Game Sixty-Two – Cubs 4, Tigers 8
WP – Rick Porcello (4-4) LP – Matt Garza (2-5) Save – None
Matt Garza and the Cubs were cruising right along. The Cubs offense put up two runs in the second and two more runs in the fifth and took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning. An error by Joe Mather opened the floodgates and the Tigers scored four times before Garza could record three outs. Garza left after six and Detroit took advantage of the Cubs’ pen.
While the Cubs were busy walking back to the dugout for a majority of the last four innings of the game, the Tigers scored seven of their eight runs in the sixth through the eighth innings. Manny Corpas (one run in the seventh) and Jairo Asencio (two runs in the eighth) could not keep the Tigers off the board.
The Cubs offense did the job early against Rick Porcello and scored all four runs on nine hits off the right hander in the first five innings. Steve Clevenger (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored), Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a run scored), Joe Mather (1-for-4 with a RBI) and Tony Campana (1-for-5 with a RBI) put the Cubs up 2-1 in the second. Back-to-back two-out doubles by Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) and Bryan LaHair (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) gave the Cubs a 4-1 advantage in the fifth … but the Cubs did not manage another hit or baserunner after LaHair’s double in the fifth until two outs in the ninth.
Reed Johnson and Tony Campana reached on two out singles in the ninth against Jose Valverde but Austin Jackson made a sensational catch to end the game. Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a run scored) launched Valverde’s first pitch into the gap in left center. Jackson raced toward the wall and hauled the ball in with his foot against the bricks to end the game.
Matt Garza (five runs, three earned, on seven hits without a walk, a HBP and five strikeouts in six innings) pitched better than his final line indicates. Garza was not able to recover from Mather’s error and took the loss. Garza threw 94 pitches, 70 for strikes, and remains winless in his last seven starts (Cubs 0-7) dating back to April 29.
Joe Mather was a late addition to the lineup after Ian Stewart was scratched just before first pitch with more issues with his left wrist. Stewart is expected to be placed on the DL prior to Thursday’s game. Mather’s night started well with the game tying RBI single in the second but went south shortly after. Mather committed the game changing error in the sixth and looked rather uncomfortable at third. Mather mishandled two other plays defensively and grounded into a double play in the fourth.
Brennan Boesch (4-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBI) had a huge night at the plate and in the field. Boesch robbed David DeJesus of an extra basehit with a diving catch to end the seventh. Jhonny Peralta (3-for-4 with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored) more than made up for his two errors Tuesday night.
In front of the largest crowd of the year at Wrigley, the Cubs snapped their five-game winning streak at the old ballyard.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 21-41 on the season … Matt Garza started his evening by striking out the side in order on 20 pitches, 15 for strikes. Garza was sharp but had trouble putting all three batters away.
Tony Campana squared to bunt on a 0-2 offering. Campana fouled the attempt then stood around as the umpire tried to figure out that Campana just struck out. Starlin Castro worked the count full but grounded out to short for the second out.
David DeJesus put together a long at bat that ended with the Cubs’ first walk of the game. Alfonso Soriano blooped a 2-1 pitch into right. DeJesus advanced to third with two outs. With runners on first and third with two down, Bryan LaHair struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. The Cubs made Porcello work (24, 13 strikes) in the opening frame.
Prince Fielder led off the second with a single to center (2-2 pitch). Delmon Young followed with a grounder to third. Mather fielded the weakly hit grounder and threw to second. Barney made an awkward turn and Young beat the throw to first. Jhonny Peralta hit Garza’s first pitch into right for a single.
With runners on first and second with one out, Garza plunked Gerald Laird on a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Garza jammed Ramon Santiago and the Tigers’ second baseman hit a weak grounder to Barney. The ball was not hit hard enough to think about two. Barney threw out Santiago at first as Young scored the first run of the game. Rick Porcello flied out to left to end the inning. Garza threw 40 pitches in first two innings, 31 for strikes.
Steve Clevenger led off the Cubs’ second with a double to left center. Clevenger hustled out of the box and slid in safe just ahead of Austin Jackson’s throw. Darwin Barney singled to left, Clevenger held at third with one out.
Joe Mather lined a 1-0 pitch into left and plated Clevenger with the tying run.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Matt Garza dropped a bunt up the third baseline. Garza did his job and advanced both runners ninety feet. Tony Campana smacked a 2-1 pitch back up the middle. Ramon Santiago fielded the ball and his throw to Prince Fielder just beat Campana as Barney scored the Cubs’ second run. Rick Porcello made a nice play on a comebacker off the bat of Starlin Castro to end the inning.
At the end of two, the Cubs led 2-1.
