Ruggiano’s walk-off single saves the day; Cubs win 5-4


Justin Ruggiano‘s walk-off single drove in Arismendy Alcantara as the Chicago Cubs survived the ninth inning comeback to beat the Braves 5-4 at a wet Wrigley Field.

The Cubs (39-52) got another great outing from Jake Arrieta, who went 7 2/3 innings allowing three runs. Arrieta was sharp all day, but had to turn it over to the bullpen in the eighth inning.

With the Braves (50-43) threatening, Neil Ramirez was called on to face Justin Upton. Ramirez got Upton to strikeout on a high fastball to escape the jam.

The Cubs got on the board first in the third on a sacrifice bunt by Arrieta. Justin Ruggiano later knocked in his first run of the game on a single to center to put the Cubs up 2-0.

The Braves responded in the top of the fourth with two runs of their own to tie the game. A walk, followed by a double by Andrelton Simmons set the stage for “small ball”. The Braves used two consecutive ground outs to knot the game up.

An RBI double by Freddie Freeman in the sixth gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.

The Cubs loaded the bases to start their half of the sixth, and a Chris Coghlan singled to score Anthony Rizzo to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Valbuena followed with a bases loaded walk and the Cubs were back up 4-3.

After escaping the eight inning jam, the Cubs sent Hector Rondon (2-3, 3.93) in to close it out in the ninth. The Braves however had other plans as they were on every pitch that Rondon threw. A lead-off double by Jason Heyward set the table for the Braves comeback. Rondon got the next two hitters out, but each was hit squarely.

Down to their final out, Christian Bethancourt lined a single past Starlin Castro to tie the game.

The Cubs would get the final word. Arismendy Alcantara snuck a seeing-eye single in to right field. After stealing second to get into scoring position, it was up to Justin Ruggiano. He would deliver with a base hit off of Jordan Walden (0-1, 2.73) to left as the Cubs earned the walk-off 5-4 victory.

The Cubs will face the Braves again tomorrow in a 3:05 pm CT start, with Edwin Jackson (5-9, 5.05) taking on Mike Minor (2-5, 4.54).