EditorsNote: minor edits
Javier Baez hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning, and Cole Hamels gave up one run in six frames as the visiting Chicago Cubs defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Baez’s 25th home run of the season was his sixth in his past 10 games. He added an RBI double in the eighth inning for an insurance run. Baez already has a career-best homer total, and he increased his National League-leading RBI total to 88.
Hamels (7-9) outlasted a 22-minute rain delay to win for the second time in two starts with the Cubs. He was acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Texas Rangers. Hamels gave up seven hits and a walk while striking out two.
Pedro Strop pitched the ninth inning for his eighth save.
Alcides Escobar had an RBI single in the second inning for the Royals, who lost their fifth consecutive game and were defeated for the seventh time in their past nine games.
Chicago’s Ben Zobrist tripled in the fourth inning and scored on a wild pitch. He had two hits in his first game at Kansas City since winning the 2015 World Series with the Royals.
Royals starter Jakob Junis gave up just one run on five hits over five innings, keeping the NL’s highest scoring club in check. The Cubs entered with 557 runs and led the NL with a .345 on-base percentage. Junis walked two and struck out eight.
Kansas City right-hander Kevin McCarthy (4-4) took the loss, giving up Baez’s home run during his 1 2/3 innings.
Between Hamels’ outing Monday and his debut Wednesday at Pittsburgh, the left-hander has given up just one earned run on 10 hits over 11 innings with his new club. In his last start for Texas on July 23, he yielded seven runs on nine hits over five innings to the Oakland Athletics.
The Cubs were playing in Kansas City for the first time since 2011. They are 13-9 all-time against Kansas City and 5-5 at Kauffman Stadium.
The Cubs are 9-4 against American League opponents this season, while the Royals are 3-7 against the NL. The Royals played the first of six consecutive games against NL foes, with the St. Louis Cardinals visiting Kansas City for three games over the weekend.
—Field Level Media