Game Eighty-Five – Cubs 3, Braves 4 – 11 innings
WP – Darlo Alvarez (3-1) LP – Spencer Patton (1-1) Save – Mauricio Cabrera (2)
The Cubs took a 3-2 lead in the eighth on a two-out double by Ben Zobrist and a two-out, two-run triple from Willson Contreras. Nick Markakis tied the game in the ninth with his second homer of the game, a solo shot off Hector Rondon. Tyler Flowers singled in Freddie Freeman in the 11th for the game winner as the Cubs lost to the Braves in extra innings.
The Cubs put two on in the 11th with no outs. Willson Contreras and Jason Heyward singled. Addison Russell grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. With Contreras at third, Jeimer Candelario flied out to center to end the game.
The Cubs finished the four-game homestand against the Reds and Braves with a concerning 1-3 record.
The Cubs dropped their third game in a row Thursday night in the makeup from the rainout on April 30. After rain delayed the start for one hour and 35 minutes, the Cubs lost a game in 11 innings that took three hours and 54 minutes to complete.
Jason Hammel gave up a two-run homer to Nick Markakis in the first inning before he settled down. Hammel turned in a good outing. Hammel allowed a single to Jeff Francoeur in the second and that was all. Hammel completed five innings and started the sixth.
Something was noticeably off with Hammel. After two pitches missed to Gordon Beckham, Joe Maddon and trainer P.J. Mainville went to the mound to check on him. Hammel said he was fine, made a couple of warm up throws and stayed in the game. Hammel missed on consecutive pitches to Beckham and walked him. Maddon and Mainville went back to the mound and that was all for Hammel.
Jason Hammel allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Hammel made 80 pitches, 53 for strikes, in five-plus innings.
Travis Wood replaced Hammel and picked up two outs before turning the game over to Kyle Hendricks.
Kyle Hendricks completed two scoreless innings and Justin Grimm recorded the last out in the eighth. Wood, Hendricks and Grimm did their jobs and kept the Braves from tacking on and gave the offense a chance for a comeback.
Nothing is going the Cubs way right now. Once again, the Cubs could not buy a hit with runners on base much less in scoring position until the eighth inning. The Cubs put two runners on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings but walked away with no runs. The Cubs allowed Lucas Harrell to have the best night of his pro career.
Lucas Harrell hit Kris Bryant (0-for-1 with a walk, two HBP and a run scored) with two outs in the eighth. Lefty Hunter Cervenka was brought in to face Rizzo and he hit Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a HBP and a run scored). With two on and two down, Ben Zobrist (1-for-5 with a double and a run scored) doubled to right. Bryant scored and cut the Braves lead in half.
Willson Contreras (3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI) stepped in with runners on second and third with two down and ripped a 1-0 pitch to center. Ender Inciarte tried to run in and make the catch, but he got too close to the ball. It hopped past him. Rizzo and Zobrist scored and Contreras ended up at third with the first triple of his career. Jason Heyward (2-for-4 with a walk) walked. Addison Russell (0-for-4 with a walk) flied out to left to end the inning. And when the offense had a chance to put an insurance run on the board in the eighth, the Cubs left the Braves in the game.
The Cubs hit into three double plays and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight men on base Thursday night into Friday morning.
Tempers flared in the ninth inning. After the Braves tied the game, Jeff Francoeur appeared to take exception to an inside pitch from Hector Rondon. Francoeur, in what could have been his last game at Wrigley, exchanged words with Willson Contreras. The benches emptied. Punches were not thrown. Before play resumed both benches were warned. The Braves hit Bryant twice and Rizzo, so Francoeur thought the Cubs were throwing at him. That was not the case.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs split the six games of the season series with the Braves and dropped to 52-33 on the season.
The Cubs begin a three-game series Friday night (6:05pm CDT) against the Pirates at PNC Park. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Francisco Liriano.