Chicago Cubs survive late bullpen scare in 5-3 win vs Dbacks
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs improved to 8-1 on their current homestand after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks by the final score of 5-3. Hector Rondon picked up his 10th save of the season while Jason Hammel earned his seventh victory.
Right-hander Jason Hammel, like Jon Lester against the Dodgers, gave up a first-inning home run and went on to shut down the rest of the lineup prior to being removed by skipper Joe Maddon later on in the game.
Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA) is off to a great start, in fact, the best of his career. In seven innings of work, Chicago’s (39-15) starter held the Diamondbacks (24-34) to two earned runs on one hit while issuing two walks and recording six strikeouts.
Reliever Pedro Strop entered the game in the eighth inning, giving up a lead-off homer to outfielder Yasmany Tomas.
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Just moments after Jake Lamb put his club up by two early runs in the very first inning of the ballgame, center fielder Dexter Fowler cranked a solo home run to deep left field to cut Arizona’s lead in half.
Later on in the fourth, Rizzo reached first base safely on a single to left field and moved over to second when Ben Zobrist worked a six-pitch walk with only one out.
Outfielder Jorge Soler tied things up with a ground-rule double, scoring Rizzo from second and advancing Zobrist to third. Arizona then opted to intentionally walk David Ross in order to get to Hammel who was on deck.
Hammel quickly made them pay. In case they forgot, Chicago pitchers are more than happy to capitalize with runners in scoring position. That’s exactly what Jason did when he delivered a two-run single to give himself a 4-2 lead.
Arizona continued to threaten in the eighth by loading up the bases on two singles and a walk to slugger Paul Goldschmidt with two outs. Travis Wood would be summoned from the bullpen to relieve Trevor Cahill.
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Former Milwaukee Brewers second baseman, Rickie Weeks made solid contact on the eighth pitch of his at-bat only to line out to Zobrist at second.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo came through during the home half of the frame with his 13th home run of the season to extend Chicago’s lead back up to two on the afternoon. Rondon entered the game in the ninth and shut down the Diamondbacks.