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Video: Javier Báez bats left-handed


With the Cubs holding a commanding 12-5 lead, the Reds sent infielder Kyle Farmer onto the mound to get the final out of the eighth inning. He got Jason Heyward to ground out. Farmer went back to the bump for the top of the ninth. He got two quick outs, then gave up a single to Victor Caratini, bringing up Javier Báez.

Báez, who normally bats right-handed exclusively, decided to have some fun. He stepped into the left-handed batter’s box and began his at-bat. Báez swung at Farmer’s first pitch — err, lob — sending a high fly ball to straightaway center field.

The Cubs went on to close out the 12-5 win. They have won six of their last seven games and now lead the NL Central by 3.5 games over the Brewers.

Chris Archer exits start after one inning due to apparent injury

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Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.

Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.

The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.