Game Fifty-Eight: Cubs 5, Marlins 3 – 13 innings
WP – Carlos Villanueva (2-5) LP – Kevin Slowey (1-1) Save – None
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 13th inning and the Cubs walked off the field at the old ballyard with their fourth straight win. It took 13 innings but for the first time this season the Cubs have won four games in a row. And the Cubs have a winning record at Wrigley Field (14-13).
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-6 with a home run, a double and four RBI) had a huge game at the plate. Rizzo drove in four of the Cubs’ five runs with a two-run double in the eighth and the walk-off shot in the 13th inning, his 12th home run of the season. Anthony Rizzo has scored or driven in the winning run in each of the Cubs last four games.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning after Chris Coghlan (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Nate Schierholtz (2-for-5 with a triple and a run scored) in the fifth. Anthony Rizzo delivered the two-run double in the eighth that gave the Cubs a three-run lead.
Hector Rondon could not close the game out. The Marlins loaded the bases on three bloop singles and after a fielder’s choice groundout by Justin Bour cut the Cubs lead to 3-1, Reed Johnson lined a two-run single into right center that tied the game at three.
Jason Hammel was very good once again. Hammel followed up his seven innings of shutout ball in Milwaukee with seven scoreless innings on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Hammel had excellent command once again. Hammel scattered six hits and issued one intentional walk while striking out eight batters. Hammel threw 99 pitches, 66 for strikes, over seven innings.
Wesley Wright and Neil Ramirez (two strikeouts) retired the side in order in the eighth.
Brian Schlitter and Carlos Villanueva each pitched two scoreless innings after Rondon could not hold the lead in the ninth.
Cubs’ pitching struck out 17 batters and issued one free pass on Friday afternoon.
With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 24-34 on the season.
Nathan Eovaldi did not allow a baserunner in the first four innings. Eovaldi threw only 50 pitches, 37 for strikes, in four innings and was in total control. Eovaldi retired Castro on a pop out to first and Valbuena on a flyout to right for the first two outs in the fifth. Nate Schierholtz collected the Cubs first hit with a single to center. Chris Coghlan stepped in and pulled a 1-0 pitch into right. Giancarlo Stanton was playing Coghlan in right center. Schierholtz was waived around and scored, 1-0 Cubs, on Coghlan’s double. Eovaldi intentionally walked John Baker. With runners on first and second with two outs, Jason Hammel grounded out to short.
At the end of five, the Cubs had a 1-0 lead.
Jason Hammel kept the Marlins off the board in the sixth and seventh innings while Nathan Eovaldi pitched around the Cubs’ third hit in the seventh inning, a two-out triple by Nate Schierholtz.
Jason Hammel turned the game over to the bullpen with a 1-0 lead in the eighth.
Wesley Wright retired Christian Yelich and Neil Ramirez struck out both Ed Lucas and Giancarlo Stanton swinging to end the eighth.
The game went to the bottom of the eighth with the Cubs up 1-0 and Nathan Eovaldi was left in to face the bottom of the Cubs’ lineup. Eovaldi struck out Baker swinging for the first out. Justin Ruggiano hit for Ramirez and doubled into the right field corner. Emilio Bonifacio hit a smash back up the middle. Eovaldi knocked the ball down, picked it up, looked Ruggiano back to second and had no play on Bonifacio at first base. With two on and one down, Junior Lake hit a grounder toward first. Garrett Jones knocked the ball down and threw to second to force Bonifacio for the second out. Anthony Rizzo stepped in with runners on the corners and two down. Rizzo drove a 2-1 pitch just out of the reach of Yelich in left. Ruggiano and Lake scored on Rizzo’s double, 3-0 Cubs. Mike Redmond went to his pen for Bryan Morris. After a wild pitch advanced Rizzo to third, Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.
And the game went to the ninth with the Cubs up 3-0.
Hector Rondon took the hill for the ninth and Casey McGehee greeted him with a bloop single to right center just out of the reach of Bonifacio. Garrett Jones followed with a bloop single to left and all of the sudden Rondon was in trouble. Marcell Ozuna struck out swinging for the first out. Adeiny Hechavarria blooped a single into right center (1-2 pitch) and the Marlins had the bases loaded with one out. Justin Bour pinch hit for Eovaldi. Rondon fell behind Bour 2-1 before he blew a fastball past him. Bour pulled the 3-2 offering toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball cleanly and underhanded it to Rondon. It appeared Rondon overran the bag and Bour was called safe as McGehee scored, 3-1 Cubs. Rick Renteria challenged the call and it was overturned. Reed Johnson was summoned from the bench to hit for Morris with runners on second and third with two down. Johnson lined Rondon’s first pitch into right center. Jones and Hechavarria scored, game tied at three. Rondon struck out Yelich swinging to end the inning.
And it was time for free baseball … after nine innings the game was tied at three.
Neither team could push a run across the plate in the 10th, 11th or 12th innings. And the game went to the 13th still tied at three.
Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless 13th inning and Junior Lake led off the home half with a single to center off Kevin Slowey.
Anthony Rizzo stepped in and crushed Slowey’s first pitch, the ball sailed over the wall in right just inside the fair pole. And the Cubs walked off with a win for the second time on the homestand.
Jeff Samardzija faces veteran southpaw Randy Wolf on Saturday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) in game two of three with the Fish.