Game One Hundred Nine – Cubs 8, Giants 6
WP – Kyle Hendricks (6-5) LP – Matt Cain (2-3) Save – Justin Grimm (3)
It was a total team effort Saturday as the Cubs beat the Giants for the third day in a row. Seven of the eight position players in Joe Maddon’s starting lineup reached base at least two times and five different Cubs drove in runs.
Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and three RBI) continues to produce at Wrigley Field. After hustling down the line in the first to prevent an inning ending double play that allowed Kyle Schwarber (2-for-4 with a HBP, a RBI and a run scored) to score, Bryant launched a two-run homer in the third that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
In his first start since returning from the DL, Miguel Montero (1-for-2 with two walks, a RBI and a run scored) broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth with a single to center that allowed Bryant to score.
The Cubs added ‘jug’ runs, as Joe Maddon likes to call them, in the eighth inning. Addison Russell (3-for-4 with two doubles, a RBI and a run scored) singled in Montero with his third hit of the game. Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, a HBP, a RBI and a run scored) tripled in Russell and he scored on a single from Kyle Schwarber. And it as it turned out, the Cubs ‘jug’ runs in the eighth were the difference in the game.
Dexter Fowler extended his on-base streak to 22 games and Addison Russell collected the second, three-hit game of his young career.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a walk and a runs scored) scored runs while keeping the line moving.
The Cubs kept the pressure on Matt Cain early in the game with a lot of loud outs. Brandon Crawford and the Giants defense made plays behind Cain that allowed him to stay in the game. The Cubs went down in order only one time on the afternoon, the seventh inning. The Cubs scored eight runs on 11 hits with six walks and two HBP. The Cubs were 4-for-12 with RISP and left seven men on base.
Kyle Hendricks pitched a little better than his final line indicates. Hendricks limited the Giants to three runs in 5 1/3 innings and really did not make any mistakes. The 2-run homer by Brandon Belt in the second inning ended up in the basket in right. Belt did not square up Hendricks. The hardest hit ball off Hendricks was the run scoring double off the wall in left by Brandon Crawford that tied the game at three in the fourth inning.
Travis Wood picked up the last two outs in the sixth inning with the tying runs on base. Wood struck out Brandon Belt and retired Brandon Crawford on a grounder to Rizzo. Wood issued a one out walk in the seventh but that was all in his 1 2/3 innings. Wood recorded five big outs Saturday afternoon.
Pedro Strop was as good as he’s been all year in the eighth. Strop set the Giants down in order and he struck out Buster Posey and Hunter Pence for the last two outs in the eighth.
Joe Maddon had to use James Russell, Jason Motte and Justin Grimm in the ninth to nail down the win with Hector Rondon unavailable. The Cubs started the ninth with a 8-3 lead. The Giants scored three runs off Russell and Motte before Matt Duffy stepped in representing the tying run.
Justin Grimm picked up the save after Matt Duffy grounded out to Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo scooped the low throw for the 27th out.
With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to a season-high 13 games over .500 with a 61-48 record. And the Cubs moved 2 ½ games ahead of the Giants for the second NL Wild Card.
Kyle Hendricks faced the minimum in the first inning. Anthony Rizzo dropped a pop up on the infield that allowed Nori Aoki to reach. Buster Posey rapped into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Hendricks made 10 pitches, nine for strikes, in the first inning.
Dexter Fowler grounded out to Belt to start the first inning. Matt Cain plunked Kyle Schwarber with a 0-1 offering. Chris Coghlan followed with a single to left (1-1 pitch) and Rizzo stepped in with runners on first and second. Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases.
Kris Bryant smoked a 0-1 pitch back up the middle to the third base side of second. Brandon Crawford made a sensational diving stop of the one-hop smash and flipped to second base. Bryant beat the throw to first and Schwarber scored, 1-0 Cubs. Crawford took a hit away from Bryant and saved at least one run. Jorge Soler grounded out to short to end the inning … 19 pitches for Cain after one innings, 11 for strikes.
The Cubs 1-0 lead disappeared in the second inning.
Buster Posey broke his bat and lined a 0-1 pitch back to Hendricks for the first out. Hendricks did not get the call on a 3-2 pitch to Hunter Pence and walked him. Brandon Belt got just enough of a 1-2 pitch that the ball ended up in the basket in right … 2-1 Giants.
Brandon Crawford appeared to re-start the inning when he was called safe on a grounder to second. Maddon challenged the bang-bang play and the call was reversed. Adrianza popped out to left to end the inning. Hendricks threw 28 pitches, 19 for strikes, in two innings.
The Cubs made a lot of hard contact in the second inning, but could not string any hits together. Addison Russell doubled down the left field line with two outs. After Fowler was hit by a pitch and extended his on-base streak to 22 games, Kyle Schwarber smoked Cain’s first pitch right to Belt to end the inning.
