Game Eight – Cubs 7 Brewers 6
WP – Jeff Gray (1-0) LP – LaTroy Hawkins (0-1, BS 1) Save – Carlos Marmol (3)
Down 6-3 with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth, Jeff Baker stepped in against LaTroy Hawkins. Baker, who replaced Mike Fontenot in the seventh, fell behind 0-2 before reaching on a bloop single to center.
Geovany Soto walked on a 3-2 pitch and Hawkins missed on a 3-1 pitch to Tyler Colvin to load the bases.
Ryan Theriot (4-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and two stolen bases) singled to right center. Baker and Soto scored and cut the Brewers lead to 6-5 … Colvin advanced to third on the play. But the Cubs were not done.
With Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-4 with three RBI) at the plate, Ryan Theriot stole second and put the go ahead run in scoring position. Fukudome ripped a 1-2 pitch from Hawkins past a diving Rickie Weeks into right field. Colvin scored the tying run … and Theriot the go ahead run, 7-6 Cubs going into the ninth.
The Cubs scored all four runs in the eighth after two outs.
Carlos Marmol was perfect in the ninth and picked up his third save of the season. Marmol struck out the side … Corey Hart, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to end the game.
Jeff Gray picked up the win in his Cubs’ debut. Gray was recalled on Wednesday morning from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Gray, Esmailin Caridad was placed on the 15-day DL with a right forearm strain. Gray was not sharp in the eighth and turned the Cubs’ one-run deficit into a three-run hole. Gray gave up back-to-back triples to Carlos Gomez and Alcides Escobar before settling down and getting out of the inning.
Randy Wells was very sharp early on. Wells struck out the side in the first but a two-out walk to Dave Bush derailed his outing … and led to the Brewers’ first two runs of the game. Wells allowed four runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Geovany Soto tied the game at two in the fifth with his first home run of the year. Soto ripped a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left center and onto Waveland.
Lou Piniella’s crew won their second game in a row with more two-out production at Wrigley Field … and evened their season record at 4-4. Randy Wells found a rhythm early, with a little help from Ryan Theriot and Marlon Byrd.
Wells retired the Brewers in order, all strikeouts, in the first. Prince Fielder led off the second with a double to right. Casey McGehee grounded out to third and advanced Fielder to third … with one out.
Gregg Zaun hit a grounder to Ryan Theriot. Theriot threw home in plenty of time to nail Fielder at the plate … Soto was waiting on the Brewers’ first baseman. Carlos Gomez grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on back-to-back doubles by Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot.
Randy Wells worked around a lead off single in the third by Alcides Escobar and retired the Brewers in order, with help from the wind, in the fourth.
The Brewers took a brief lead in the fifth. Carlos Gomez reached on a bunt up the third baseline. Alcides Escobar singled to right center but Marlon Byrd threw out Gomez at third. Wells looked like he would get out of the inning.
Dave Bush fell behind 0-2 before working a walk. With runners on first and second with two outs, Rickie Weeks worked the count to 3-2 before doubling to left. Alfonso Soriano could not pick up the ball in the corner and allowed Weeks to slide into third. Escobar and Bush scored, 2-1 Brewers. Corey Hart grounded back to Wells to end the inning.
Geovany Soto tied the game in the bottom half of the second … but Casey McGehee gave the Brewers the lead again in the third.
Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder singled to start the third. Casey McGehee singled to right and plated Braun with the go ahead run.
Gregg Zaun and Carlos Gomez flied out to center … and Alcides Escobar struck out to end the inning.
Lou Piniella left Randy Wells in to start the seventh. Rickie Weeks reached on a one-out single. Corey Hart doubled to left, another ball misplayed by Alfonso Soriano, Weeks scored on the play and ended Wells’ afternoon.
Justin Berg and James Russell got the final two outs in the seventh.
The Cubs cut into the Brewers lead in the bottom of the seventh. Jeff Baker hit for Mike Fontenot with the lefty Chris Narveson on the mound. Baker singled to left to start the inning. Geovany Soto walked and Tyler Colvin advanced both runners 90′ with a sacrifice bunt to third. Ryan Theriot reached on a line drive to the hole at short. Alcides Escobar got a glove on the ball but could not haul it in. The bases were loaded with one out.
Kosuke Fukudome lined out to left but Baker tagged and scored on the play … 4-3 Brewers. Aramis Ramirez walked to reload the bases but Xavier Nady grounded out to second to end the inning.
With the Brewers up 4-3, Jeff Gray took the ball to start the eighth. After Casey McGehee grounded out to start the inning, Gregg Zaun recorded his first hit of the season. Carlos Gomez tripled to right center past a diving Marlon Byrd. Zaun scored, 5-3 Brewers.
Alcides Escobar tripled to right center, Gomez scored, 6-3 Brewers. Gray walked Jim Edmonds on four pitches but induced a 1-6-3 double play off the bat of Rickie Weeks that kept the Brewers from putting the game away.
With Wednesday’s victory, the Cubs won their first series of the season.
Carlos Zambrano will face Jeff Suppan in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.