After former Cub Reed Johnson lined a game-tying single in the top of the ninth against Chicago closer Hector Rondon, the atmosphere at Wrigley Field was one of disappointment as the 28,000-plus quietly awaited what they believed would be the end of the team’s winning streak. However, first baseman Anthony Rizzo capped off another impressive game in the bottom of the 13th, hitting a monstrous two-run blast to right field that gave the Cubs a 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins.
Right-hander Kevin Slowey allowed a leadoff single to Junior Lake prior to Rizzo’s blast – a no doubter to the Budweiser Party Deck beyond the right field wall. The homer, his 12th on the year, capped a 2-for-6 afternoon in which the young first baseman collected 4 RBIs against Miami pitching.
Chicago (24-34) moved with ten games of .500 with the win – its fourth straight – despite being outhit by Miami (32-29) by a 12 to 10 margin. The Cubs are now just 2 1/2 games out of fourth place in the National League Central and just four games out of third after Friday’s win.
Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel tossed seven shutout innings, allowing six hits, fanning eight and walking just one. He was pulled for left-hander Wesley Wright in the eighth, who pitched to, and retired, the only man he faced before Neil Ramirez finished the frame.
Rondon came on to start the ninth for Chicago and allowed a trio of soft singles that loaded the bases with just one out. Pinch-hitter Justin Bour grounded to first and Rizzo fielded the ball before flipping it to Rondon, who was covering first. After he was initially called safe, a review overturned the call, meaning the young Marlins’ hitter became the second out of the frame while cutting the Chicago lead to 3-1.
Another pinch-hitter, former Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson, then entered, splitting the right-center field gap with a hard-hit line drive single that tied that game at three apiece. Chicago had added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of a two-run double by Rizzo.