Chicago Cubs walk-off 2-1 vs Royals; remain in second place


1. 7. 2. 9. Final

Ross wins it 2-1 on walk-off hit

The Chicago Cubs found themselves battling back late against the Kansas City Royals, setting up a walk-off single by veteran catcher David Ross in the 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon.

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Yesterday’s game was rained out, so the starters who were supposed to take the mound did so today, and boy did they bring it.

There was very little scoring in this game as both clubs managed to plate only three runs while recording a total of 11 hits and no errors.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo had himself a one-out triple in the bottom half of the ninth shortly after Kris Bryant struck out. Reliever Wade Davis intentionally walked Starlin Castro to get to Ross and was able to get him out on a close bunt play that went under review.

Davis looked as if he wanted to make an attempt on Rizzo who appeared to be drifting off towards home, but changed his mind as he retreated to third base. Chicago (26-22) was unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position as outfielder Jorge Soler struck out swinging to send the game into extra innings.

Starting pitcher, Tsuyoshi Wada picked up yet another no-decision, avoiding the loss when Chris Coghlan tied the game at one apiece in the seventh. Wada (0-0, 2.30 ERA) held Kansas City (29-19) to just one earned run on two hits with a 4/2 K/BB ratio across 5 2/3 frames while finishing 0-for-2 at the plate.

The Royals struck first in the top half of the sixth on an RBI single by Alex Gordon, driving in Lorenzo Cain to grab the 1-0 lead.

Wada’s counter-part, Yordano Ventura (3-4, 4.26 ERA), worked seven solid innings, holding the Cubs to just four hits and the game-tying run late in the game. Ventura struck out more batters than Wada, finishing the day with a 6/1 K/BB ratio while picking up the no-decision in this extra-innings thriller.

Ned Yost‘s bullpen has been spectacular this season, which made things a lot more interesting come the 11th inning. Ryan Madson would begin the home half of the 11th with two straight walks, allowing Dexter Fowler and Bryant to reach safely before he was removed from the game.

His replacement, Jason Fraser, would give up a single to Anthony Rizzo in the next at-bat, but received some defensive help from left fielder Alex Gordon who threw Fowler out at home. This set up another review which would stand, resulting in the first out of the inning with runners still in scoring position.

In a hero situation, Ross sent an 0-1 change up to shortstop Alcides Escobar for the game winning RBI, keeping his team in second place behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central.