Cubs Recap: Kris Bryant’s walk-off homer extends winning streak to five
By David Miniel
Pitcher’s duel decided on walk-off homer
Third baseman Kris Bryant, who homered twice in yesterday’s win, connected on an opposite-field walk-off homer in the ninth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field.
It was a game that had very little offense as both clubs combined for 11 hits as Jon Lester and Corey Kluber battled it out. Kluber (8-13, 3.43 ERA) had himself a perfect game that was broken up in the sixth inning on a bloop single off the bat of veteran catcher David Ross in the bottom of the sixth inning.
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Ross connected on a pitch that was originally called as a home run down the left-field line, but the umpire crew got together to review the play, resulting it in being overturned. The third base umpire jumped the gun and allowed Ross to circle around the bases in the third.
Cleveland’s (58-66) right-handed starter finished the game with 11 strikeouts on the day, holding this powerful Cubs (72-51) lineup to one earned run on four hits. His bullpen added three strikeouts of their own, bumping Chicago’s total to 14 punch-outs on the day.
Jon Lester, on the other hand, allowed the opposing team to pick up a single in each the third and fourth inning. First baseman Anthony Rizzo helped turn one of the for double plays on a bunt attempt by Kluber early on.
Rizzo went in with a slide to try to catch the pop-up but prevented it from rolling out of play. The throw went to Castro covering second, who turned it to the returning Tommy La Stella covering first to get Lester out of the inning.
Lester (8-9, 3.44 ERA) entered the ninth with a one-run lead looking to become the first Cub southpaw since Rich Hill back in 2006 to work a complete game shutout – until Carlos Santana tied it up with a two-out RBI single to left.
He finished the day with one earned run on six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings of work.
After Kyle Schwarber (0-for-4) struck out swinging to lead off the seventh, outfielder, Chris Coghlan lined a double to left field with N.L. MVP candidate, Rizzo due up behind him.
Coghlan would come around to score on Rizzo’s RBI triple to right field after the ball bounced off Jerry Sands‘ glove on a diving attempt.
Not only did the Cubs extend their winning streak to five games with today’s win, but they’ve picked up another half game ahead of the Giants for the second N.L. Wild Card spot. They now lead the defending champs by 6.5 games.