The Chicago Cubs met the Arizona Diamondbacks for the rubber match of their three-game weekend series on Sunday afternoon in Arizona. The Cubs took an early lead on long balls by INF Kris Bryant (3) and C Willson Contreras (7) behind SP José Quintana, who was efficient in the early going but was ultimately lifted after allowing a game-tying 2-run homer to INF Eduardo Escobar (5) in the bottom of the 6th inning. Quintana allowed three runs on five hits in 5.2 IP with two SO and zero BB. No further runs were scored in regulation, taking the game to extra innings.
The Cubs had multiple good scoring opportunities in extra innings, but failed to convert. By the bottom of the 13th, the Cubs had burned nearly the entire bullpen. RP Dillon Maples retired the first two D-Backs hitters on groundouts, but then walked the bases loaded. With the winning run 90 feet away, Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to swingman Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood broke out his 98 mph heater to strike out Arizona pinch hitter John Ryan Murphy and escape the jam.
After the Cubs failed to cash in on a scoring opportunity given by a throwing error that led to two runners on with no outs in the top of the 14th, Chatwood retired the side in the bottom of the inning on a strikeout and two groundouts. As the Cubs were looking to get multiple innings from Chatwood, a former starter, he batted for himself in the top of the 15th after Contreras struck out to lead off the inning. Chatwood lined a double to center field to spark a game-winning rally. After he advanced to 3rd base on a single by OF Albert Almora Jr., Chatwood would score the go-ahead run on a two-run double by INF Ben Zobrist, his first extra-base hit of the year. Bryant would then add insurance on a sacrifice fly that drove in Zobrist, which would prove to be the winning run in the Cubs’ 6-5 victory.
Unfortunately, Chatwood may have tweaked his leg on the run home following Zobrist’s double, so he was replaced by RP Kyle Ryan. Ryan retired the first two Snakes on strikeouts in the bottom of the inning, but then allowed a single to OF David Peralta to spark an Arizona rally. INF Christian Walker followed up Peralta’s single with a double that advanced him to 3rd base, bringing up the pitcher’s spot. Pinch hitter Caleb Joseph would single to score two runs, bringing Arizona within one run of tying the game yet again, prompting a call to the pen for RP Allen Webster. Webster would face INF Nick Ahmed, who lined out to Zobrist on the warning track to end the game.
Thanks to the efforts of Chatwood on the mound and at the plate, the Cubs secured a road series win over a hot team. Hopefully Chatwood has not suffered too severe of an injury running the basepaths and will be back in action for the Northsiders soon. The Cubs will head north to Seattle for a two-game interleague matchup against the Mariners starting on Tuesday at 10:10 PM ET. Matchup: Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.16 ERA) vs. “King” Félix Hernández (1-2, 3.91 ERA). Support the site by buying your tickets with SeatGeek!
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