday night.
Carrasco Dominates Chisox in Shutout
The Cleveland Indians are playing with a swagger that could lead to them pulling away in a struggling AL Central Division. That kept up on the road Monday night, as Carlos Carrasco struck out 11 batters over seven innings in a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago White Sox. Carrasco walked just one batter and gave up two hits in his eighth win of the season, as the Indians continue to turn things around, especially on the road. The win improves them to just 15-18 away from home this season, but they have now won five of their past six games overall. Michael Brantley went deep for the 11th time this year, as Lucas Gioloito struggled for the White Sox, who are 0-4 against "The Tribe" on the year. On the other end, Carrasco remained hot, as he has 21 strikeouts and two walks in his past two starts. He got off to a slow start with 50 pitches through two innings, but recovered for the final five, before three relievers combined to work the final two innings. Giolito had a tough ball-to-strike ratio with 47 balls and 46 strikes and walked four to bring his season total to 43. Following Monday's loss, the right-hander holds the second-worst ERA in all of baseball. He suffered his seventh loss of the year, as the White Sox dropped their 20th game at home after taking two of three over the weekend at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. The Indians extended their AL Central lead to 5.5 games on the idle Detroit Tigers, as they will continue their series and road trip at Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday night.
Red Sox Blank Orioles in Extras
The Boston Red Sox's offense struggled on their home field over the weekend, which was a rare occurrence, especially against a team that has been sub-par on the mound. The bats continued to struggle against the same type of team on Monday night, but somehow they escaped with a win. Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. each had a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning to give the Red Sox a 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Steven Wright combined with five relievers to hold the O's to just four hits in the shutout, overcoming their own hitting woes. The Red Sox had just four hits in 11 scoreless innings before producing some runs to win it late, but they have now scored just 10 runs in the past five games. Mychal Givens gave up the winning inning and fell to 0-3 on the year, as the Red Sox loaded the bases against the reliever before driving in two. Heath Hembree earned the win after striking out the side in the 11th and is now 3-1 this season, while Craig Kimbrel ended things in the 12th for his 21st save. Baltimore has now been shut out seven times this season and dropped their fifth straight game with the home loss. They finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base in the loss. That spoiled a solid outing by starter Dylan Bundy, who gave up three hits over eight innings and did not allow a runner to reach third base. On the other side, Wright allowed just four hits and lasted 6.2 innings. The Red Sox did gain a half game on the New York Yankees to pull in to a virtual tie for first in the AL East. These two teams will continue this series on Tuesday night.