Fowler’s big day earns Cubs another win
Outfielder Dexter Fowler came through with a huge day for the Chicago Cubs as the veteran switch-hitter recorded a double, single and solo home run in his last at-bat of the game to help lead his team to the 7-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs (60-48) are now 1.5 game ahead of the Giants (59-60) in the N.L. Wild Card race and are a season-high 12 games above .500. An incredible mark that needs to increase over the weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in a huge weekend showdown between the two.
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Jon Lester (7-8, 3.22 ERA) had himself a fantastic performance on the mound despite finishing with only three strikeouts across seven innings of work on the day. He held the defending champions to only two earned runs on six hits and didn’t give up a walk until the seventh inning where he began to get frustrated with the home plate umpire.
Second baseman, Chris Coghlan (yes, you read that correctly), backed him up with an RBI single in the very first inning to score catcher Kyle Schwarber from second. Schwarber later extended Chicago’s lead to 3-1 with a two-run RBI single during the bottom half of the fifth to plate both Fowler and Addison Russell.
This lineup would give Lester a five-run lead by hanging a five-spot in the frame.
Ryan Vogelsong (7-8, 4.26 ERA) did the best he could to prevent this red-hot Cubs team from putting together hits, but would exit the game in the fifth after giving up a single to Russell which was followed up by a double to right field off the bat of Fowler.
Chicago tagged him for three earned runs on six hits while the 38-year-old veteran gave up only one walk and struck out six Cubs prior to being replaced by Jeremy Affeldt.
Tommy Hunter entered the eighth inning with a four-run lead and would give up his second home run in as many games. Nori Aoki jumped on the third pitch of the at-bat and deposited it in the bleachers in right field for his fourth big fly of the season.
Fowler later added a bit of insurance with his 11th home run of the season, this time as a right-handed batter. Josh Osich, the man who gave up the solo jack, was called up after recently acquired Mike Leake was placed on the disabled list.
Reliever Hector Rondon would be the man to close out the eighth inning and was credited with a save after locking up the 7-3 victory for the North Siders.