Baseball / Sports

Rays top Cubs, 4-0

Lost in all the Javy Baez hoopla this weekend is the little-known fact that the Rays are still in the hunt for a wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay entered Saturday's game against the Cubs with a 32-17 record since June 11, the second best in the majors to Baltimore's 34-18 mark, and won 4-0 at Wrigley.

Back on June 10, they were 18 games under .500 at 24-42, but now they're only 5 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot, despite being only 56-59.

"We have to play over .500 to get there, so you've got to get there first," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We've been playing so well for such a long period of time, and the thing is I believe we can sustain what we're doing and that's to replicate that nice run we've already had, and do it again.

"Right now, I come out to the ballpark and I feel we're in first place. The way we've been playing and how it's been going, I'm really, really proud of our guys."

The Cubs sent Edwin Jackson to the mound Saturday, looking for his seventh win. Overall, Jackson is 14-29 as a Cub, with a 5.26 earned-run average.

Jackson left after six innings with the Cubs trailing 4-0, and took the loss, falling to 6-12.

The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, which began with a double by Ben Zobrist that deflected off the glove of right-fielder Justin Ruggiano and into the ivy. Zobrist ran around the bases, but it was ruled a ground rule double when Ruggiano didn't go into the ivy to get it.

After Evan Longoria's RBI double, Yunel Escobar dumped a single into right, where Ruggiano fielded it and lobbed it back in, apparently forgetting Longoria was on base. Longoria scored easily to make it 2-0.

Escobar's two-run double in the sixth made it 4-0. One of the runs was unearned, thanks to an error by Baez.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi struck out nine batters over six innings, and the Rays bullpen did the rest. The Cubs finished with 15 strikeouts and were shut out for the 13th time.

Baez struck out three times and went 1-for-4. He had six consecutive strikeouts over the last two games before doubling to left on a 10-pitch at-bat in the sixth, and then struck out in the ninth.

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