Cubs Go Down Swinging – Rays 4, Cubs 3

Game One Hundred Fourteen: Cubs 3, Rays 4 – 10 innings

WP – Brad Boxberger (3-1, BS 2) LP – Hector Rondon (3-4) Save – None

The Cubs played free baseball for the fifth time in 10 games but ended up on the wrong end of one-run game again Friday as the Cubs dropped the opener of the homestand to the Rays. The Cubs are 6-9 in the 15 extra innings games and 12-19 in one-run games.

The Cubs and Rays played a close game, one the Cubs had two different leads in and led by a run as late as the seventh inning. After the Rays took the lead in the eighth on a gift run, Ryan Sweeney (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Justin Ruggiano (1-for-1 with a run scored) with the tying run in the bottom of the ninth and sent the game to extra innings. The Rays pushed in the go ahead run in the tenth on three straight singles off of off Hector Rondon.

The Cubs led the game 2-1 going into the seventh inning. Tsuyoshi Wada was left in for the seventh after limiting the Rays to one run on three hits over the first six innings. Wada gave up a leadoff triple, Rick Renteria went to his pen and the Rays tied the game two batters later.

PrintTsuyoshi Wada put together another solid start. Wada was able to keep the Rays off balance through the first six innings, but he ran up his pitch count and appeared to be out of gas when he took the hill for the seventh inning. Wada was charged with two runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Wada threw 94 pitches, 63 for strikes, in six-plus innings.

Rick Renteria used three different relievers to record three outs in the seventh and Brian Schlitter was hung with the blow save after the Rays tied the game.

Pedro Strop struck out three batters in the eighth but he had to record four outs after Anthony Rizzo failed to cover first base on a ball in the dirt that pinch hitter Kevin Kiermaier swung at and missed. Kiermaier reached, the inning continued and Matt Joyce delivered a go ahead single off of Strop. Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless ninth. Hector Rondon struggled again and gave up the eventual winning run on three hits.

The offense had a rough afternoon against Chris Archer and the Rays pen. The Cubs struck out 12 times, four by Javier Baez, and managed only one free pass and eight hits.

Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a run scored) scored the Cubs first run on a single by Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) after Anthony Rizzo (1-for-5 with a double) just missed a two-run homer to right in the first inning. The wind knocked the ball down and kept it in the park. John Baker (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and a sac bunt) in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

Chris Coghlan (1-for-5) collected a hit but the Cubs managed seven singles and one Anthony Rizzo double Friday afternoon and finished the game 3-for-8 with RISP and left six men on base.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-65 on the season.

After Tsuyoshi Wada wiggled out of a little trouble in the first inning that took 23 pitches, 14 for strikes, to record three outs, Chris Archer retired Coghlan on a grounder to short. Javier Baez stepped to the plate to a nice applause and broke his bat on a 1-1 pitch with a single to left. Anthony Rizzo just missed a home run to right that both Baez and Rizzo thought was gone. The ball hit off the top of the vines in right. And with neither player running hard on the play, Rizzo settled for a double and Baez stopped at third. Starlin Castro singled to right just out of the reach of Logan Forsythe. Baez scored, 1-0 Cubs. With runners on the corners and one out, Luis Valbuena struck out swinging and Alcantara flied out to right to end the inning. Chris Archer threw 19 pitches in the first, 15 for strikes.

The Cubs led 1-0 after one inning.

Desmond Jennings led off the third inning and worked a 3-2 count before cranking his tenth longball of the season into the bleachers in left … and tied the game at one. Wada settled back in and retired Zobrist (flyout to right center, 1-2 pitch), Guyer (foul out to Baker) and Longoria (swinging strikeout) to end the inning. Wada threw a lot of pitches in the first three innings … 61 pitches, 39 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing against Chris Archer in the third and after three complete the game was tied at one.

Tsuyoshi Wada set down the Rays in order in the fourth (73 pitches, 47 strikes) and Archer struck out Luis Valbuena swinging to start the bottom of the fourth. Arismendy Alcantara took a four pitch walk. Ryan Sweeney hit a grounder back up the middle on the first base side of the mound. Archer made a good stop but his throw to second was on the third base side of the bag. Escobar could not haul it in and Archer’s throwing error put runners on first and second with one out. John Baker pulled a 2-0 pitch into right. Alcantara scored easily, 2-1 Cubs. Wada bunted through the first pitch from Archer. Sweeney could not get back to second Curt Casali threw a strike to Escobar, who applied the tag for the second out. Wada struck out swinging to end the inning. Archer threw 61 pitches, 41 for strikes, in four innings.

After four complete, the Cubs had a 2-1 lead.

Tsuyoshi Wada took the hill for the seventh inning after throwing 92 pitches, 61 for strikes, in six innings with the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead. Sean Rodriguez drove a 1-0 pitch into the right field corner and ended up at third with a triple. Rick Renteria decided that was enough for Wada and went to his pen for Brian Schlitter. Renteria pulled his infield in with the tying run on third. Yunel Escobar rolled one to short. Castro checked Rodriguez at third and threw out Escobar for the first out. Curt Casali hit a slow roller toward short. Rodriguez got a good secondary lead and broke on contact for the plate. Castro’s throw was just a little late and Rodriguez slid in headfirst with the tying run. With Casali at first, James Loney was announced as the pinch-hitter for Chris Archer. As soon as Loney was announced, Renteria went to his pen for Wesley Wright. Loney grounded out to Baez at second, but Casali advanced to second on the play. Renteria went back to his pen for Justin Grimm and switched out Chris Valaika with Luis Valbuena at third base. A wild pitch allowed Casali to move to third but Forsythe flied out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Joel Peralta in the seventh. After seven innings, the game was tied at two.

Pedro Strop struck out Desmond Jennings for the first out in the eighth. Ben Zobrist drove a 1-1 pitch into left for a double. Joe Maddon sent up Kevin Kiermaier to hit for Brandon Guyer. Strop got Kiermaier to chase a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. But there was some confusion on the play and Rizzo did not cover first to receive the throw from Baker to complete the out. Kiermaier reached and prolonged the inning. Strop struck out Longoria swinging for the second out. Maddon went to his bench again and sent up Matt Joyce to hit for Peralta. Joyce lined a 0-1 pitch into center. Zobrist scored and the Rays took a 3-2 lead. Maddon called for a double steal with runners on first and second with two outs on a 2-2 pitch to Escobar. Baker threw to second and Baez applied the tag on Joyce to end the inning.

Chris Coghlan led off the eighth with a single to right and advanced to second when Kiermaier overran the ball. But Jake McGee struck out Baez, retired Rizzo on a pop out to short (3-1 pitch) and struck out Castro swinging to end the inning.

After eight innings, the Cubs trailed 3-2.

Carlos Villanueva kept the Rays from adding on in the ninth.

Justin Ruggiano was sent up to hit for Villanueva to start the ninth. Ruggiano singled to left off Brad Boxberger. Alcantara bunted Ruggiano to second with the tying run. And Ryan Sweeny drove a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Ruggiano scored and tied the game at three. Junior Lake ran for Sweeney but Baker grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice and Valaika struck out swinging to end the inning.

Hector Rondon started the 10th and retired Forsythe on a flyout to right. Desmond Jennings ripped a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Ben Zobrist blooped a single into right center. Jennings went to third and scored when Kevin Kiermaier singled to center, 4-3 Rays. Longoria flied out to left. Maddon left Boxberger in to hit for himself and he grounded out to Baez to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the 10th against Brad Boxberger.

Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Jake Odorizzi on Saturday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) in game two against the Rays.

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