SAN FRANCISCO (AP) –Carlos Rodón struck out 10 in seven dominant innings amid speculation he could be traded, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Sunday night.
Rodón (9-6) got help from his defense early. Left fielder Luis Gonzalez reached the outfield wall to trap Christopher Morel’s first drive.
“I was impressed that he got to this bottom-up slider,” Rodon said of Morel.
Also, center fielder Austin Slater grabbed the ball hard hit by Nelson Velazquez an inning later.
Then Rodon took over. He whipped up two in the second inning, then retired the team in the third and fourth. He allowed two hits, none after the third inning. It was the 18th double-digit batting performance of his career and his sixth this season.
The Giants have won three of four against the Cubs after being swept by the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks after the All-Star break. The subject of widespread rumors that he could be headed elsewhere by Tuesday’s trade deadline, Rodon admitted the Giants hoped to stick together for another run in the playoffs.
“When you start after the 0-7 break, that’s definitely never a good thing,” said Rodon, who as the top starting pitcher is a particularly sought-after commodity. “I think we’ve responded pretty well to this series. Although we still have a lot of work to do, I think we’ve played better baseball.”
San Francisco scored all of its runs in the fourth inning as it rallied with two outs against starter Adrian Sampson (0-2). Eighth-place hitter Jason Vosler roped in an RBI single, followed by No. 9 hitter Austin Wynns’ loaded triple.
Sampson’s four inning outing left four innings in the bullpen, which he did competently. The relievers, led by Erich Uelmen’s 1 2/3 innings, allowed just four hits. Uelmen allowed a hit and hit a batter.
“We have to talk to him about finishing his innings a little better,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
The Giants earned their eighth straight series win at home against the Cubs.
Cubs first baseman PJ Higgins slammed his right hip against the railing of an oddly shaped photo pit in foul territory, chasing a foul ball in the seventh inning. He was shaken up and consulted with a team coach before staying in the game. He made a diving stop on the floor of Slater an inning later.
“He will be checked by the (medical staff), but at the moment he is fine,” Ross said.
EXCHANGE OF GIANT ENGINEERS AND CUBS
San Francisco acquired infielder Dixon Machado from the Cubs on Sunday for right-hander Raynel Espinal.
Machado, who played 172 games for Detroit from 2015 to 2018, immediately entered the Giants’ starting lineup at shortstop. Injuries to Brandon Crawford (left knee) and Thario Estrada (concussion) have left San Francisco particularly thin at this position.
The Giants have designated right-hander Tobias Myers to clear the roster room of 30-year-old Machado.
Estrada, who had replaced Crawford, entered the seven-day disabled list after being hit by a pitch on Saturday night.
Cubs: LHP Wade Miley (shoulder) threw a bullpen mound on Sunday and could be ready to start injury rehabilitation this coming week.
Giants: Crawford, who is in his third stint on the IL this season, will likely need a short injury rehab assignment – around four games – before returning to the roster.
The Giants open a four-game series against rival Los Angeles Dodgers starting Monday at Oracle Park. Giants right-hander Logan Webb will face Dodgers left-hander Andrew Heaney.
After Monday’s rest day, the Cubs will play a three-game series in St. Louis. Chiccago’s Keegan Thompson and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright will meet in a right-handed matchup.