LEADING OFF: Schwindel sparks Cubs, Buehler again faces SF

Sports
Frank Schwindel, Alfonso Rivas, Jacob Stallings

Chicago Cubs’ Frank Schwindel, left, celebrates with Alfonso Rivas, center, after hitting the game-winning single as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings looks down in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. The Cubs won 7-6. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Sunday:

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Rookie Frank Schwindel is hitting .356 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs in 31 games since the Cubs claimed him off waivers from Oakland in mid-July.

The 29-year-old homered into Wrigley Field’s video board, then hustled for a game-ending RBI single Saturday in a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh. Chicago has won five in a row and the Pirates have lost five straight.

Schwindel is with his third team in the majors. He got a brief look with Kansas City in 2019, didn’t play in the big leagues last year and hit .150 in eight games for the A’s earlier this year.

A GIANT NEMESIS

Dodgers ace Walker Buehler starts against San Francisco for the sixth time this season, pitching at Oracle Park in the late Sunday game to wrap up a weekend series between the NL West contenders.

Buehler (13-2, 2.05) is a big reason Los Angeles is so close to the Giants. He is 3-0 with an 0.79 ERA over five starts against them this year.

Overall, Buehler is 7-0 with a 1.83 ERA lifetime when facing the Dodgers’ longtime rivals.

TAKE A DAY

Oakland center fielder Starling Marte was out of the lineup, a day after being hit on the left side of his helmet by a fastball from Toronto’s Alek Manoah.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Marte was still sore Saturday, but is not thought to have a concussion.

Marte has been a sparkplug for the A’s since they got him in a trade with Miami in late July. He’s hit .346 and has been safe on all 20 of his steal attempts in 32 games for the playoff conteders.

SECOND CHANCE

Yankees righty Corey Kluber (4-3, 3.61) makes his second start since missing over three months with a right shoulder strain. He’ll face Baltimore in the Bronx.

The 35-year-old Kluber allowed five runs in four innings against the Angels in his return. He pitched a no-hitter earlier this season.

Lefty Keegan Akin (2-8, 6.90) starts for the Orioles.

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