Ryan Dempster grinded out a six inning start that saw him allow nine hits. He threw a wild pitch and had a throwing error that eventually led to two of the four runs he gave up. The Cubs bullpen took over from there to shut down the Royals, including a two out two walk jam that rookie Chris Carpenter got himself into before getting Jeff Francoeur to ground out.
The Cubs offense got on the board quickly, thanks to a two out triple by Jeff Baker to drive in Aramis Ramirez. The action packed fourth inning saw the Cubs score two more runs. Carlos Pena hit a single to drive in Ramirez, who had doubled to start the frame. The same play saw Geo Soto thrown out at third and Pena advanced to second on the throw.
Lou Montanez cashed in Pena with a double, but Alfonso Soriano was thrown out trying to score behind Pena. The Royals responded with a three run bottom half of the fourth, highlighted by a two run homer by Francoeur after a Dempster throwing error allowed Alex Gordon to reach.
The Cubs were able to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but again they were left desiring a little more as the run came in on a double play ground ball hit by Blake DeWitt. Thankfully the pen kept the Royals in check to buy time for the Cubs offense. A pair of rookies got things going to lead off the top of the ninth. Tony Campana and DJ LeMahieu hit back to back singles, only to be followed by what could have been a double play ball off the bat of Kosuke Fukudome. But the chopper bounced over Royal’s second baseman Chris Getz, allowing Fukudome to reach and Campana to score. LeMahieu advanced to third on that error and he was driven in by double play partner Starlin Castro.
Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, issuing a walk and allowing a double to put the tying runs in scoring position. But he was able to get out of the jam for his sixteenth save. The offensive statistical highlights were the three hits each for Castro and Ramirez, and Pena collected two hits despite going up against a lefty starter in Bruce Chen for the Royals.
Topics: Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Blake DeWitt, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Pena, Chicago Cubs, Chris Carpenter, DJ LeMahieu, Geo Soto, Jeff Baker, Kosuke Fukudome, Lou Montanez, Ryan Dempster, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana