Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 11, Pirates 10 – 12 innings
WP – Edwin Jackson (2-1) LP – Radhames Liz (1-3) Save – None
There was a little déjà vu in the 12th inning when the Cubs loaded the bases with one out. Starlin Castro walked and a single by Miguel Montero put Castro on third with one out. Just like in the 10th inning, Clint Hurdle intentionally walked Jorge Soler to load the bases for Matt Szczur. Hurdle brought Sean Rodriguez in from the outfield and went with five infielders. Hurdle was forcing Szczur to beat them.
Matt Szczur worked a 3-1 count before popping a ball into shallow right field, almost the same exact play as what happened in the 10th when Gregory Polanco caught the ball and threw home to double up Castro to end the inning. But in the 12th inning there was a rather different result. Polanco slipped, stumbled to the ground and the ball fell in. Castro scored and the Cubs won the ballgame.
The game should have never gotten to extra innings. The Cubs had a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning and led 10-5 after seven innings. The bullpen gave up four runs in the eighth and one in the ninth that sent the game in to extra innings.
The Cubs built up a big lead after not managing their first hit until the third inning. Dexter Fowler (2-for-6 with two runs scored, a sac fly RBI and a stolen base) started the three-run third inning with a single and was along for the ride on a three-run homer by Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run, two walks, two runs scored and four RBI). The Cubs added two more runs on the fourth on a Dexter Fowler sacrifice fly and an Anthony Rizzo (3-for-7 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) solo home run.
The Cubs kept putting runs on the board and added two more in the fifth on a Matt Szczur (2-for-7 with three RBI) single to left with the bases loaded. Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a RBI and four walks) singled in Kris Bryant in the sixth and the Cubs added two more runs in the seventh on an Anthony Rizzo single that scored Addison Russell (1-for-5 with a walk and a run scored) and a Kris Bryant sacrifice fly.
Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored, a stolen base and a HBP) and Miguel Montero (2-for-3 with a HBP) each collected two hits. The Cubs pounded out 15 hits and walked nine times with 10 strikeouts.
Kyle Hendricks made one mistake in his first five innings of work and Pedro Alvarez hit it out of the park. Hendricks appeared to be getting stronger as the game wore on and actually set the side down in order in the fifth inning for the first time. But Hendricks could not record the last out in the sixth inning. Before Joe Maddon could get him out of the game, Hendricks gave up a bases clearing double to Francisco Cervelli that cut the Cubs lead to 7-4. Justin Grimm was unable to get the last out in the sixth before Maddon had to go back to his pen for Zac Rosscup with the bases loaded, two outs and Andrew McCutchen due up with the Cubs clinging to a two-run lead. Rosscup retired McCutchen on a fly out to right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Jason Motte was unable to record an out in the eighth inning before the Pirates made it a 10-6 game on a Josh Harrison solo home run. Pedro Strop served up the three-run homer to Andrew McCutchen in the eighth that made it a one-run game, 10-9 Cubs. And Hector Rondon blew his second save of the season after Josh Harrison doubled with two outs in the ninth, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Francisco Cervelli.
James Russell tossed two scoreless innings while allowing one hit and two walks.
Edwin Jackson completed a scoreless inning and picked up a win after Jorge Soler caught a deep drive down the right field line off the bat of pinch-hitter Vance Worley to end the inning.
The bottom line, with the win on Friday afternoon, the Cubs improved to 20-15 on the season.
The Cubs made Jeff Locke throw 50 pitches in the first two innings. But after two innings, the Cubs did not have a hit in a scoreless game. That quickly changed in the third inning.
Dexter Fowler led off the third with a bloop single to center (2-2 pitch). Fowler stole second on a 1-2 pitch to Anthony Rizzo. And Rizzo smoked a 3-2 pitch toward first that bounced out to Pedro Alvarez’s glove and into foul territory. Jeff Locke did not cover the bag. Bryant stepped in with runners on the corners and no outs.
