Arismendy Alcantara delivers walk-off RBI vs Reds
After Cincinnati Reds’ Manny Parra was pulled from the game after loading the bases full of Chicago Cubs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Arismendy Alcantara delivered a one-out walk-off RBI single off Burke Badenhop to send his team home with a 7-6 victory.
The star of tonight’s contest would be early N.L. Rookie of the Year candidate, Jorge Soler, who recorded just his second multi-home run game of his career. Soler’s first of two, two-run home runs came in the bottom of the first inning off Mike Leake after the Reds (4-3) took a 3-0 lead in the top half of the frame.
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Southpaw ace Jon Lester took the mound for the home team today, coming off a shaky debut in the 3-0 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals just a week ago. Lester (0-1, 7.84 ERA) appeared to calm down after a rocky first inning which featured a RBI double by Todd Frazier and RBI single by Jay Bruce.
With one-out and Zack Cozart on first in the top half of the second, Lester made his first pick-off move in two years but sent it over the head of Anthony Rizzo and into the glove of Soler in foul territory. While Cozart rounded second in attempt to reach third base safely Soler put his arm on display once again with a strong throw to Starlin Castro who applied the tag for the second out.
It was a scary moment, but Lester was able to take a sigh of relief on a great defensive play by the young right fielder.
Skipper Joe Maddon would turn to reliever Brian Schlitter at the top of the seventh inning. Just when it appeared Lester had things under control, Cincinnati’s offense tagged him for another three runs on RBI doubles by Marlon Byrd and Jay Bruce.
He would finish the night allowing six earned runs on 10 hits while striking out four and zero walks. His next start should come against the San Diego Padres this weekend.
Leak (0-0, 4.97 ERA) would exit the game after the seventh inning, finishing with four earned runs on seven hits while issuing one walk and striking out four.
Outfielder Chris Coghlan led off the bottom of the sixth inning with his team trailing 6-3 but cut it down to a two-run ballgame on a solo shot to deep right field. It was his second home run of the season as he would finish the night 3-for-4 with the home run being his only RBI of the night.
Shortly after Anthony Rizzo managed to draw a five-pitch walk against Jumbo Diaz, Soler took the fourth pitch of his at-bat deep to center field for his second two-run shot of the night – tying the game up at six a piece.
What Stood Out:
The Chicago Cubs and their fans haven’t heard this in awhile, but after tonight’s win over the Cincinnati Reds, they are officially in first place all by themselves.
Tonight’s victory over their N.L. Central rival proves that this team is determined to win. After a successful road trip against the Colorado Rockies, Chicago’s bullpen has been spectacular but still has two more games against the Reds and a weekend series against the San Diego Padres.
If they’re able to not only keep their team in the game but hold leads as well, this 2015 Cubs team is going to be a force to be reckoned with later on down the road.
Game two of this series will feature Jake Arrieta taking on Anthony DeSclafani tomorrow evening. Arrieta (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is coming off a dominant start against the Cardinals on Apr. 8 – a game in which he worked seven scoreless innings while holding their dangerous lineup to just three hits with two walks and seven punch outs.
DeSclafani (0-0, 3.00 ERA) had himself a quality outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates just a day after Arrieta’s start. In his first outing of the 2015 campaign, DeSclafani gave up only two earned runs on five hits (one home run) while issuing two walks (one hit batsman) and striking out eight across six frames.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.