CLEVELAND — Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion hit sixth-inning home runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night despite losing relief ace Andrew Miller to a left hamstring injury.
Miller grabbed the back of his leg after throwing two pitches to Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning. He was visited by manager Terry Francona and a team trainer before walking to the dugout. The team announced he had left hamstring tightness.
Lindor’s leadoff homer against Jon Lester (2-1) broke a 1-all tie in the sixth, and Encarnacion homered into the bleachers with two outs. Lester allowed only one hit until Brandon Guyer’s two-out home run in the fifth tied it.
Miller relieved Trevor Bauer (2-2) with a runner on first and Cleveland leading 3-1. Bauer held the Cubs to one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Miller hasn’t allowed a run in 10 innings this season. He fell behind Rizzo 2-0 before grabbing at his leg.
Lester allowed three runs in seven innings. Cleveland added a run in the eighth on Rizzo’s throwing error. Rizzo had an RBI single in the fifth.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was out of the lineup for the second straight game after being hit in the helmet by a pitch Sunday. The 2016 NL MVP didn’t play in the Cubs’ 10-3 win Tuesday.
Miller replaced Bauer after Javier Baez’s two-out single. Tyler Olson retired Rizzo on a flyball. Willson Contreras doubled to start the eighth, but Olson got pinch-hitter Victor Caratini on a groundout and struck out Kyle Schwarber.
Nick Goody struck out Addison Russell to end the eighth before Allen worked the ninth.
Baez got the best of good friend Lindor in the seventh inning just before Miller entered the game.
Lindor dived to grab Baez’s grounder in the hole, but Baez beat Lindor’s throw by half a step. Baez wagged a finger at Lindor as he ran through the bag, prompting Lindor to laugh and apparently tease Baez about his footspeed.
Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon said Bryant has been checked by doctors and could return Thursday night when the Cubs begin a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
“He’s fine,” Maddon said. “I’d be surprised if it took a turn in the other direction.”
Indians: LHP Ryan Merritt (sprained left knee) will make one more start at extended spring training before starting a minor league rehab assignment.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks will start the opener of a four game series against Milwaukee at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger, who allowed two hits in his first career complete game shutout against Baltimore in his last start, goes against Seattle on Thursday.