Game Sixty-Four – Cubs 3, Indians 4
WP – Zach McAllister (2-2) LP – Travis Wood (3-3) Save – Bryan Shaw (1)
Kyle Schwarber smacked a two-run homer to left and tied the game at three in the fifth before rain delayed the game for an hour and 16 minutes. When play resumed, the Cubs barely took the bat off their shoulder and lost the finale in Cleveland.
Thursday was really two games in one. After rain delayed the start of the game for 26 minutes, the Cubs had the Indians on the ropes in the fifth, tied the game and had the bases loaded before it started pouring at Progressive Field. When the game resumed, Terry Francona sent his closer out to get the last out in the fifth. Miguel Montero (0-for-3 with a walk) flied out to left and the Cubs barely put the ball in play over the last four innings.
Kyle Schwarber (2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) had his hands in all three runs the Cubs scored Thursday night. Schwarber singled in the third and scored the Cubs’ first run after a single by Dexter Fowler (2-for-5) and an error from Francisco Lindor. Schwarber tied the game at three with a big fly to the opposite field in the fifth with Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a run scored) on board.
Kris Bryant (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with an infield single in the fifth. The Cubs managed seven hits on the night but the offense did very little after the rain delay. And to stay the Cubs were flat would be an understatement.
Seven straight Cubs struck out in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, five straight looking and at one point 10 straight Cubs did not put the ball in play. The Cubs struck out 13 times on Thursday night, nine of the 13 over the last four innings.
Jason Hammel settled down after a rough start but lasted only four innings because of the rain. Hammel labored through a 36-pitch first inning and needed 86 pitches to complete four innings. Hammel gave up two runs to the first three batters he faced Thursday night. And his wild pitch in the fourth led to the Indians third run.
Jason Hammel was charged with three runs, two earned, on three hits with two walks, a wild pitch and six strikeouts in four innings.
Travis Wood was hung with the loss. Wood pitched two scoreless innings after play resumed. But he allowed back-to-back hits to Yan Gomes and Michael Bourn with one out in the seventh before Justin Grimm was summoned from the pen. Grimm surrendered the single to Giovanny Urshela that plated Gomes with the go-ahead run.
James Russell and Pedro Strop did their jobs and kept it a one-run game.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 35-29 on the season.
The Cubs went down in order on nine pitches, six for strikes, to start the game. Danny Salazar barely broke a sweat.
Jason Hammel really labored through the first inning. Jason Kipnis put together a nine-pitch at bat that ended with a walk. Francisco Lindor singled to left and put runners on the corners with no outs. Michael Brantley hit a ground rule double to left. Kipnis trotted in and the Indians had runners on second and third with no outs and a run in after the first three batters.
A 0-1 pitch to Carlos Santana got past Montero. Lindor scored and Brantley moved to third with no outs. With the Indians already up 2-0, a runner on third and no outs, Hammel struck out Santana swinging on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Hammel found his command and struck out both David Murphy and Brandon Moss swinging to end the inning.
Jason Hammel threw 36 pitches in the first inning, 23 for strikes. After one complete, the Cubs were down 2-0.
Kyle Schwarber singled to right with one out in the third, the Cubs first hit of the game. After Addison Russell popped out to second, Dexter Fowler singled to right. Schwarber advanced to third and scored when Lindor made a rookie mistake. Lindor threw behind Fowler and tried to get the out at first base. The ball hit Fowler, Schwarber saw the ball get away and he scampered in, 2-1 Indians. Fowler went to second on the play but was stranded when Anthony Rizzo flied out to left (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Jason Hammel issued another walk to Kipnis, but that was all for the Indians in the third inning. Hammel made 68 pitches in three innings, 43 for strikes.
The Cubs were down 2-1 after three innings.
Danny Salazar sat the Cubs down in order in the fourth. And the Indians were given a run in the bottom of the inning.
David Murphy led off the fourth with a double to right center. A wild pitch on a 1-1 offering to Moss skipped under Montero. Murphy went to third. Maddon brought his infield in. Moss grounded out to Rizzo by the first base bag. Murphy could not advance. With the infield still in, Yan Gomes lifted a 3-1 pitch out to left. Murphy tagged after Coghlan made the catch and scored … 3-1 Indians. Bourn flied out to center to end the inning.
After four innings, the Indians led 3-1.
Chris Coghlan singled to right center under Kipnis’ glove to start the fifth. Lindor took a bloop hit away from Denorfia with a sensational catch in shallow left with his back to the infield.
Kyle Schwarber stepped in and quickly fell behind 0-2. Schwarber would not chase and worked the count back to even then full. Schwarber drove Salazar’s 3-2 pitch into the stands in left … and his first big league home run tied the game at three.
Danny Salazar lost it after Schwarber’s home run and Mother Nature actually bailed him and the Indians out of a big jam.
Addison Russell followed Schwarber’s shot with a walk and went to second on a single to center by Dexter Fowler. As it started raining, Rizzo flied out to right. Kris Bryant reached on an infield single to first and loaded the bases with two outs.
At that point the game was put in a rain delay.
One hour and 16 minutes later play resumed and Terry Francona made the right call. Francona had his closer, Cody Allen enter the game with the bases loaded and two outs in tied game. Miguel Montero flied out to left to end the inning.
Travis Wood replaced Hammel for the fifth and faced the minimum.
The game was tied at three after two rain delays and five innings.
Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a single to right. Cody Allen caught Coghlan, Denorfia and Schwarber looking to end the inning. Travis Wood pitched a 1-2-3 sixth and the game went to the seventh tied at three.
The Cubs struck out in the seventh and Wood started the bottom of the seventh by catching Moss looking at a 3-2 pitch. Yan Gomes singled to left and Michael Bourn, who was going to figure in an outcome of one of the games with the Indians, singled to center. With two on and one out, Maddon went to his pen for Justin Grimm.
Giovanny Urshela pulled a 0-1 pitch into left center. Gomes scored and the Indians took a 4-3 lead. Kipnis rolled into a 3-6 fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and two out, Maddon made another pitching change. James Russell replaced Grimm and he retired Lindor on a grounder to third to end the inning.
After seven innings, the Indians had a 4-3 lead … and that was the final score.
The Cubs kickoff a three-game series in Minneapolis on Friday night (7:10pm CDT) … Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to face Phil Hughes in the opener.