CHICAGO -- Javier Baez continued to add to his personal highlight reel on Saturday.Baez, starting at shortstop, collected his National League-leading 26th RBI with a bloop double and thwarted the Brewers' best scoring opportunity with a stellar defensive play to end the fourth in the Cubs' 3-0 win."He's a good
CHICAGO -- Javier Baez continued to add to his personal highlight reel on Saturday.
Baez, starting at shortstop, collected his National League-leading 26th RBI with a bloop double and thwarted the Brewers' best scoring opportunity with a stellar defensive play to end the fourth in the Cubs' 3-0 win.
"He's a good shortstop. He's a good baseball player," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's been playing really good baseball. He picked up another RBI in a very unique manner, but he got one. He was very upset at himself with that last strikeout [in the seventh], which I'm happy he was upset with himself because he knows [he can do better]. All of that stuff is good."
In the third inning, Albert Almora Jr. and Baez each extended their hitting streaks with back-to-back hits.
With two out against the Brewers' Junior Guerra, Almora singled to left to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. Baez matched that with a "Wrigley Field double" to score Almora. The wind and bright skies were not kind to Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who signaled that he lost Baez's ball, which then deflected off shortstop Orlando Arcia's glove. Baez now has a career-high 11-game hitting streak, too.
"At the last second I saw [Cain signal]," Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana said. "At the same time, I still thought he would have had it. As soon as I saw him [motion] and I saw the ball, I saw Arcia coming straight ahead of me. It was just too late."
Brewers manager Craig Counsell thought Cain had it.
"It was tough out there," Counsell said. "It felt like a day to not hit the ball in the air, but it might have actually been a day to hit the ball in the air and make guys have to catch it. It was difficult if you got it up in the air pretty good. Orlando made a pretty good attempt at it, but it just came out of his glove."
Baez -- who even craftily stole third base after his double when Brewers catcher Manny Pina tried to pick him off at second -- saved a run for starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning. Cain was on third after hitting a double and advancing on a wild pitch. Quintana struck out Christian Yelich and got Ryan Braun to pop up to first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Santana hit a grounder to Baez, who slid on the grass and snared the ball, then spun around and threw in time to first.
"It didn't surprise me because he's a very good shortstop and second baseman," Santana said. "He's very quick. I thought it was going to be a base hit, but [no]."
Baez is now batting .400 (20-for-50) during his 11-game hitting streak, and he is the second Cubs player since 1908 with 26 RBIs before the end of April, joining Derrek Lee, who drove in 28 in 2005.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.