Following their sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs welcomed in the San Francisco Giants. At one point in the season, San Francisco held the best record in professional baseball. Since then, the Cubs turned things around for the better.
Returning to the Windy City would be former Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija who signed with the Giants. While it was great to see The Shark return to Wrigley Field, it was even better watching the Cubs pick up the win.
And most importantly, the bullpen stepped up in a huge way when Mike Montgomery was pulled from the game. Montgomery (4-5, 2.80 ERA) gave up a two-run homer to Hunter Pence in the first inning. This put him in an early 2-0 hole.
However, the Cubs (86-47) would not trail for long. Kris Bryant cut into San Francisco’s (72-61) lead with a bloop single out to right field, scoring Dexter Fowler. Bryant finished the evening 1-for-3 with a walk and extended his hitting streak 14-games.
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Meanwhile, after Ben Zobrist lined a pitch out to left field, Jason Heyward tied things up with a base knock of his own. Recently activated Chris Coghlan later came through with his 10th double of the year, driving in Zobrist.
As a result, the Cubs grabbed a one-run lead over Samardzija who would not pick up a decision in tonight’s game. Samardzija surrendered three earned runs on five hits while issuing three walks and recording three strikeouts. Skipper Bruce Bochy pulled him after four innings of work.
He also helped out his own cause with a sacrifice fly in the second, tying the game. It wouldn’t be long until the Giants jumped ahead of the Cubs. In fact, a throwing error charged to Zobrist gave them the lead in the third inning.
We’ll jump ahead to the home half of the seventh inning after Harry conducted the Seventh Inning Stretch on the video board. The Cubs took on four relievers in one inning, but wouldn’t capitalize until Addison Russell stepped to the plate.
Russell stood in the batter’s box with the bases loaded and two away, only to turn on the second pitch of his at-bat. Joe Maddon‘s rising star dropped the pitch out to left field, driving in two runs that gave Chicago the lead.
They would hold it for the remainder of the evening and lower their magic number down to just 15-games.