Game One Hundred Fifty-Six – Cubs 1, Royals 0 – 11 innings
WP – Fernando Rodney (7-5, 2-0) LP – Miguel Almonte (0-2) Save – None
Chris Denorfia pinch-hit for Fernando Rodney to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning Monday night. Denorfia launched the first pitch from Miguel Almonte into the bleachers in left and the Cubs scratched out a victory in the make-up game with the Royals.
The Cubs wrapped up a special year at Wrigley the only way this team could with walk-off win in the final home game of the regular season. The Cubs posted 13 walk-off victories at Wrigley this year, the most in baseball, the same number of walk-offs as the 1932 Cubs.
The Cubs came out on the right end of a game that was dominated by both pitching staffs. The Cubs did not collect their first hit until the sixth inning, a single by Jorge Soler (1-for-4).
The Cubs offense managed only three hits before Denorfia’s blast in the 11th inning. Kris Bryant (1-for-4) had one of the four hits on the night while playing four different positions. Bryant started the game at first base, moved to center field, then to right field and finished the game at third base.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4) notched the only other hit on the night for the Cubs, a single with two outs in the 10th inning.
Kyle Hendricks put together a very good outing Monday night. Hendricks settled in after a shaky first inning in which he walked two batters. Hendricks had a good changeup, worked well with Miguel Montero and threw strikes. Hendricks gave up two hits … a single to Alcides Escobar in the second and a double to Mike Moustakas in the fourth. With Anthony Rizzo at first base instead of Kris Bryant, Moustakas’ double would likely have been turned into an out. Bryant dove toward the line and the ball hit off the tip of his glove.
Kyle Hendricks left after six scoreless innings. Hendricks allowed two hits, two walks and struck out nine batters. Hendricks made 90 pitches, 55 for strikes, in what was clearly his best outing since the break.
Trevor Cahill was very sharp Monday night. Cahill pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Hendricks. Cahill surrendered one hit, faced the minimum and struck out three of the six batters he faced on 22 pitches, 15 for strikes.
Clayton Richard and Hector Rondon combined on a scoreless ninth. Lorenzo Cain reached on an infield single to the hole at short, just the fourth Royals hit of the night. Rondon picked off Cain from first base and retired Eric Hosmer on a flyout to left to keep the game scoreless into the bottom of the ninth.
Cubs’ pitching allowed four hits and three walks while striking out 14 batters on the night.
With Monday’s win, the Cubs finished 10-10 on the year in Interleague play and improved to 91-65 on the season.
The Cubs kick off the final road trip of the regular season on Tuesday night (6:05pm CDT) in Cincinnati. Dan Haren takes on Josh Smith in the opener of the three-game series with the Reds.