After a historic May, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been a little quiet so far this month. No longer. Check out this solo blast off Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel this afternoon.
Harper now leads the majors with 19 home runs. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton are both sitting on 18 coming into Saturday’s action.
Hammel was pulled after Harper’s homer, but the Cubs hung on to beat the Nationals 4-2.
A two-run homer by Junior Lake and some subsequent taunting set off a minor benches-clearing fracas between the host Marlins and visiting Cubs on Wednesday night in Miami …
HardballTalk’s official stance on bat flips and home run trots is well known — do them, have fun, baseball is supposed to be fun — but shushing the opposing dugout when you’re still down four runs deserves a little comeuppance. That was Lake’s first home run of the year. Maybe he was making a “No. 1” symbol.
Miami went on to defeat Chicago by a score of 7-3. Here’s a better look at Lake’s shush …
Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler is headed to the disabled list with a sprained left ankle.
Rather than call up Javier Baez or Arismendy Alcantara the Cubs have added 30-year-old minor-league veteran Mike Baxter to the roster as Soler’s fill-in, meaning Junior Lake will probably be in line for lots of playing time.
After a great 24-game debut last season Soler has come back down to earth this year, but he still hit .265 with four homers and a .724 OPS in 49 games at age 23.