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Baseball roundup: Lester, Cubs rebound

  • Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez watches his RBI-single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Chicago Cubs starter Jon Lester delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez left, celebrates with teammate Carlos Gonzalez right, at home plate after scoring on a Jason Heyward two-RBI double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus, left, argues with umpires over Chicago Cubs' Jason Hayward's two-RBI double during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras, left, celebrates with teammate Addison Russell right, after scoring on Russell's sacrifice fly during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Chicago Cubs closing pitcher Dillon Maples right, celebrates with catcher Willson Contreras left, after defeating the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Los Angeles Angels' Taylor Ward reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


The Associated Press
Monday, June 03, 2019

CHICAGO — Jon Lester returned to form, allowing one run in seven innings, and the Chicago Cubs’ offense came alive in an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Coming off three straight losses at St. Louis in which they scored six total runs, the Cubs broke loose with a five-run sixth inning. Javier Báez began the onslaught with a run-scoring double, one of his three RBIs, as Chicago picked up its second win in its past eight games.

Lester (4-4) was in control from the outset. The left-hander allowed four singles, walked one and struck out six, giving up his only run on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy in the seventh.

Lucroy’s drive to the right-center field gap could have done more damage. But right fielder Carlos González, who was promoted from Triple-A Iowa before the game, made a diving catch on the warning track, nearly sliding headfirst into the ivy-covered wall.

In his previous three starts — all losses — Lester allowed 19 runs (16 earned) in 14 innings, increasing his ERA from 1.16 to 3.59. After Monday’s effort, he’s now at 3.32.

Mets’ Darling back to booth after cancer surgery

NEW YORK — Mets announcer Ron Darling is returning to the team’s broadcast booth on Tuesday night following surgery to treat thyroid cancer.

Darling said April 13 he was taking a medical leave. On May 6, he said a mass had been removed and he planned to be back at work in about a month.

The 58-year-old former pitcher said in a statement on Monday his doctors tell him his cancer has been “stabilized for now” and he has been cleared to work.

Herrera’s leave extended

NEW YORK — Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera’s administrative leave has been extended through June 17 by Major League Baseball.

Herrera was placed on leave May 28, a day after his arrest in a domestic violence case at a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The commissioner’s office announced the extension on Monday.

Administrative leave is not considered discipline. Herrera remains on the restricted list and continues to receive his $5 million salary but is ineligible to play. He is in the third year of a $30.5 million, five-year contract and is due to make $7 million next season and $10 million in 2021. The team has club options for 2022 and ‘23.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has the option of suspending Herrera either without pay, or with pay pending the resolution of legal proceedings — a penalty that later could be converted to without pay. Herrera could challenge any discipline before arbitrator Mark Irvings.

An All-Star center fielder in 2016, the 27-year-old Herrera is hitting .222 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 39 games this season. He missed time in April with a hamstring injury.

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Carlos González set to make Cubs debut

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CHICAGO (AP) — Outfielder Carlos González was promoted by the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa and was set to make his Chicago debut.

The three-time All-Star was scheduled to bat fifth and play right field Monday against the Los Angeles Angels.

The 33-year-old hit .210 with two homers, seven RBIs and 33 strikeouts in 30 games with Cleveland, then was designated for assignment on May 22. He agreed to a minor league with the Cubs last Thursday and was 2 for 8 with a home run in two games with Iowa.

“I know of his past, how good he has been for several years,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I’m eager to get him going. He’s still a young man.”

González has a .245 average with nine home runs in 94 at-bats at Wrigley Field.

“It means a lot, getting confidence right away from the manager and the organization,” González said. “This is a great opportunity for me to have success. I’m looking forward to work hard and play hard for my teammates and compete every day.”

Infielder-outfielder Jim Adducci was designed for assignment. He was hitless in five at-bats this season.

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