Game Eighty-Nine – Cubs 4, Braves 0
WP – Jon Lester (5-8) LP – Manny Banuelos (1-1) Save – None
Jon Lester took a no-hitter into the eighth inning after a decision by the official scorer, John Wilkinson, in the seventh changed the Braves only hit of the game to an error. Lester gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, A.J. Pierzynski and left with the tying runs on base and one out in the eighth. Hector Rondon and Jason Motte preserved the win as the Cubs snapped the franchise’s eight-game losing streak in Atlanta on Saturday night.
Jon Lester was at the top of his game and faced just two batters over the minimum through six innings. The Braves only hit was in the first inning on a ball that was misplayed by Kris Bryant. With the Cubs leading 2-0 at the time the scoring change was made the game took on a little bit more significance. Lester made quick work of the Braves in the seventh but could not get past Pierzynski in the eighth.
Jon Lester worked extremely well with David Ross on Saturday night and made the two runs he was given hold up. Lester turned the game over to Hector Rondon with two on and one out in the eighth. Rondon retired the next two batters and ended the inning.
Jon Lester picked up his first win since May 16 after allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings. Lester walked one, hit A.J. Pierzynski and struck out seven on 110 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Jason Motte nailed down the win with a strikeout and walk in the ninth.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in two of the four runs with a pair of two-out hits, both off lefties. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Chris Denorfia (2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) in the fourth.
The Cubs scored four runs on eight hits and five walks. Dexter Fowler (0-for-2 with three walks and a run scored) walked three times and scored a run and Kris Bryant (1-for-5 with two runs scored) ended up at third on a throwing error in the ninth after grounding out to third base. Bryant scored the fourth and final run.
Jorge Soler (1-for-5) and Addison Russell (1-for-4) had hits and Kyle Schwarber (0-for-1) flied out to center pinch hitting for Hector Rondon leading off the ninth inning.
The Cubs posted the first victory at Turner Field since July 5, 2012. And with Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 48-41 on the season.
Kris Bryant singled to left with two outs in the third inning of a scoreless game. Manny Banuelos uncorked a wild pickoff throw to first base following a 2-1 pitch to Rizzo. Chris Johnson could not keep the ball from rolling into foul ground. Bryant went to third.
Anthony Rizzo singled to right on a 2-2 pitch, Bryant scored and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Jorge Soler flied out to center for the third out.
Jon Lester sat the Braves down in order in the third … Simmons popped out to Russell, Banuelos struck out swinging and Peterson was caught looking. Lester threw 37 pitches, 22 for strikes, in three innings.
The Cubs had a 1-0 lead after three innings.
Chris Denorfia led off the fourth with a double to left over Jonny Gomes head. The ball short-hopped the wall and Deno ended up at second. Starlin Castro followed with a single to right center (0-1 pitch). Denorfia scored, 2-0 Cubs. David Ross grounded out to second. Castro was forced but Ross took over at first. Lester struck out looking and Russell went down swinging to end the inning.
Jon Lester pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning. Lester made 51 pitches, 31 for strikes, in four innings.
After four complete, the Cubs led 2-0.
With the Cubs still leading 2-0 as the game shifted to the top of the seventh inning official scorer Jack Wilkinson announced that he changed the scoring on a hit by Nick Markakis in the first inning. A ball Kris Bryant tried to backhand on a short hop skipped past him and Markakis was given a hit. Wilkinson changed it to E5 and all of the sudden Jon Lester had a no-hitter. Lester faced just two over the minimum through six innings.
The Cubs were unable to take advantage of a leadoff walk by Dexter Fowler in the seventh. David Aardsma retired Bryant (flyout to right), Rizzo (swinging strikeout) and Soler (strikeout looking) to end the inning.
Jon Lester pitched a three up, three down seventh inning. Lester was at 97 pitches after seven innings, 57 for strikes.
After seven complete, the Cubs led 2-0 and Jon Lester had a no-hitter intact.
The Cubs went down in order in the eighth and Lester took the mound for the eighth.
A.J. Pierzynski led off the eighth with a clean single to right … the first hit of the night against Lester. Juan Uribe launched a 3-2 pitch to deep left center. Dexter Fowler made a terrific running catch as he hit the track for the first out. Andrelton Simmons singled to center (3-1 pitch) and put two on with one out.
Joe Maddon popped up as soon as Eury Perez was announced as the pinch hitter for David Aardsma. Maddon made the slow walk and went to his pen for Hector Rondon. Fredi Gonzalez countered Maddon’s move and sent up Kelly Johnson to hit for Perez.
Hector Rondon retired Johnson on a fly out to left and caught Jace Peterson looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
After eight innings, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.
Ryan Kelly started the ninth for the Braves and Maddon sent up Kyle Schwarber to hit for Rondon. Schwarber flied out to center on the first pitch. Addison Russell singled to left center (0-1 pitch) and Dexter Fowler worked his third walk of the game.
With runners on first and second, Kris Bryant drilled a 3-2 pitch right to Juan Uribe at third. Uribe fielded the ball cleanly, ran to the bag for the force out and threw across the diamond. Chris Johnson could not scoop the low throw. The ball skipped past Johnson, Fowler scored from first and Bryant ended up at third on the error, 3-0 Cubs. Fredi Gonzalez went to his pen for lefty Ross Detwiler.
Anthony Rizzo hit a rocket back up the middle and into center. Bryant scored, 4-0 Cubs. Jorge Soler flied out to deep right to end the inning.
Jason Motte issued a two-out walk to Jonny Gomes in the ninth, but that was all. Motte struck out Chris Johnson swinging to end the game.
The Cubs wrap up the series in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon (4:05pm CDT) … Jake Arrieta versus Shelby Miller.