Game One Hundred Thirteen – Cubs 4, Cardinals 3 – 11 innings
WP – Mike Montgomery (4-5) LP – Zach Duke (2-1) Save – None
Anthony Rizzo came through for the Cubs once again. Rizzo worked walk with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to force in Willson Contreras as the Cubs beat the Cardinals in extra innings on Thursday night at the old ballyard.
The Cubs are 9-0 in August for the first time since 1908, and have won 10 straight games for the first time in 15 years.
It was not pretty, but most games against the Cardinals are far from oil paintings. The Cubs found a way to win a game on a night the offense left one man after another on base throughout the game. The Cubs fought back from an early two-run deficit, took the lead with a three-run sixth just to see the Cardinals tie the game on a pinch-hit homer by Randal Grichuk in the seventh inning.
The Cubs patience paid off in the 11th against lefty Zach Duke. After back-to-back singles from Willson Contreras (1-for-1 with a run scored) and Jorge Soler (1-for-1) started the inning, Dexter Fowler (0-for-5 with a walk) walked with one out to load the bases.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with a triple, a walk, a run scored and a RBI) stepped in with two down and got the call on a 3-1 pitch. Rizzo walked, Contreras scored and the Cubs celebrated their 10th win in a row.
Jon Lester put together another very good outing. Lester had excellent command in six innings. Lester gave up five hits, three singles in the first inning that gave the Cardinals an early lead. Lester made only one mistake and Brandon Moss deposited the ball in the bleachers in right center. The Cardinals did not square up Lester, only two hard hit balls on the night.
Jon Lester was lifted for a pinch-hitter with two on and two down in the sixth. Maddon saw a way to add to the Cubs 3-2 lead that did not work out. Lester allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Lester made 91 pitches, 62 for strikes, in six innings.
Travis Wood and Joe Smith were hit hard in the seventh inning. But the Cubs defense kept the Cardinals from taking the lead. Wood served up the game tying homer to Randal Grichuk and it looked like Stephen Piscotty’s double off Smith would give the Cardinals the lead. The Cubs executed a perfect relay, Chris Coghlan to Addison Russell to David Ross, to nail Matt Carpenter at the plate to end the seventh.
Justin Grimm was lights out in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman recorded three outs on three pitches in the ninth. And Mike Montgomery pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Montgomery struggled in two innings but made the pitches he had to in order to get out of jams in both innings.
Montgomery actually hit Matt Holliday in the right hand with two outs in the 10th inning. Holliday suffered a broken thumb and will be placed on the disabled list.
The Cubs defense was outstanding once again Thursday, especially in the seventh inning. The defense made two outs that kept the Cardinals from taking the lead. David Ross picked off Jedd Gyorko from first base for the first out in the seventh and the Cubs executed a perfect relay to keep the game tied at three. And Javier Baez entered the game in the ninth and caught two line drives for the first two outs of the inning.
The Cubs offense kept the Cardinals in the game. The Cubs went 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.
Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI) delivered the big hit, a two-out single with the bases loaded in the sixth that tied the game at two. David Ross (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) followed Coghlan and bunted in Jason Heyward (1-for-5 with a run scored) with the Cubs’ third run in the sixth inning.
Kris Bryant (2-for-6 with a run scored), Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a double and a walk) and Ben Zobrist (0-for-3 with two walks) reached base multiple times Thursday.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on three straight two-out singles off Jon Lester. Not one ball was squared up. Matt Holliday singled to center on a 2-2 pitch. Brandon Moss blooped a 0-1 pitch into left center. Holliday went to third with two outs. Yadier Molina grounded Lester’s first pitch down the first baseline. Holliday scored, 1-0 Cardinals. Peralta lined out to Bryant at third to end the inning.
The game remained 1-0 Cardinals until the sixth inning. The Cubs had numerous scoring chances. After five innings, the Cubs were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.
Jon Lester made his only mistake of the night. With one out and the bases empty, Lester missed his spot to Brandon Moss and the ball ended up in the bleachers in right center. The first home run of the season by Moss off a lefty gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Molina popped out to center and Peralta flied out to left to end the top of the sixth.
Kris Bryant started the Cubs’ sixth with a single to left center. Anthony Rizzo blooped a single to center and the Cubs had two on with no outs. Zobrist struck out swinging. Russell fouled out to Carpenter at the railing of the Cardinals dugout for the second out.
Jason Heyward reached on an infield single to third. The Cardinals shifted and Peralta had no play at first on the hustling Heyward. Peralta actually tried to fake the throw to first and spiked the ball. The Cubs loaded the bases with two down … and Matheny decided to leave Carlos Martinez in to face Coghlan.
Chris Coghlan worked a full count. Coghlan attempted to call time as Martinez tried to quick pitch him. Coghlan was not granted time, stepped back in and lashed a single to right. Bryant scored and Rizzo was waived in. Martinez was out of position and cut the ball off before it got to the plate. Rizzo scored and tied the game at two. Replays showed Rizzo would have likely been out had Martinez not cut the ball off. Heyward went to third with two down.
David Ross bunted a 0-1 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Martinez rushed in and made a spinning off balance throw to first base as Heyward motored for home. Martinez’s throw was low and off line. Ross reached, Heyward scored and the Cubs took a 3-2 lead. With two on and two down, Maddon sent up Matt Szczur to hit for Jon Lester. Szczur popped the first pitch he saw up to Carpenter in foul ground to end the inning.
Travis Wood took over for Lester in the seventh with the Cubs leading 3-2. Wood did not have it Thursday. The Cubs defense made two of the three outs in the seventh. Jedd Gyorko led off the seventh with a bloop single to left center. After a 2-1 pitch to Greg Garcia, David Ross picked Gyorko off first base. Garcia struck out swinging.
Randal Grichuk hit for Carlos Martinez and tied the game at three with a solo homer to left. Carpenter followed with a single center and Maddon went to his pen. Joe Smith replaced Wood and Stephen Piscotty lined Smith’s first pitch into the gap in left center. The ball bounced all the way to the wall. Chris Coghlan chased it down and threw a strike to Russell. Addison Russell made a perfect relay to plate. David Ross tagged Carpenter in the head before he could touch the plate to end the inning.
The Cubs wasted scoring chances in the eighth and 10th innings. The Cubs were 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base through 10 innings. The game went to the 11th tied at three.
Mike Montgomery stayed in for his second inning of work. Molina led off the 11th with a single to center. Peralta was called out on strikes. Montgomery walked Gyorko. Mike Leake ran for Molina at second base representing the go ahead run. Montgomery fell behind Garcia 3-0 but came all the way back and caught him looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Kolten Wong hit for Seung Hwan Ho and walked on four pitches to load the bases. Montgomery went after Matt Carpenter and struck him out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Willson Contreras led off the bottom of the 11th with a single to right center off Zach Duke. Jorge Soler hit for Montgomery and put together a nine-pitch at bat that ended with a swinging bunt single up the third baseline. Javier Baez popped out to left. Dexter Fowler walked and loaded the bases with one down.
Kris Bryant struck out swinging.
Anthony Rizzo stepped in with two down and the bags loaded. Rizzo took a 3-1 pitch from Duke. Rizzo got the call, Contreras trotted in and the Cubs walked off with the win over the Cardinals.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 72-41 on the season.
Weather permitting … Jake Arrieta takes on Adam Wainwright in game two with the Cardinals on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).