AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Cubs ride Cardinals’ defensive mistakes to even the NLDS at 1-1


Some defensive miscues by the Cardinals — and a home run by Jorge Soler — allowed the Cubs to jump out to a sizable early lead and rode that all the way to a 6-3 victory on Saturday night in Game 2 of the NLDS. The series is now tied with each team having won one game.

The Cardinals went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when Matt Carpenter drilled a solo home run to straightaway center field against starter Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs immediately responded, capitalizing on Kolten Wong‘s misfire to complete the last leg of a 6-4-3 double play in the first inning plus a Jaime Garcia throwing error to first base, to score five runs in the top of the second. Jorge Soler’s two-run home run to center field served as the cherry on top. Soler finished 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks along with the round-tripper.

Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia left after two innings due to a stomach virus, which likely had an impact on his performance. Lance Lynn, previously tabbed to start Game 4, relieved Garcia in the third inning. It’s unknown if his use on Saturday will alter the Cardinals’ rotation plans.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks faltered after striking out back-to-back hitters to begin the fifth, allowing back-to-back solo home runs to Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk. He was pulled and the Cubs’ bullpen held the fort from there. Travis Wood tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings followed by a dominant eighth from Trevor Cahill. Closer Hector Rondon, he of locked bathroom fame, worked around a one-out Jason Heyward single in the ninth to close out the 6-3 win.

The two clubs will enjoy a day off on Sunday. The NLDS will continue on Monday in Chicago at Wrigley field with Michael Wacha starting for the Cardinals and Jake Arrieta taking the hill for the Cubs.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.