Kris Bryant quickly fell behind 0-2. Bryant worked a full count before he pulled a 3-2 change-up into the bleachers in left. Bryant’s fourth home run gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Starlin Castro followed with a single to left. Locke retired Castillo (swinging strikeout), Soler (strikeout looking) and Szczur (fly out to left center) to end the inning. Locke threw 86 pitches, 48 for strikes, three innings.
After three complete, the Cubs led 3-0.
The Pirates got a run back in the top of the fourth. Jung Ho Kang grounded out to short for the first out. Pedro Alvarez pulled a 1-1 pitch into the construction area in right. Alvarez’s solo homer cut the Cubs lead to 3-1. Harrison flied out right and Hendricks caught Cervelli looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Hendricks threw 70 pitches, 50 for strikes, in four innings.
Kyle Hendricks led off the fourth with a double to the right field corner (3-1 pitch). Addison Russell dribbled a 0-2 pitch to third. Harrison threw out Russell as Hendricks advanced to third. Clint Hurdle brought his infield in with one out. Dexter Fowler lifted a 3-1 pitch to deep left. The ball just stayed in the park. Hendricks tagged and scored, 4-1 Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo obliterated a 2-0 pitch from Jeff Locke. The ball ended up in the back of the bleachers in the right center field construction area and the Cubs took a 5-1 lead.
Hurdle went to his pen and replaced Jeff Locke with Antonio Bastardo. Bryant ended the inning with a fly out to right on a 3-2 pitch.
At the end of four, the Cubs had a 5-1 lead.
Kyle Hendricks set the Pirates down in order for the first time in the fifth inning. Hendricks threw 84 pitches, 59 for strikes, and had a four run lead after five innings.
Rob Scahill started the fifth for the Pirates. Castro reached on an error by Harrison at third and stole second without a throw with Castillo at the plate (1-2 pitch). Scahill hit Castillo with a 3-2 pitch and put runners on first and second with no outs. Jorge Soler walked to load the bases.
Matt Szczur pulled the first pitch he saw into left. Castro and Castillo scored and gave the Cubs a 7-1 lead. Hendricks was caught looking at a 0-2 pitch for the first out. Hurdle went back to his bullpen and replaced Scahill with hard-throwing Arquimedes Caminero. With runners on first and second and one out, Russell popped out to first and Fowler fouled to Harrison to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks started the sixth with a six-run lead (7-1, Cubs) and retired McCutchen on a pop out to second. Starling Marte reached on an infield single to third. Bryant made an excellent diving stop on a ball hit in the hole and got to his feet quickly. But Marte just beat out the throw. Kang flied out to left for the second out. Pedro Alvarez reached on an infield single up the middle. Russell made a diving stop, but had no play at first base. Josh Harrison smoked a 0-2 pitch into right for a single. Marte was held at third with two outs.
Francisco Cervelli drove a 0-1 pitch to deep right. The ball hit off the top of the bricks, just under the basket and the Pirates cut the Cubs lead to 7-4 with the bases clearing double. Joe Maddon decided that was enough for Hendricks and went to his pen for Justin Grimm.
Corey Hart hit for Caminero and singled to left (2-2 pitch). Cervelli scored and the Cubs lead was just two runs (7-5). Grimm did not get a call on a 2-2 pitch to Polanco and walked him. A passed ball by Welington Castillo allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. Grimm walked Neil Walker to load the bases with two outs.
Joe Maddon went back to his pen and replaced Grimm with lefty Zac Rosscup.
Andrew McCutchen stepped in with the bases loaded, two outs and the Pirates down by two runs. McCutchen worked a full count before flying out to Soler in right field to end the inning.
The Cubs answered the Pirates in the bottom of the sixth and got a run back off Jared Hughes.
Kris Bryant walked with one out. Maddon called for a hit and run on a 1-0 pitch to Castro. Bryant advanced to second as Castro grounded out to third. Miguel Montero batted for Castillo and was hit with a 2-1 pitch.
