Cubs hope Javier Baez, Kris Bryant return for finale vs. Indians

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The Chicago Cubs hope to have both Kris Bryant and Javier Baez available Wednesday for the finale of their two-game set against the host Cleveland Indians.

Baez was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because of tightness in his lower back and is listed as day-to-day. Bryant was removed from the contest in the sixth inning due to illness.

Both could return Wednesday when the Cubs look to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to the surging Indians.

Cesar Hernandez and Jose Ramirez each homered Tuesday to lead Cleveland to its 11th win in the past 14 games.

Hernandez is 9-for-33 (.273) over his past eight games while providing a spark at the top of the lineup for the Indians, who have been no-hit twice in the past month. The recent results are an improvement for Hernandez, who batted .176 in April.

“I think we’re inconsistent, offensively, but I think our guys play and they don’t pout, which I appreciate,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We knew going in, there’s times when it’s hard for us, offensively. We know that. Ultimately, what’s important is what our record is.”

Cleveland sits a season-high five games over .500 heading into the Wednesday matchup against Cubs starter Zach Davies (2-2, 6.30 ERA).

Davies is looking to build on a strong outing last Friday, when he tossed a season-high seven scoreless innings with five hits allowed in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

The 28-year-old right-hander entered the contest with an 8.22 ERA but flummoxed the Pirates while throwing 81 pitches and yielding just one walk.

“The ground balls that he was getting, ahead in the count, a lot of fastballs, attacking hitters, he seemed like a totally different guy out there,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “He was pretty impressive.”

Davies, who will be making his first career appearance against Cleveland, owns a 12.54 ERA in three starts away from Wrigley Field this season covering 9 1/3 innings.

The Indians will turn Wednesday to left-hander Sam Hentges (1-0, 5.00), who gave up two runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings as a bulk reliever against the Kansas City Royals on May 4.

The 24-year-old rookie has allowed six runs (five earned) on 14 hits in four appearances this season covering nine innings.

Hentges is facing a Chicago lineup that will be without Jake Marisnick for at least the next week. The outfielder was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain before Tuesday’s game.

The Cubs have made things interesting of late with eight of their past nine games decided by one run. They’re hoping to have several key players back later this week.

Ian Happ (rib contusion) and infielder Nico Hoerner (left forearm) could return as soon as this weekend, and right-hander Jake Arrieta (right thumb) could start this Friday in Detroit.

Cleveland’s injury report includes Roberto Perez, who fractured his right ring finger last week and will miss the next eight to 10 weeks. Austin Hedges, who is serving as the Indians’ regular catcher with Perez out, collected one of the team’s five hits in the Tuesday win.

–Field Level Media

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