The Chicago Cubs John Lackey went eight innings allowing just two earned runs but a critical error by Addison Russel cost the Cubs in the loss.
The Chicago Cubs had a chance early against the Atlanta Braves as they had runners on second and third with two out but couldn’t push a run across and managed just one more hit–a single in the fourth inning by Anthony Rizzo–while Julio Teheran was on the mound.
The Cubs (17-6) held the Braves in check all day as none of the Atlanta runs were scored on a hit. The biggest blow came on a double play ground ball that Russell failed to handle, leading to the first of two runs in the sixth inning. Lackey battled all game while his offense would bail him out in the eighth inning.
The Braves (6-18) got everything they could have possibly asked for out of their starter Teheran who allowed just two hits while striking out nine over seven innings. But Jim Johnson‘s struggles for the Braves continued as he retired just one batter before a Matt Szczur bunt single and a Dexter Fowler double chased him from the game.
After Hunter Cervenka retired Jason Heyward, Braves’ skipper Fredi Gonzalez turned to their closer Arodys Vizcaino. Kris Bryant promptly roped a hanging slider into left field to cut the deficit to one.
After a leadoff walk to Ben Zobrist, an errant pickoff throw allowed him to reach third before Russell singled to score the tying run, temporarily atoning for his earlier error.
With Hector Rondon (0-1, 1.13) in a non-save situation, the Braves got a single from Daniel Castro, followed by a solid hit-and-run by Mallex Smith to move Castro to third. Braves RBI leader Nick Markakis then go the sac fly to put the Braves up 4-3.
Jason Grilli–the former Pirates closer–walked Bryant in the bottom half of the inning before getting Anthony Rizzo to fly out to deep left. On another day, it might have been enough, but several balls hit on Sunday could have had that said about them.