The Orioles also made a move Saturday

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ATLANTA (AP) — Tommy La Stella is used to coming through off the bench.The homer was something new.The first pinch-hit homer of La Stella’s career tied a franchise record and carried the Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves in a matchup of NL division leaders Thursday night.“I don’t get to play much Melky Cabrera Jersey ,” said La Stella, who homered against the team he started with in the big leagues. “I definitely appreciate the opportunities when I get them.”Chicago stopped off at SunTrust Park for a single game before starting a regularly scheduled 10-game road trip, making up a contest that was washed out May 17.La Stella made it a fruitful layover, tying the team record with his 20th pinch hit of the season. After Atlanta went ahead with a three-run fifth, the infielder launched a two-run shot off Mike Foltynewicz that nearly reached the Chop House restaurant above the right-field seats .“He’s always ready to hit,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He sees one pitch he can hit, and he crushes it.”Chicago won for the eighth time in nine games, maintaining its 4 1/2-game lead in the NL Central.Freddie Freeman had three RBIs for the Braves, who lost for the fourth time in six games but still lead the East by three games.Foltynewicz (10-9) was roughed up after an otherwise dominating August in which he went 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA over his first five starts. The right-hander surrendered six hits and five runs (four earned) over six innings, grooving a fastball to La Stella.“I went two curveballs there and I was trying to go up over the bat,” Foltynewicz said. “I think I might have missed right down at his belt there http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authentic-zack-cozart-jersey , and he got a good swing on it obviously.”Mike Montgomery came off the disabled list to make his first start for the Cubs since Aug. 7, going 4 2/3 innings.Brandon Kintzler (2-3) claimed the win by getting the final out of the fifth. Pedro Strop worked the ninth for his 11th save.BAEZ’S WILD RIDEChicago shortstop Javier Baez wreaked havoc in the dugout after striking out in the seventh.But he put that tirade behind him in the ninth, making a brilliant over-the-shoulder catch while running flat-out with his back toward home plate to help preserve the victory.“That was as good a catch as you’ll see,” Maddon said. “The important thing is they don’t carry defeat at the plate out with them on defense.”HEYWARD HURTCubs center fielder Jason Heyward had to leave the game in the fifth after diving for Freeman’s opposite-field liner. Heyward stretched out but failed to get a glove on the ball, which rolled all the way to the wall for a two-run triple .Heyward had tightness in his right hamstring but was able to walk slowly off the field, getting a hug from former teammate Freeman on his way to the Cubs dugout. Maddon said his player will need further evaluation but is expected to miss at least the next couple of games at Philadelphia.FOLTY’S BALKFoltynewicz wasn’t sure why he was called for a balk in the second inning, which contributed to a two-run inning for the Cubs.“All I really did was just spit,” he said. “I’d take it like a man if it was really a balk, but I know in that moment I didn’t really do anything.”Shortstop Ozzie Albies also made a huge mistake in the second, unleashing a throw that bounced far in front of the plate for an error while trying to get Heyward breaking from third.DUDA ARRIVESLucas Duda is suddenly part of a playoff race after spending most of the season with a team going nowhere.The slugging first baseman joined the Braves on Thursday after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals. He instantly went from a team that was 37 1/2 games behind in the AL Central to first place.“I’m happy to fill my role and help the team in any way I can,” said Duda Ian Kinsler Jersey , who flied out in the sixth as a pinch-hitter in his first Atlanta appearance.The Braves optioned infielder Rio Ruiz to Triple-A Gwinnett.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: 3B Kris Bryant (shoulder) struck out twice Thursday while batting leadoff during a rehab stint at Iowa. He’ll likely rejoin the big league club this weekend. … LHP Brian Duensing (shoulder) is also expected back after the rosters expand on Saturday. He’s been sidelined since Aug. 3.Braves: The bullpen could be rather crowded for the final month of the season. RHPs Shane Carle (shoulder), Peter Moylan (forearm) and Brandon McCarthy (knee) are rehabbing at Triple-A Gwinnett with no apparent issues. Closer Arodys Vizcaino (right shoulder) is set to throw a batting practice session on Friday, which could be a precursor to his rehab stint in the minors. RHP Jose Ramirez (shoulder) is showing signs of improvement after missing much of the season.UP NEXTCubs: Chicago travels to Philadelphia to face another playoff-contending team in a weekend series. LHP Jose Quintana (11-9, 4.33) will get the nod in Friday’s opener against Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.76).Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 3.05) takes the mound for the opener of a three-game series against Pittsburgh at SunTrust Park. The Pirates will counter with RHP Jameson Taillon (10-9, 3.49). SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants find themselves weighing star catcher Buster Posey’s long-term health against their own short-term playoff fortunes as they prepare for Saturday’s afternoon clash with the Texas Rangers.Texas’ improbable 7-6, 10-inning win in the series opener on Friday night, coupled with Milwaukee’s extra-inning victory over Pittsburgh, pushed the Brewers (72-58) nine games ahead of the Giants (63-67) in the battle for the second wild-card spot in the National League with just 32 games remaining.Making the Giants’ task all the more daunting is that they stand in just eighth place in the wild-card race, needing to pass six teams to earn one of the two spots.Article continues below ...San Francisco had hoped to make a run on a nine-game homestand that began Friday and featured six games against the Rangers and New York Mets.But the club left the ballpark a deflated bunch after second baseman Joe Panik’s two-out error in the ninth inning kept the Rangers alive Albert Pujols Jersey , and Rougned Odor smacked Will Smith’s next pitch into the San Francisco Bay for a game-tying home run that forced extra innings.To add insult to injury, the Rangers wound up winning the game on a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk by Sam Dyson to Robinson Chirinos.Battling a painful right hip that will require surgery at some point, Posey caught the entire 10 innings and contributed a run, a hit and an RBI to the losing cause.His appearance was a bit of a surprise in that Giants general manager Brian Sabean had told the club’s flagship radio station, KNBR-680 in San Francisco, on Thursday that the hip surgery was “imminent” and that he was working with Posey and his representatives on scheduling it.Now that the Giants one game farther back in the wild-card chase and facing an afternoon affair after an extra-inning night game, there’s a good chance Posey won’t be in the Giants’ starting lineup Saturday.Whether that’s to give the six-time All-Star a short break or perhaps because he’s left the team to start the clock on the recovery from the inevitable surgery remains to be seen.Sabean stated that the recovery period is expected to be about six months.If Posey doesn’t start Saturday, Nick Hundley will be behind the plate to catch left-hander Andrew Suarez (4-9, 4.68 ERA), who appears to have hit the proverbial “rookie wall.”Suarez has allowed three or more runs in six of his last seven starts http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-babe-herman-jersey , after not having done so in any of his previous six outings.The 25-year-old has never faced the Rangers.Texas is expected to counter with lefty Martin Perez (2-5, 6.93), who likewise has struggled of late, allowing 13 runs and 20 hits in 11 innings over his last two starts.Perez has faced the Giants just once in his career, and it was a doozy. He limited San Francisco to two hits and one run in 8 1/3 innings in a 2-1 home win when the interleague rivals last met in 2015.Also homering for the Rangers in the series opener was Joey Gallo, his 34th of the season. That’s more than twice as many as the Giants’ leader, Andrew McCutchen, who led off the first inning with a home run for the 10th time in his career to help San Francisco run off to a 6-0 lead. The homer was McCutchen’s 15th of the season.

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