Jorge Soler singled to right central (0-1 pitch), Bryant scored and gave the Cubs an 8-5 lead. Szczur struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs led 8-5 after six innings.
Zac Rosscup pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. And the Cubs went back to work in the home half of the seventh.
Addison Russell walked with one out. Maddon called for a hit and run and Fowler singled to right. Russell hustled to third with one out. Anthony Rizzo smoked a singled to right between Fowler’s legs. Russell scored, 9-5 Cubs, and Fowler advanced to third with one out.
Kris Bryant just missed a three-run homer and settled for a sac fly to left center. Fowler tagged and scored 10-5 Cubs. Castro was hit by a pitch and put two on with two down. Miguel Montero grounded out to Rodriguez in shallow right with Hughes covering first to end the inning.
Jason Motte started the eighth inning with the Cubs leading 10-5 and the Pirates started chipping away again.
Josh Harrison drove a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in center and made it 10-6. Cervelli followed with a bloop single to right. Maddon went back to the pen for Pedro Strop.
Sean Rodriguez popped out to second. But Strop walked Polanco and put two on with one out for pinch-hitter Jordy Mercer. Castro made a head’s up play when he fielded a grounder in the hole at short and threw to Bryant to force Cervelli for the second out. A passed ball with McCutchen at the plate allowed both runners to move up ninety feet, but it would not matter.
Andrew McCutchen pulled a 2-0 pitch into the bleachers in left center and cut the Cubs lead to 10-9. Strop struck out Marte swinging to end the inning.
Tony Watson retired the Cubs in order in the eighth and Hector Rondon took the hill in the ninth with the Cubs clinging to a 10-9 lead.
Hector Rondon struck out Kang (swinging) and Alvarez (looking) for the first two outs. Josh Harrison doubled to left on a 3-2 pitch. A wild pitch allowed Harrison to take third and he trotted in and tied the game at 10 on a single to center by Francisco Cervelli. Rodriguez grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Tony Watson in the ninth … and the game went to the 10th inning tied at 10.
James Russell put a zero on the board in the 10th inning.
Starlin Castro singled to center with one out and went to third on single to center by Miguel Montero. Mark Melancon intentionally walked Soler and loaded the bases with one out. Clint Hurdle brought in Sean Rodriguez in from the outfield and went with a five-man infield.
Matt Szczur popped a 2-0 pitch into shallow right field. Polanco caught the ball. Castro tagged and tried to score. Polanco threw out Castro by 20 feet to end the inning.
James Russell pitched a scoreless 11th inning. The Cubs worked around a two out double by Josh Harrison in the 11th when Cervelli flied out to right field for the third out.
Anthony Rizzo grounded out to Harrison in the shift with Addison Russell at second base to end the 11th and the game went to the 12th innings still tied at 10.
Edwin Jackson made his way to the mound. Sean Rodriguez flied out to center for the first out. Jackson walked Polanco. With Jordy Mercer at the plate, Gregory Polanco stole second and moved to third when Mercer field out to center. Jackson intentionally walked McCutchen with the pitcher’s spot due up.
Vance Worley hit for Melancon and drove a 0-2 pitch down the right field line. Soler ran back, reached out and caught the ball just before the padding to end the inning. It was far from a routine play. The ball appeared to move in Soler’s glove once he caught it.
Radhames Liz struck out Bryant for the first out in the 12th. Castro worked his second walk of the game and went to third on a single to right center by Montero. Clint Hurdle walked Soler again, brought in Rodriguez and tried to set up the 10th inning again.
Matt Szczur popped a 3-1 pitch in almost the same spot in shallow right as he did in the 10th. But Gregory Polanco slipped, appeared to catch his cleats in the grass and fell. Castro scored and the Cubs won the game.
Jon Lester faces Gerrit Cole on Saturday afternoon (3:05pm CDT).