Rodón dominates amid trade rumors, Giants beat Cubs 4-0

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Carlos Rodón struck out 10 over seven dominant innings amid speculation he could be traded, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 Sunday night.

Rodón (9-6) got help from his defense early. Left fielder Luis Gonzalez reached over the outfield wall to snare Christopher Morel’s leadoff drive.

“I was impressed that he got to that slider down-and-away,” Rodon said of Morel.

Also, center fielder Austin Slater made a running grab of Nelson Velazquez’s hard-hit ball an inning later.

Then Rodon took over. He fanned two in the second inning, then struck out the side in the third and fourth. He yielded two hits, none after the third inning. It was the 18th double-digit strikeout performance of his career and his sixth this season.

The Giants won three of four from the Cubs after bring swept by the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks following the All-Star break. The subject of widespread rumors that he could be headed elsewhere by Tuesday’s trade deadline, Rodon admitted that the Giants are hoping to stay together to make another postseason run.

“When you start off after the break 0-7, it’s definitely never a good thing,” said Rodon, who as a top starting pitcher ranks as a particularly hot commodity. “I thought we responded pretty nicely this series. Even though we have a lot more work to do, I thought we played better baseball.”

San Francisco scored all its runs in the fourth inning by rallying with two outs against starter Adrian Sampson (0-2). Eighth-place hitter Jason Vosler roped an RBI single, followed by No. 9 hitter Austin Wynns’ bases-loaded triple.

Sampson’s four-inning outing left four innings for the bullpen to handle, which it did capably. The relievers, led by Erich Uelmen’s 1 2/3 innings, surrendered just four hits. Uelmen allowed a hit and hit a batter.

“We need to talk to him about finishing his innings a little better,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

The Giants secured their eighth consecutive home series win over the Cubs.

LOOK OUT

Cubs first baseman P.J. Higgins slammed his right hip into the railing of an oddly-shaped photo well in foul territory chasing a foul ball in the seventh inning. He was shaken up and consulted with a team trainer before remaining in the game. He made a diving stop on Slater’s grounder an inning later.

“He’ll get looked at by the (medical staff), but right now he’s OK,” Ross said.

GIANTS, CUBS ENGINEER SWAP

San Francisco acquired infielder Dixon Machado from the Cubs on Sunday for right-hander Raynel Espinal.

Machado, who appeared in 172 games for Detroit from 2015 through 2018, immediately entered the Giants’ starting lineup at shortstop. Injuries to Brandon Crawford (left knee) and Thario Estrada (concussion) left San Francisco particularly thin at that position.

The Giants designated right-hander Tobias Myers for assignment to clear roster room for Machado, 30.

Estrada, who had replaced Crawford, went on the seven-day injury list after being hit by a pitch Saturday night.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: LHP Wade Miley (shoulder) threw off a bullpen mound Sunday and might be ready to make an injury rehabilitation start this coming week.

Giants: Crawford, who’s in his third stint on the IL this season, likely will need a short injury rehab assignment — roughly four games — before returning to the lineup.

UP NEXT

The Giants open a four-game series against their archrivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Monday at Oracle Park. Giants right-hander Logan Webb will oppose Dodgers lefty Andrew Heaney.

Following Monday’s scheduled off-day, the Cubs will play a three-game series at St. Louis. Chiccago’s Keegan Thompson and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright will meet in a matchup of right-handers.

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