Game Five – Cubs 6, Rockies 5
WP – Neil Ramirez (1-0) LP – LaTroy Hawkins (1-1, BS 2) Save – Hector Rondon (2)
Down to his last strike with the tying run on first base, Dexter Fowler delivered Sunday afternoon in Denver as the Cubs won in dramatic fashion over the Rockies. And took the weekend series two games to one.
The Cubs trailed 5-3 going into the ninth inning. Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) worked a one out walk against LaTroy Hawkins and moved to second base on a wild pitch with Mike Olt at the plate. Hawkins struck out Olt for the second out in the ninth.
Welington Castillo (1-for-1 with a RBI) hit for Jonathan Herrera and singled to center. Alcantara scored, 5-4 Rockies. Fowler stepped in and fell into a 0-2 hole.
Dexter Fowler pulled Hawkins’ next pitch into the stands in right. Fowler’s first homer in a Cubs’ uniform, a two-run shot gave his new team a one-run lead over his old team.
Hector Rondon allowed a two-out double in the ninth to Charlie Blackmon. After Blackmon stole third base, Rondon got Carlos Gonzalez to pop out to Alcantara in short center to end the game.
Kyle Hendricks had a rough day, but maybe not as bad as the defense or offense. If not for Fowler’s two-run shot in the ninth, the Cubs would have been answering more questions about failing to hit with runners in scoring position (4-for-14 with RISP, five men left on base) and its poor defense.
The Rockies touched up Kyle Hendricks for five runs, the most Hendricks has ever been charged with in a single start at the Major League level. After the game he said he didn’t have it Sunday. One could argue, if Chris Coghlan catches the ball in left center instead of it falling for a three-run triple, Hendricks might have felt better about the way he pitched.
Hendricks lasted only 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Hendricks threw 84 pitches, 58 for strikes, before turning the game over to the pen.
What will be lost in the ninth inning comeback is the performance turned in by the bullpen. Jason Motte, Phil Coke and Neil Ramirez kept the Rockies from adding on.
Jason Motte cleaned up Hendricks’ mess in the fifth and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Phil Coke gave up just one hit in his 1 1/3 scoreless and Neil Ramirez struck out both batters he faced in the eighth.
Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI), Kyle Hendricks (1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored) and Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs other three runs. Chris Coghlan (1-for-1 with a run scored and two walks) reached base all three times.
What a homecoming for Dexter Fowler … and what a weekend for the Chicago Cubs.
Chris Coghlan led off the second inning with a walk and moved up to second base when Starlin Castro hit a roller toward third. Coghlan broke with the pitch and Arenado’s only play was to first base. Miguel Montero stepped in and collected his first hit in a Cubs’ uniform, a double to left central, Coghlan scored, 1-0 Cubs. Arismendy Alcantara grounded out to second, Montero moved to third but was stranded when Kyle Hendricks grounded out to short for the third out.
Kyle Hendricks took the hill in the bottom of the second. And by the time the Cubs could record five outs, the Rockies had put a four spot on the board.
Justin Morneau grounded out to short for the first out. Corey Dickerson worked a full count before lining a single into left. Michael McKenry followed with a single to center. With runners on first and second with one down, Daniel Descalso hit a ball back up the middle. Hendricks got a glove on the ball, but did not catch it cleanly. The Rockies loaded the bases with what was ruled an infield single. With Walt Weiss also batting his pitcher eighth, Jordan Lyles stepped in with the bases loaded and popped out to second.
Hendricks appeared to get out of the jam when D.J. LeMahieu pulled a 0-2 to left central. The ball hung up long enough for Coghlan to make a play, but Coghlan misplayed another ball. LeMahieu ended up a third with a bases clearing triple and the Rockies took a 3-1 lead.
Charlie Blackmon followed with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch. LeMahieu scored, 4-1 Rockies. Hendricks finally got out of the inning when Gonzalez grounded out to Castro in the shift for the third out. Hendricks threw 38 pitches in the second inning. And after two complete, the Cubs trailed 4-1.
The game remained 4-1 Rockies through the third and fourth innings.
Arismendy Alcantara led off the fifth and reached on an error by Daniel Descalso. With Hendricks at the plate, Alcantara swiped second base. Kyle Hendricks singled to center, Alcantara scored and cut the Rockies lead to 4-2.
Jonathan Herrera reached on a bunt single. With runners on first and second with one out, Dexter Fowler blooped a 3-1 pitch into shallow center that fell in between four Rockies’ defenders. And the Cubs had the bases loaded with no outs for Rizzo.
Anthony Rizzo drove a 2-2 pitch into left. Dickerson hauled it in, Hendricks scored and the Rockies lead was down to 4-3. Jorge Soler stepped in with two on and one down. Soler smoked a ball right to LeMahieu, Fowler was doubled off first to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks walked Charlie Blackmon to start the fifth. Carlos Gonzalez doubled to center. Blackmon scored, 5-3 Rockies. Arenado flied out to center. Gonzalez went to third on the play. And Maddon went to his bullpen with one down in the fifth.
Jason Motte replaced Hendricks and retired Morneau (pop fly to Alcantara in shallow right) and Dickerson (soft liner to third base) to end the inning.
After five complete, the Cubs trailed 5-3.
The Cubs pen kept the Rockies from adding on to their lead and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 5-3.
Lefty Boone Logan retired pinch-hitter Matt Szczur and Starlin Castro for the last two outs in the eighth. Walt Weiss sent Logan out to face Montero to start the ninth. Logan caught Montero looking for the first out. Weiss made the slow walk and went to the pen for his closer LaTroy Hawkins.
Arismendy Alcantara worked a walk. Joe Maddon sent up Mike Olt to hit for Neil Ramirez. Olt struck out swinging but during the at bat, Hawkins uncorked a wild pitch. Alcantara moved up ninety feet.
Welington Castillo batted for Jonathan Herrera and singled to center on a 1-1 pitch. Alcantara scored, 5-4 Rockies. Fowler stepped in with the tying run on first base in Welington Castillo.
Hawkins quickly jumped ahead 0-2.
Dexter Fowler pulled a slider on a 0-2 pitch over the wall in right. And the Cubs went from being down to their last strike to being up by a run in the ninth. Rizzo was caught looking to end the inning.
Hector Rondon struck out Troy Tulowitzki swinging for the first out. The Cubs finally gotD.J. LeMahieu out. He rolled a grounder to Alcantara for the second out. Charlie Blackmon kept the game going with a double to left. Blackmon swiped third with Gonzalez at the plate.
Hector Rondon retired Carlos Gonzalez on a pop out to Alcantara in short center to end the game.
The Cubs return to Wrigley and begin a three-game series with the Reds on Monday night. Jon Lester takes on Mike Leake in the opener.