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Baez shakes off painful foul tip, hits big homer

Cubs SS visited by trainer, Maddon after falling to ground, then belts 3-run shot for No. 26
August 22, 2018

DETROIT -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon joked with Javier Baez that he may need to start wearing catcher's shin guards on his left leg. As long as Baez keeps hitting home runs, he doesn't care what he wears.With two on in the ninth inning on Wednesday night against the Tigers,

DETROIT -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon joked with Javier Baez that he may need to start wearing catcher's shin guards on his left leg. As long as Baez keeps hitting home runs, he doesn't care what he wears.
With two on in the ninth inning on Wednesday night against the Tigers, Baez fouled the first pitch from Victor Alcantara off his left leg and fell to the ground. The ball hit him just above the shin guard he was wearing. Baez lay on the dirt in obvious pain and both Maddon and an athletic trainer came out to check on him.
Baez eventually got to his feet and did what he does best. He took the next pitch, then launched a sinker into the Cubs' bullpen for his 26th home run. Anthony Rizzo followed with a solo shot to secure the Cubs' 8-2 win over the Tigers.

"I don't want to get hurt," Baez said. "[Alcantara] has a big sinker and that first pitch, I was going for it and it got me real good. After that, I was surprised he threw me another fastball."
Baez has fouled pitches off his left leg more than once.
"We've been changing it," he said of the shin guard. "I had a smaller one than the one I had now. Every time I get hit, it's either on top or under it. I moved up to a bigger one and it still hit me. It's all good. I'll have a pretty good bruise there, but I'm sure I'm good."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.