Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine – Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2
WP – Chris Rusin (2-3) LP – Bryan Shaw (1-6) Save – None
The Cubs won their final road game of the season (23-58) and posted their first victory in a NL West park since September 27, 2011 … a span of 21 games. The Cubs finally won a game out west (1-18 in 19 games this season) and notched their 60th victory of the year.
The Cubs battled back from a 2-1 deficit in the sixth and Chris Rusin picked up his second big league win with a solid five-inning effort on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs took advantage of three Diamondbacks’ errors and scored the go ahead run in the sixth on a hit by pitch. The Cubs scored all four runs in the sixth with two outs, added on a run in the seventh thanks to two Arizona miscues and David DeJesus hit his ninth longball of the year in the ninth inning.
Anthony Rizzo (3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a RBI) had a big day at the plate. Rizzo doubled in David DeJesus (2-for-5 with a home run, a double and two runs scored) with the Cubs’ first run in the opening inning and scored the tying run in the sixth. Rizzo made a baserunning gaffe, one of two on the day for the Cubs, that ended the third inning.
Dave Sappelt (1-for-1 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored) drove in the tying run with a bases loaded infield single in the sixth. Anthony Recker (1-for-3 with a RBI and a HBP) was credited with the game winning RBI after Matt Albers plunked him with the bases loaded in the sixth and forced in Alfonso Soriano with the go ahead run.
Bryan LaHair (1-for-1 with two RBI) delivered a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single in the sixth. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a run scored) contributed to Sunday’s win.
The Cubs offense scored seven runs on 11 hits with one walk and finished the game 4-for-12 with RISP and stranded five runners on base.
Chris Rusin settled down after a rough first inning and put together his best outing of the year. Rusin surrendered two runs, one earned, on two hits and two walks in a laborious first inning. Rusin survived the first (28 pitches, 12 strikes) and surrendered just one more hit in his other four innings. Rusin retired the last 10 batters he faced, had good command and earned his second victory. Rusin allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings on 68 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Michael Bowden, James Russell, Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol each pitched a scoreless inning. The Cubs pen surrendered three hits, a walk and struck out five in relief of Chris Rusin.
With Sunday’s win (13-13 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs snapped their seven-game losing streak and improved to 60-99 with three games left to play …
Starlin Castro pulled a 3-1 pitch into left. Rizzo held at third on the hard hit ball. With runners on first and third with two down, Luis Valbuena hit a routine fly to left that Jason Kubel hauled in to end the inning. Collmenter threw 21 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.
The Cubs’ first lead in nearly a week did not last long. Chris Rusin labored through the first inning and really struggled with throwing strikes … and his defense did not help him either.
AJ Pollock led off with a single to left center (1-2 pitch). Jake Elmore flied out to right. Rusin issued a four-pitch walk to Aaron Hill. With runners on first and second with one down, Justin Upton chopped a 1-0 pitch toward third. Valbuena fielded the ball, stepped on third and threw to first. Valbuena’s throw was low; Rizzo could not scoop and complete the routine double play. Rusin lost Jason Kubel and walked him to load the bases.
Chris Rusin could not find the strike zone and fell behind Cody Ransom 3-0. Ransom swung at Rusin’s next pitch and hit a dribbler up the third baseline. Valbuena ran in and tried to make a barehanded pick up but overran the ball. Hill scored and Upton headed for the plate. Rusin circled behind, picked up the ball and threw home. Anthony Recker did not catch the ball, Upton scored and the Diamondbacks took a 2-1 lead … two runs on a ball that did not make it to third base. With runners on second and third with two down, Mike Jacobs flied out to DeJesus in right to end the inning. Chris Rusin threw 28 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes, and Arizona scored two runs on two hits, two walks and an error.
The Cubs did nothing in the second … 37 pitches for Collmenter, 25 for strikes.
Chris Rusin threw the ball a lot better in the second inning. Rusin retired Wil Nieves on a grounder to third and Collmenter on a liner to center. AJ Pollock ripped a 2-2 pitch into left but Jake Elmore tried to bunt his way on and Rusin picked up the ball (third base side of the mound) and threw him out to end the inning. Rusin threw 39 pitches, 20 for strikes, over his first two innings of work.
David DeJesus flied out to deep center for the first out in the third. Darwin Barney flied out to right (2-2 pitch) but Anthony Rizzo doubled to left center. Rizzo then fell asleep on the bases. Soriano swung at and missed a 2-1 pitch. Rizzo started walking toward the dugout then realized it was only the second strike. Rizzo tried to make it back to the bag but Wil Nieves threw him out to end the inning. Collmenter needed 50 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.
Chris Rusin retired Hill (pop out to third), Upton (pop out to first) and Kubel (called third strike) in order in the third inning … 50 pitches for Rusin after three, 26 for strikes.
After Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to start the fourth, Starlin Castro collected his second hit of the game, a single to right … but Luis Valbuena rapped into a 6-3 inning ending double play. Collmenter needed 65 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete four innings of work.
Chris Rusin set down the side in order in the fourth. Rusin threw 58 pitches, 32 in the zone, over his first four innings on Sunday afternoon.
