MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Frank Schwindel homerated for the second game in a row, Ian Happ added a towering homer into the third deck, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 Tuesday night.
Manuel Rodríguez (3-2) earned the win for Chicago and worked two goalless innings in relief of starter Zach Davies. Rowan Wick earned his first save of the season.
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Cubs second baseman Matt Duffy ended a threat for Minnesota in eighth as he tracked down Max Kepler’s pop-up to medium right field, spun and threw Luis Arraez out on the plate and tried to score from third.
John Gant (4-9) hit five innings and allowed two runs on three hits in his third start for the Twins since coming over from St. Louis. Louis Cardinals to JA Happ at the trade deadline.
Two teams that had designed to be in the thickness of the playoffs were left to match with rebuilt rosters after swapping several established stars away.
Minnesota has surprised with its first winning month of the season in August, including winning four straight home series against teams in either first or second place. Meanwhile, Chicago is 8-21 since the trade deadline.
Schwindel, who claimed exemptions from Oakland in July, has been a surprising contributor since the kids switched to rebuilding mode. He has hit safely in 22 of his first 27 games with Chicago with six homers and 18 RBIs. He started the day with a 1,009 OPS since July 30, the sixth best mark in the National League over that stretch.
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Cubs: C Willson Contreras started a rehearsal assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, hitting a home run in three bats and also throwing out a runner who tried to steal. Contreras has been out since Aug. 12 with a high knee sprain. … IF Sergio Alcántara ran before the match to test his right foot. Manager David Ross said Alcántara is day to day after committing a ball of his foot on Sunday.
Twins: RHP Michael Pineda (left slant tribe) threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session last week and is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Wednesday.
Pineda has been out since August 14th. One of the percussionists planning to step in against Pineda is C Mitch Garver (tightness in the back), who was placed on the list of injured on 27 August. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Garver still feels tightness and soreness in his back and was not sure if he would produce many swings against Pineda.
The twins will make RHP Joe Ryan debut in the major leagues, which start on Wednesday, when the teams end a series of two games. Ryan, 25, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in July in the deal that sent Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Chicago starts LHP Justin Steele (2-2, 4.15 ERA). Steele gets his fourth straight start after putting 11 games out of the bullpen.
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