Chicago Cubs continue to surge behind Montero’s walk-off homer
By David Miniel
Brewers tie it in the ninth; Rizzo makes great defensive play
Reliever Hector Rondon entered the ninth with another opportunity to record a save with a 2-1 lead in his back pocket but would allow the Milwaukee Brewers to tie things up at 2-2 on two wild pitches. Veteran catcher Miguel Montero extended his club’s winning streak to six games with a towering walk-off homer to left field to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory just an inning later.
Man, this group of young players are exciting to watch, aren’t they? Just when it looked as if the Brewers (48-67) were swinging towards snapping Chicago’s streak, this red-hot offense pulled through.
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Former Cub Matt Garza (6-12) returned to Wrigley and received early run support via a solo home run off the bat of outfielder Ryan Braun. Braun came off the bench in yesterday’s game after experiencing some back issues but made a pinch-hit appearance.
Garza held this surging Cubs (64-48) team to only two earned runs on three hits while issuing two walks and recording four strikeouts across seven innings of work.
Third baseman Kris Bryant tied things up at one apiece with a solo home run that landed in the right-field basket – his 16th home run of the season to help backup Jason Hammel.
Hammel (6-5, 3.10 ERA) was pulled early despite a strong outing having allowed only one earned run on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 frames. Joe’s decision to pull him from the game didn’t appear to settle very well with Jason, who exited moments after Anthony Rizzo‘s defensive play of the year.
Braun hit a pop-up in foul territory, but that wasn’t going to stop Rizzo who proceeded to climb the tarp near the visiting bullpen and extended his glove into the crowd only to make the catch to record the out. Anthony’s momentum forced him to fall into the crowd.
At first, the call was ruled out of play which resulted in Braun getting another chance to advance Jonathan Lucroy to keep the inning alive. Instead, Maddon made his way to the umpire crew to question the call which resulted in it being overturned, but Lucroy was awarded second base.
Shortstop Addison Russell gave Chicago the 2-1 one just an inning prior on an RBI single to center field to score Montero from second.
Tonight’s win puts the Cubs only 1 1/2 game out of second place and the first N.L. Wild Card spot. The Pittsburgh Pirates fell 4-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals.