After dropping the series opener, the attention turned to the difficult task of facing a hot pitcher in Bartolo Colon. The rotund A’s starter had an eight game start winning streak and the Cubs answered with top of the rotation pitcher Matt Garza. The Cubs offense provided Garza an early lead, thanks to an end of the bat RBI single from Alfonso Soriano that drove in Starlin Castro from second.
Jun 27, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Lead off man Luis Valbuena made it 2-0 after launching a high arching fly ball to right field. Oakland outfielder had a chance to rob the Cub third baseman of glory, but the ball glanced off the side of his glove. Meanwhile, Garza was in control through three innings, with the A’s hitters unable to make solid contact until a Brandon Moss homer in the fourth got the home team on the board.
The Cubs used a pair of back to back doubles in the top of the eighth for an insurance run, with Brian Bogusevic driving in Dioner Navarro. After the well documented bullpen failures the Cubs have endured in 2013, Garza took it upon himself to directly hand the ball off to Kevin Gregg for the save. Garza went eight innings while allowing just four hits with three walks. The trade target improved his record to 4-1 in the short time he has been back from the disabled list.
Gregg earned his 14th save of the season despite issuing a walk, collecting a pair of strikeouts to shut the door on a comeback attempt. Gregg now features a 1.59 ERA and is also a hot commodity on the trade market.
The Cubs will look to take the series win on Independence Day. Both teams will be wearing the now annual tradition Stars and Stripes hats to honor the occasion.