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Video: Addison Russell makes excellent play to finish off win over Cardinals

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The Cubs survived an eventful ninth inning to finish off a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals this afternoon at Wrigley Field.

After entering the top of the ninth inning with a 5-1 lead, Hector Rondon hit with a Greg Garcia with a pitch. Both benches were warned after Kolten Wong was hit twice earlier in the game — remember the drama from Friday — so Rondon was immediately ejected. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was also ejected after walking on the field.

Zac Rosscup took over from there and quickly gave up a two-run homer to Matt Carpenter and back-to-back singles to Tommy Pham and Jason Heyward. With the tying run on base, Cubs closer Pedro Strop was asked to escape the jam. He struck out Jhonny Peralta looking before Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game. That’s when shortstop Addison Russell saved the day:

The Cubs have won five straight and are now just a half-game back of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot in the National League.

Per Russell’s Facebook page, this was what the Cubs’ clubhouse looked like after Friday’s win. It’s fair to say it was a fun place to be again this afternoon.

Report: Padres acquire Tommy Pham from Rays

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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Rays in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Single-A middle infielder Xavier Edwards. The Padres are also expected to receive an as yet unknown prospect from the Rays.

Pham, 31, is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $8.6 million for the 2020 season. This past season with the Rays, Pham was valued at 3.7 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference, playing solid defense while batting .273/.369/.450 with 21 home runs, 68 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases over 654 plate appearances.

Renfroe, 27, is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two player. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn a $3.4 million salary in 2020. He’s coming off of a campaign in which he set a career-high in home runs with 33 while batting .216/.289/.489 with 64 RBI and 64 runs scored across 494 trips to the plate.

Edwards, 20, was selected by the Padres in the first round (38th overall) of the 2018 draft and was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the organization, per MLB Pipeline. He spent 2019 between Single-A Fort Wayne and High-A Lake Elsinor, batting a combined .322/.375/.396 with 27 extra-base hits, 43 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases in 561 PA.

The Padres needed to upgrade the offense in the outfield as the club ranked in the bottom-third of the league with an aggregate .740 OPS from all three outfield spots. The club sent Franmil Reyes, who put up an .849 OPS for the Padres over the first four months of 2019, to the Indians at the trade deadline. Wil Myers put up a slightly below average .739 OPS and Manuel Margot posted a light .691 OPS.

It will be interesting to see if the Rays can level up Renfroe. He certainly hits for power but he will need to work on his on-base skills if he is going to help this trade pan out well for the Rays. Edwards will help as well, as he is rated No. 72 overall among prospects across the league, according to MLB Pipeline. Along with the talent acquired in the trade, the Rays save a bit of money swapping Pham for Renfroe.