Game Sixty-Nine – Cubs 1, Dodgers 0 – 10 innings
WP – Jason Motte (5-1) LP – Joel Peralta (1-1) Save – None
Chris Denorfia delivered in the bottom of the 10th inning with the bases loaded and one out. Denorfia pulled a 1-2 pitch from Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen into the gap in left center. Joc Pederson ran down the ball just before the track. Matt Szczur tagged and scored. And the on-field celebration began.
The Cubs improved to 8-3 in extra-inning games with their Major League leading ninth walk off win of the season. While the Cubs did not light up the scoreboard, the team played one of its most-complete games of the year. The Cubs went toe-to-toe with the Dodgers and for the second day in a row found a way to win the game.
Mike Baxter (1-for-4) led off the 10th inning of a scoreless game with a single to right. Matt Szczur (1-for-4 with a run scored) reached on an infield single to third. Joe Maddon sent up the injured Dexter Fowler (walk) to hit for Jason Motte. Maddon did not have Fowler bunt against Joel Peralta. Maddon is familiar with Peralta and knew there was a better chance of a flyout than Fowler rolling into a double play. Peralta walked Fowler to load the bases with no outs.
Don Mattingly went to his pen and brought in Kenley Jansen to face Addison Russell (0-for-4) with no outs and the base loaded. Russell grounded out to first. Adrian Gonzalez did not field the ball cleanly and had time for only one out, to the plate for the force out.
Chris Denorfia (0-for-1 with a sac fly RBI) stepped in and delivered the game winner.
Jason Hammel outpitched Zack Greinke and the bullpen put zeros on the board in the ninth and tenth inning. Hector Rondon replaced Hammel with runners on first and third with two down in the eighth and Yasiel Puig popped out to Chris Coghlan in shallow left center. It looked like the ball might fall in no man’s land, but Coghlan ran in and made the catch with Starlin Castro, Addison Russell and Matt Szczur all converging on the ball.
Jason Motte pitched a three up, three down 10th inning and picked up a win.
Jason Hammel had a very good outing. Hammel more than bounced back from his previous two starts. Hammel actually outlasted Zack Greinke and just appeared to run out of gas in the eighth inning. Hammel pounded the strike zone with excellent command throughout the night. Both of the walks Hammel issued came in the eighth inning, after the second free pass, Joe Maddon went to the bullpen.
Jason Hammel allowed just two hits and the triple Yasiel Puig was credited with was a routine fly ball to shallow right center that Matt Szczur and Mike Baxter lost in either the lights or the twilight. Hammel walked two and struck out six batters on 107 pitches, 67 for strikes, in 7 2/3 innings.
The Cubs defense stepped it up again Tuesday night. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Chris Coghlan made excellent plays behind Jason Hammel and Hector Rondon.
The Cubs managed only three hits over the first nine innings and a total of five hits on the night.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a walk) extended his hitting streak to seven games with a first inning single. Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a double) and Miguel Montero (1-for-4) collected the other two hits.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 39-30 on the season.
Kyle Hendricks faces Mike Bolsinger under the lights Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT) in game three with the Dodgers.