Baez leaves game early with back tightness

Cubs shortstop Javy Baez left Saturday's game early due to some back tightness. Manager David Ross made several defensive replacements in the eighth inning and put Ildemaro Vargas to short.

"He's got a little back stiffness that was bothering him kind of throughout the game," Ross said of Baez. "Popped up early on, he felt he could play through it. I think just the cold weather, saw him moving a little bit stiff out there.

"I had finally had enough of giving him some leash. He just wasn't moving well and it doesn't make sense to push him there. If that things tightens up after I used Vargy and taken (Eric) Sogard out of the game, now we're short some middle infield depth.

"So it just made sense to get him off his feet. I just talked to the trainer after the game, seems to be clearing up a little bit. We'll see how it presents tomorrow. Just precautionary, a little low-back tightness."

Baez went 1-for-3 at the plate and also committed his ninth error of the season.

The Pirates had to make an early injury replacement. In the bottom of the first inning, first baseman Colin Moran caught a rocket line drive off the bat of Jason Heyward and tried to beat baserunner Wilson Contreras back to the bag. In the process, Moran suffered a groin injury and had to leave the game.

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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