The Cubs trailed the Giants 2-1 after two innings.
Kyle Hendricks did not allow a two-out walk to Aoki cost him a run in the third. Hendricks threw 46 pitches in three innings, 30 for strikes.
After Coghlan grounded out to third base to start the third, Anthony Rizzo beat the shift with a single to left off a diving Matt Duffy’s glove.
Kris Bryant fell behind 0-2 before cranking his 15th homer of the season into the bleachers in left center. Bryant’s two-run blast gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Jorge Soler and Miguel Montero worked back-to-back walks. But a poorly executed bunt bailed out Matt Cain. Kyle Hendricks did not bunt the ball far enough away from the plate. Buster Posey picked it up and started a 2-5-4 double play to end the inning. Cain made 58 pitches, 35 for strikes, in three innings.
The Cubs had a 3-2 lead after three innings … that went away in the fourth inning.
Hendricks caught Buster Posey looking for the first out in the fourth. Hunter Pence singled to left. Hendricks struck out Belt swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out.
Brandon Crawford just missed a home run to left. The ball hit off the ivy and Pence scored, game tied at three. Adrianza lined out to Soler in right to end the inning. Hendricks needed 62 pitches, 41 for strikes, to complete four innings.
Addison Russell led off the fourth with a double off the wall in left. Russell just missed a home run. Fowler walked and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Schwarber flied out to left center, Coghlan flied out to left and Rizzo struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
At the end of four, the game was tied at three.
Kyle Hendricks pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning … 72 pitches, 48 for strikes, for Hendricks after five.
Kris Bryant went from 0-2 to 4-2 to start the fifth. Jorge Soler singled to left on a 3-2 pitch and put runners on first and second for Montero. Bruce Bochy decided to make a change and replaced Matt Cain with George Kontos.
Miguel Montero singled to center on a 2-2 pitch. Bryant scored, 4-3 Cubs. With runners on the corners and no outs, Kyle Hendricks swung away at a 0-1 pitch. Hendricks hit the ball back up the middle. Crawford fielded the ball near the bag, stepped on second and fired to first to complete the 6-3 double play as Soler scored, 5-3 Cubs. Russell flied out to right for the third out.
The Cubs had a 5-3 lead after five innings.
Kyle Hendricks got Duffy to groundout to second for the first out in the sixth. Buster Posey singled to left and Hunter Pence hooked a 2-2 pitch into left. With runners on first and second with one out, Maddon went to his bullpen for Travis Wood.
Wood struck out Brandon Belt swinging (2-2 pitch) and Brandon Crawford bounced out to Rizzo to end the inning (3-1).
George Kontos faced the minimum in the sixth after Buster Posey threw out Schwarber trying to steal second base and Maddon’s challenge was upheld.
The Cubs led 5-3 after six innings.
Travis Wood pitched a scoreless seventh and Pedro Strop was electric in the eighth. Strop struck out Posey and Pence for the last two outs in the eighth. And the game went to the bottom of the eighth with the Cubs leading 5-3.
Bruce Bochy wanted to get his closer some work Saturday. Santiago Casilla started the eighth by walking Miguel Montero. Chris Denorfia grounded out to third. Montero advanced to second on the play. Addison Russell collected his third hit of the game, a single to left center. Montero scored, 6-3 Cubs. Russell advanced to second when Pagan overran the ball. Dexter Fowler pulled a 0-2 pitch into the right field corner. Russell scored easily, 7-3 Cubs and Fowler ended up a third with a standing triple.
Kyle Schwarber singled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Fowler scored, 8-3 Cubs. Jonathan Herrera grounded into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play.
The Cubs took an 8-3 lead into the ninth inning.
James Russell started the ninth and retired Belt on a fly out to left center. Crawford singled to right center on a 2-1 pitch. Ehire Adrianza doubled into the left field corner, Crawford scored … 8-4 Cubs. Maddon went to his pen for Jason Motte. And Bruce Bochy sent up Gregor Blanco to hit for Kelby Tomlinson. Blanco flied out to center for the second out.
Angel Pagan blooped a single into right. Adrianza scored, 8-5 Cubs. Pagan took second on defensive indifference on the first pitch to Aoki. Motte missed with his next pitch. Nori Aoki lashed a single into right. Pagan scored, 8-6 Cubs and all of the sudden Matt Duffy walked to the plate representing the tying run.
Joe Maddon went back to his pen and replaced Motte with Justin Grimm.
Matt Duffy rolled a 1-2 pitch toward short. Russell fielded the ball cleanly, Anthony Rizzo dug out the low throw … Cubs win!
Jake Arrieta squares off against Jake Peavy in the series finale with the Giants on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).