PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One of the hottest pitchers in baseball was at his best early on Chris Davis Jersey
, yet the Cubs‘ high-powered hitters didn’t get discouraged.Javier Baez hit one of three solo home runs off Cy Young contender Aaron Nola to reach 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, and Jon Lester pitched six shutout innings to continue his mastery of the Phillies in NL Central-leading Chicago’s 8-1 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rizzo also went deep off Nola (15-4), who gave up three home runs in a game for the second time over 88 starts in his four-year career.Murphy’s homer was a game changer. Nola fanned seven of the first nine hitters before Murphy’s two-out shot to right field in the third inning gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.“It can really lead to a frustrating dugout,” Lester said of the early struggles, “but you didn’t hear it or see it.”Murphy looked bad while weakly fouling off the previous two pitches before launching a 1-2, 94-mph fastball into the seats“We just grind out at-bats,” Murphy said. “We really made Aaron work today.”Chicago, which has won 10 of 12, leads the Cardinals by 5 ½ games.“We’ve been playing as well as we’ve played all year the last two weeks,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “The guys have been doing wonderfully and it’s impressive.”Lester (15-5) surrendered eight hits, struck out seven and walked none while improving to 8-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 10 career regular-season starts against the Phillies.The Phillies began the day three games back of Atlanta, which hosted Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Jorge Alfaro had two hits, including an RBI double in the ninth, for Philadelphia.“That’s just an incredible offense, and today they just won,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “I think that’s the long and short of it.”Kapler moved Nola up a day to give him another start at home, where the star right-hander has been dominant. It backfired. Nola gave up four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks.“Every loss right now hurts as a team http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-brooks-robinson-jersey
, but I’m going to put this one behind me,” Nola said.Rizzo led off the fourth by hitting an 0-1, 85 mph changeup over the wall in left, and Baez, the league leader in RBIs entering Sunday, hit a 1-2 fastball out to left in the sixth.Nola also gave up an RBI triple to Kyle Schwarber in the sixth to snap a string of 17 straight home starts allowing three runs or less. He dropped to 9-1 at home, where his ERA rose from 1.94 to 2.21. Nola’s overall ERA increased from 2.10 to 2.23.The other top contenders for the NL Cy Young, Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, will pitch on Monday.NOT HIS DAYNola continued to struggle on Sept. 2. The right-hander has allowed multiple homers in a game 10 times, including all three starts he has made on Sept. 2 (2018, 2017 and 2015). Overall, Nola has a 9.82 ERA on Sept. 2 while allowing 24 hits, including seven homers, over 14 2/3 innings.NOLA’S NEMESISMurphy is batting .345 (10 for 29) with two homers and six RBIs against Nola.CARDS ALLOWEDMajor League Baseball has told teams that it’s OK for pitchers to use the kind of scouting cards that umpire Joe West confiscated from Philadelphia reliever Austin Davis on the mound Saturday.Kapler said Sunday that he’d been informed the cards were legal. They are, provided they don’t delay games, MLB told clubs in clarifying the policy.GREAT COMPANYThe 25-year-old Baez became the fifth Cubs player to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season before age 25 or during the year reaching that age, joining Ernie Banks Cal Ripken Jersey
, Kris Bryant, Rizzo and Ron Santo.TRAINER’S ROOMPhillies: 1B Justin Bour, out since Aug. 23 with a left oblique strain, was activated from the DL.UP NEXTCubs: LHP Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.70) looks to remain perfect with the Cubs on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, where he faces RHP Zach Davies (2-5, 5.23). Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA in six starts since being traded to Chicago from Texas.Phillies: Begin six-game road trip with a three-game set at Miami on Monday afternoon, with RHP Vince Velasquez (9-9, 4.05) opposing Marlins RHP Jose Urena (4-12, 4.56). Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesFour-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado reportedly will be traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers "barring a last minute snag," according to Bob Nightengale ofUSA Today. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed the report during the All-Star Game.Jon Heyman of Fancred reported topDodgersoutfield prospect Yusniel Diaz is in the offer to the Orioles.Machado confirmed he has seen the reports and thinks they are valid, but isn't certain, per Heyman. "It鈥檒l be different. But different can be good."Machado is enjoying the best year of his career. Through 96games, he has a .575slugging percentage, 24home runs and 65 RBI.Most Orioles fans likely resigned themselves to losing him.An MLB agent toldSports Illustrated'sTom Verducciin April 2017 that both Machado and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals could command contracts in excess of $400 million on the open market.Chris Davis earned the biggest deal in Orioles history when he signed for seven years and$161 millionin 2016. Even if Machado doesn't hit the $400 million mark, his next contract could more than double Baltimore's richest pact.He is also set to hit free agency at what appears to be a transitional phase for the team.Adam Jones, Zach Britton and Brad Brach are all impending free agents http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-dylan-bundy-jersey
, and the general feeling is Baltimore is headed for a painful rebuild, as evidenced by its28-69record.Beyond the massive investment in Machado, ownership would have needed to commit more money to turn the team into a serious playoff contender in the top-heavy American League East.Baltimore kicked the can down the road for a while and tried to keep its window for contention open longer than was feasible. Consequently, the Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball.Ultimately, the franchise had little choice but to trade Machado before it lost him and received only a draft pick as compensation.Machado turned 26 on July 6, so he's in the prime of his career and doesn't have a ton of red flags regarding his health, either. He suffered season-ending knee injuries in 2013 and 2014 but hasn't shown lingering effects.In the first three seasons after his second surgery, Machado missed 11 combined games and batted .280 with a .502 slugging percentage.Additionally, Machado's underwhelming 2017 season (.259 AVG, .471 SLG) appears to be a blip.The Dodgers were one of the most logical destinations for him. Even after various trades and MLB promotions, Los Angeles still has a solid minor league system from which it could put together a worthwhile package.More importantly, the Dodgers had an immediate need on the left side of their infield after Corey Seager underwent Tommy John surgery in May.By adding Machado, Los Angeles can move Chris Taylor or Logan Forsythe to second base and get the retiring Chase Utley out of the starting lineup. Going from Utley to Machadowill provide a much-needed injection of power to an offense that has struggled to recover from injuries to both Seager and Justin Turner this season.