Daniel Murphy made an instant impact Wednesday for the Cubs.
Chicago acquired Murphy Tuesday from the Nationals after claiming him off waivers. He made his Cubs debut Wednesday, batting leadoff and collecting two hits in an 8-2 win over the Tigers.
Murphy, now batting .303 this season, also scored and drove in a run. The Cubs had been searching for veteran infield depth, someone who could get on base consistently, and Murphy has already proved his value.
Javier Baez continued his MVP-caliber season, finishing the game 2 for 5 with his 26th home run of the season and three RBIs. He’s now batting .292 with 92 RBIs.
Jon Lester started for the Cubs, tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-run baseball. He struck out three batters while improving to 14-5 this season.
The Cubs (72-53) maintained their National League Central lead, and are starting to look like serious World Series contenders.
Studs of the Night
Brewers All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich went 4 for 4 with a walk, home run and two runs scored in a 4-0 win over the Reds. Yelich is now batting .314 this season and Milwaukee starting pitcher Freddy Peralta improved to 6-4 by tossing seven shutout innings.
Astros catcher Martin Maldonado went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a home run and three RBIs in a 10-7 win over the Mariners. Maldonado now has two three-hit games in his last four starts, while proving to be an underrated acquisition for the Astros before the July 31 trade deadline.
Dud of the Night
Athletics starting pitcher Edwin Jackson had been enjoying a career revival, but he allowed four earned runs off seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings. Oakland lost 4-2 to the Rangers, and Jackson fell to 4-3 with a 2.97 ERA this season.
Ronald Acuna Jr. bashes another lead-off home run:
[email protected] is back to mashing leadoff dingers. pic.twitter.com/wQLpEUvubm
— MLB (@MLB) August 22, 2018
The Braves dropped the Pirates 2-1.
Phillies (68-58) at Nationals (64-63) 1 p.m. ET — The National League Cy Young award race gets a head-to-head look Thursday when Max Scherzer (16-5, 2.11 ERA) takes on Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola (14-3, 2.23 ERA.) The Nationals are basically out of the postseason hunt, but Philadelphia is still trying to sneak its way in.