Brett Jackson grounded out to first (0-2 pitch) to start the fifth. Anthony Recker pounded a 1-2 pitch into left for a single but Chris Rusin was unable to sacrifice him to second. Wil Nieves picked up Rusin’s bunt and threw out Recker at second. David DeJesus flied out to a running Justin Upton in right center to end the inning. Collmenter threw 76 pitches, 53 for strikes, over five innings.
Chris Rusin retired the side in order in the fifth … 68 pitches for Rusin, 39 for strikes.
The Cubs trailed 2-1 after five complete and were outhitting Arizona 6-3.
Bryan Shaw took over for Josh Collmenter in the sixth and retired Darwin Barney on a grounder to second to start the inning. Anthony Rizzo collected his third hit of the game, a single to left (1-0 pitch). Alfonso Soriano followed with a single to left (3-2 pitch) and the Cubs had two on with one out, down by one. Starlin Castro cued the first pitch off the end of his bat toward first. Mike Jacobs bobbled the ball then kicked it into foul ground. Rizzo held at third and the bases were loaded with one down for Luis Valbuena.
Kirk Gibson went to his pen for lefty Mike Zagurski. Valbuena could not check his swing on a 0-2 pitch and was called out. With two down and the bases loaded, Sveum sent up Dave Sappelt to hit for Brett Jackson. Gibson countered with right-hander Matt Albers.
Dave Sappelt chopped a 1-2 pitch toward the hole between first and second. Jacobs fielded the ball and tossed to Albers as Sappelt was hustling up the line. Sappelt was called safe, replays showed the Cubs might have caught a break, and Rizzo scored the tying run. Anthony Recker stepped in and was plunked in the right arm. Soriano trotted in with the go ahead run. With the bases loaded and two down, Sveum sent up Bryan LaHair to hit for Chris Rusin.
Bryan LaHair smoked a 1-0 pitch into right. Castro and Sappelt scored but Upton threw behind LaHair and Jacobs tagged him out to end the inning.
The Cubs took the lead with four runs in the sixth but another baserunning gaffe could have cost them a bigger inning.
Michael Bowden started the sixth by retiring Aaron Hill on a fly out to right. Justin Upton lashed a 3-1 pitch into center for a single … but he did not advance past first base. Jason Kubel launched a 3-2 pitch to deep right that Sappelt hauled in for the second out. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Bowden struck out Cody Ransom swinging to end the inning.
After six complete, the Cubs led 5-2.
Brad Bergesen replaced Albers to start the seventh and David DeJesus greeted him by driving a 1-0 pitch up the middle and off his leg. Bergesen picked up the ball and threw it down the right field line. DeJesus ended up at third on Arizona’s second error of the game. With the infield in, Barney grounded out to second. DeJesus held at third with one out. Anthony Rizzo tapped a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. DeJesus broke on contact and was caught in a rundown (1-2-5-1-2) but DeJesus did his job and got unhung up long enough for Rizzo to advance to second base. Alfonso Soriano crushed a 0-1 pitch toward third. The ball hit off Ransom’s glove, ended up in left and Rizzo scored the Cubs’ sixth run on Arizona’s third error. Castro grounded out to first for the third out.
James Russell pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Russell surrendered a leadoff single to Mike Jacobs (right field) but that was all. Russell struck out Nieves and pinch-hitter Chris Young swinging … and Pollock hit a high chopper to Valbuena (forced Jacobs at second) to end the inning.
After seven complete, the Cubs led 6-2 and were outhitting the D-Backs 10-5.
Matt Lindstrom’s domination of the Chicago Cubs continued on Sunday afternoon. Lindstrom faced the minimum after issuing a one-out walk to Dave Sappelt. Anthony Recker hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play.
Shawn Camp retired Jake Elmore to start the eighth (grounder to third) but Aaron Hill pulled a 2-2 pitch into left for a single. Justin Upton smashed a 0-1 pitch toward second. Darwin Barney made an excellent pick and threw to Castro but Castro did not step on the bag as he threw to first. Upton beat the throw and the Diamondbacks had runners on first and second for Jason Kubel. Kubel grounded a 3-1 pitch toward Barney … 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
And the game went to the ninth with the Cubs up by four …
Takashi Saito replaced Lindstrom in the ninth and retired pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas on a pop out to third. David DeJesus followed and launched his ninth homer of the year into the stands in right (3-1 pitch). Darwin Barney grounded out to short and Rizzo was caught looking to end the inning.
The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth up by a score of 7-2.
Tony Campana entered the game in center, Sappelt moved to left and DeJesus went back to right. Carlos Marmol took over on the hill and issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Wheeler. Mike Jacobs tipped a 3-2 pitch into Recker’s glove for the first out. Wheeler went to second (defensive indifference) on a 1-0 pitch to Wil Nieves. Nieves struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Gerardo Parra grounded out to Barney to end the game.
The Cubs first win on the road against a team in the NL West since September 27, 2011 (21 games).
The final series of the season begins on Monday night at Wrigley Field with the first of three against the Astros. Jason Berken is scheduled to face Lucas Harrell in game one.
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO