CHICAGO (AP) - Rick Renteria knew all about Chris Coghlan’s career numbers against Bud Norris, and felt he was playing too well to take him out of the lineup.
It proved to be one nice call by the rookie manager.
Coghlan finally solved Norris with a bases-loaded triple that sparked the Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on a soggy Saturday at Wrigley Field.
Justin Grimm (4-2) pitched 3 1-3 hitless innings after a rain delay of 3 hours, 9 minutes, helping the last-place Cubs win their second straight against the AL East leaders. Logan Watkins had two hits and two RBIs, and touted rookie Javier Baez hit his seventh homer in the seventh, an opposite-field liner into the basket in right.
Coghlan was 0 for 15 with six strikeouts against Norris (11-8) before he capped Chicago’s four-run second with his fifth triple of the season.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I saw it,” Renteria said, referring to Coghlan’s trouble with the veteran right-hander. “But all things being equal, the way he’s been swinging the bat, I really thought he was going to have a good chance to do something today.”
Coghlan, who is batting .304 with 22 RBIs in his last 51 games, said he appreciated the vote of confidence from Renteria.
“He’s the man,” Coghlan said.
Chicago will try Sunday for its first series sweep since winning three straight at Boston from June 30 to July 2.
The Orioles had seven hits after they announced before the game that All-Star third baseman Manny Machado had decided to have season-ending right knee surgery. Machado hurt himself on an awkward swing against the Yankees on Aug. 11.
It’s a difficult blow for Baltimore, which is in prime position for its first division title since 1997. It leads New York by seven games after the Yankees beat the White Sox 5-3 earlier in the day.
The Orioles swept a three-game set against the White Sox before crossing town for their first series at Wrigley since 2008. They lost 4-1 on Friday when Jake Arrieta pitched seven solid innings against his former team.
A day later, they were still trying to find their prolific offense.
“They pitched real well,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They made a lot of quality pitches. We couldn’t string anything together.”
Adam Jones hit an RBI double in the first and Norris helped himself with a run-scoring infield hit in the second. But the Cubs responded with four runs in the bottom half, grabbing the lead for good on Coghlan’s two-out liner into the right-field corner.