Jason Hammel led the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday by tossing seven innings of one run baseball for his 10th win.
The only run he allowed came on a home run by opposing pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. Hammel struck out seven batters, walked two and gave up just five hits. His record improves to 10-5 with a 3.23 ERA in 114 1/3 innings. Hammel draws two starts next week. The first will be at home versus the Marlins on Monday, then he will travel to Oakland for an interleague game using the designated hitter on Sunday.
Kris Bryant connected for his 26th home run of the season on Wednesday.
He went 1-for-3 with two runs scored on the night. The solo home run came off Anthony Ranaudo in the sixth inning to provide the first of eight Cubs runs in the game. He is batting .283/.377/.550 with 81 runs and 66 RBI.
Anthony Ranaudo allowed three runs on two hits (both were homers) in 6 2/3 innings and took a loss to the Cubs on Wednesday.
He pitched five scoreless innings before faltering in the sixth inning. He gave up four bases-on-balls and struck out three. The only two hits he allowed were home runs to Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. Ranaudo launched a solo blast of his own in the fifth inning but that won't help his fantasy owners. He was making his first start since being called up from Triple-A. He made two relief appearances for the Rangers early in the season before the White Sox picked him up. It remains to be seen if he will stay in the White Sox' rotation moving forward. He is not a recommended pick-up in standard fantasy leagues despite tonight's solid outing.
Addison Russell cranked a grand slam against the White Sox on Wednesday.
It was his only hit of the night but it was a big one. It was his 12th home run of the season in 379 plate appearances. He has a .248 batting average, 40 runs and 60 RBI in the Cubs strong lineup. Those are essentially league-average numbers, which is very good considering he is only 22 years old and still developing.
Todd Frazier went 2-for-4 with a double on Wednesday night as the White Sox lost to their crosstown rivals.
The multiple hits were a rarity for Frazier this season. He is batting only .215 but has 29 home runs to go with 58 runs and 67 RBI. He has added eight sneaky stolen bases as well.
Sean Manaea struck out nine batters and gave up three runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings to take a no-decision in the Athletics' 6-4 win over the Rangers on Wednesday.
His record holds at 3-5 with a 4.57 ERA. He has struck out 75 batters while issuing only 20 free passes in 86 2/3 innings. The rookie left-hander won't pitch again until next Wednesday against the Angels in Anaheim.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said that Tyler Duffey has not been taken off his scheduled Monday start.
Duffey was eviscerated to the tune of five runs on eight hits over 1 1/3 innings in Wednesday's loss to the Braves. Predictably, Molitor wasn't exactly jumping up-and-down at the prospect of handing the ball back to him for Monday's start against the Indians, but he did offer a half-hearted vote of confidence. "Right now he's scheduled to start Monday," Molitor said. "That's about all I can say about that right now." The 25-year-old right-hander holds a 6.12 ERA for the season as a whole.
Ryan Madson pitched a shaky ninth inning but earned a save despite giving up a run on Wednesday.
He has 22 saves but has also blown six already. At 7.36 K/9 Madson does not have the premium strikeout rate that is the hallmark of reliable closers. He has a 3.89 ERA in 44 innings and is a trade candidate this week. His owners may want to handcuff Ryan Dull quickly.