Garza continued pounding the zone in the third but his pitch count continued to elevate. Jackson grounded out to short to start the inning. Brennan Boesch blooped a 1-2 pitch down the line in right for a single … but Miguel Cabrera popped a 1-0 pitch to right and Fielder grounded out to first to end the inning. Garza’s pitch count stood at 58 after three, 42 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the third … 55 pitches, 29 for strikes, for Rick Porcello after three.
Matt Garza set the Tigers down in order in the fourth on 10 pitches, seven for strikes (68, 49 for strikes).
The Cubs wasted a chance to tack on in the fourth. Steve Clevenger and Darwin Barney reached on back-to-back singles to right to start the inning. Joe Mather hit into a 6-3 double play on a 2-0 pitch and Garza struck out swinging to end the inning.
After four, the Cubs led 2-1.
Matt Garza retired the Tigers in order in the fifth … 78 pitches for Garza after five, 58 for strikes.
After Campana grounded out to short to start the fifth, Starlin Castro singled to right and held when DeJesus looked at a 0-2 pitch for the second out.
Alfonso Soriano ripped Porcello’s first pitch into the left field corner. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 3-1 lead. Bryan LaHair followed with a sliding double to left center and Soriano limped home with the Cubs’ fourth run. A wild pitch allowed LaHair to advance to third but Clevenger flied out to left to end the inning.
After five, the Cubs led 4-1.
Brennan Boesch ripped Garza’s first pitch of the sixth inning into left field. Miguel Cabrera then hit a routine grounder toward third. Joe Mather could not field the ball then kicked it toward second (Mather booted the baseball). Instead of bases empty and two outs, the Tigers had runners on first and second with no outs … and the inning quickly got away from Garza.
After Fielder flied out to Soriano on the first pitch, Delmon Young made it a 4-2 game with a bloop single to right over Barney’s head. Boesch scored and Cabrera ended up at third with one out. Jhonny Peralta then ripped a double into right center (2-1 pitch). Cabrera and Young scored and tied the game at four.
Gerald Laird reached on a bunt single to third. Peralta advanced to third on the play then scored when Ramon Santiago hit a comebacker to the mound that knocked Garza off his feet. Garza threw an under-hand one-hopper to LaHair to get the out but Peralta scored the go ahead run … and just like that the Tigers had a 5-4 lead. Don Kelly hit for Porcello and popped out to Barney for the third out.
The Cubs did nothing against Brayan Villarreal in the in the sixth.
After six, the Cubs trailed 5-4.
Manny Corpas made his first appearance at Wrigley in a Cubs’ uniform in the seventh. Corpas struck out Jackson looking to start the inning. Brennan Boesch pulled a 0-2 pitch down the right field line and into the basket for a solo home run … 6-4 Tigers.
Starlin Castro made a sensational diving stop in the grass in shallow left and nailed Miguel Cabrera at first for the second out. Corpas walked Fielder with two down. The wind then held a deep fly to left center off the bat of Delmon Young to end the inning.
Brayan Villarreal set down the Cubs in order in the seventh … Boesch made an excellent diving catch in right center that took away extra bases from DeJesus to end the seventh.
Jhonny Peralta greeted Jairo Asencio with a standing triple to right. DeJesus tried to make a sliding catch but missed and the ball got past him. Asencio missed on a 3-2 pitch and walked Laird. With runners on first and third with no outs, Asencio struck out Santiago for the first out.
Quintin Berry hit for Villarreal and ripped a 3-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Peralta scored and the Tigers took a 7-4 lead. Austin Jackson ripped the first pitch he saw into right. Laird tagged and advanced to third with two down.
Quintin Berry stole second on the first pitch to Brennan Boesch. Berry made it easily and the Tigers had runners on second and third with two outs.
Brennan Boesch took Asencio’s first pitch and allowed Berry to swipe second. Boesch lined the next pitch into left. Laird scored but Soriano threw Berry out at the plate to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Joaquin Benoit in the eighth … after eight the Cubs trailed 8-4.
Carlos Marmol gave up a single to Cabrera to start the ninth. Marmol then struck out Fielder and Young swinging. Marmol walked Jhonny Peralta and with runners on first and second with two outs, Gerald Laird looked at strike three to end the inning.
The game went to the ninth with the Cubs’ trailing by four.
Jose Valverde did what he’s always done against the Cubs … he closed out the game. Valverde retired Barney and Mather quickly to start the ninth. Reed Johnson hit for Carlos Marmol and reached on a single to right. Tony Campana followed with a single to left. With two on, two out and the Cubs down by four, Starlin Castro ripped Valverde’s first pitch into deep left center. Austin Jackson raced over and caught the ball as he braced himself with his leg to keep him from hitting the bricks … game over.
Travis Wood is slated to face Justin Verlander in the finale on Thursday afternoon.
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