Game Twenty-Three – Cubs 3, Braves 4 – 10 innings
WP – Arodys Vizcaino (1-0, BS 1) LP – Hector Rondon (0-1) Save – Jason Grilli (2)
The Cubs scored two runs in the eighth and Addison Russell tied the game at three in ninth. Hector Rondon gave up a run in the 10th and the Cubs lost to the Braves at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs played and lost their first extra innings game of the season. Joe Maddon’s offense was shut down for seven innings but it was the defense that cost them two runs in the sixth and was the difference in the game.
The Cubs could not put anything together against Julio Teheran over the first seven innings of Sunday’s game. Teheran waited until he faced the Cubs to have his best outing of the season. Teheran retired 18 of 19 at one point and allowed just two hits with a walk. Teheran struck out nine and once again showed how good he can be when focused.
The Cubs started chipping away at the 3-0 deficit in the eighth inning.
Matt Szczur (1-for-1 with a run scored) hit for John Lackey with one out and reached on a perfectly placed bunt up the third base line. Dexter Fowler (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) advanced Szczur to third with a hustle double off Jim Johnson. Fredi Gonzalez went to his pen for former Cubs’ farmhand, left-hander Hunter Cervenka.
Jason Heyward (0-for-5 with a RBI) pulled a 1-2 pitch to Johnson at second. Szczur scored and Fowler advanced to third on the play. Gonzalez went to his pen for Arodys Vizcaino with two down and a man on third. And Daniel Castro took over at shortstop on the double-switch.
Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a walk and a RBI) singled to left. Fowler scored and made it a 3-2 game. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a walk) struck out swinging to end the inning.
Travis Wood and Justin Grimm hung a zero on the board and the game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down 3-2.
Ben Zobrist (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked to start the inning. Vizcaino struck out Tommy La Stella (0-for-3 with a HBP). With Russell at the plate, Vizcaino’s pickoff throw to first got past Freddie Freeman and Zobrist went all the way to third base.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove a 0-2 pitch into right field through the drawn-in infield. Zobrist scored and tied the game at three. Tim Federowicz flied out to center and Jorge Soler, hitting for Grimm, rolled out to short.
Hector Rondon struck out Jace Peterson to start the 10th inning. Daniel Castro singled to right and went to third on a hit and run single from Mallex Smith through the hole vacated by Russell at short. Nick Markakis lifted a 1-1 pitch to left. Castro tagged and scored, 4-3 Braves. Rondon struck out pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs with Smith at second to end the inning.
The Cubs put the tying run on first with two outs in the 10th inning. Bryant worked a walk but Rizzo flied out to the track in left center to end the game.
John Lackey completed eight innings Sunday, the longest outing from a Cubs’ starter this season not named Jake Arrieta. Lackey retired the first nine batters he faced on 39 pitches, 30 for strikes, with six groundball outs.
The Braves got on the board in the fifth inning after Kelly Johnson doubled for the Braves first hit of the game. Tyler Flowers grounded out to Zobrist, Johnson went to third and scored on a Jace Peterson sac fly to right.
The sixth inning proved costly for the Cubs.
Mallex Smith singled to center. Lackey walked Markakis and put two on with no outs. Erick Aybar bunted both runners up 90 feet. Lackey intentionally walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases.
Lackey got the groundball he needed. Adonis Garcia smoked a tailor-made double play ball toward short. The ball ate up Addison Russell, Smith scored … 2-0 Braves. Kelly Johnson rolled Lackey’s first pitch to Zobrist. Garcia avoided Zobrist’s tag. Zobrist threw to first. Rizzo fired back to second and Russell tagged out Garcia but not before Markakis scored and made it a 3-0 game.
The Cubs offense had a bad day and really allowed Julio Teheran to have his best outing in almost two years. There will be more games for the Cubs like Sunday, but Joe Maddon must make sure they are few and far between against teams like the Braves.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 17-6 on the season.
The Cubs hit the road for three days and open a series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Monday night. Jason Hammel is scheduled to oppose Gerrit Cole.