Chicago Cubs Recap: Clutch Willson Contreras double caps comeback

Apr 10, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Once again, the Chicago Cubs climbed out of an early hole, thanks to a rally capped by a two-out RBI double by pinch-hitter Willson Contreras.

If nothing else, the Chicago Cubs are consistent.

After starter Jake Arrieta allowed a pair of first-inning runs, the offense came roaring back late, scoring four runs in the sixth to, at a minimum, guarantee a series split with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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After Kris Bryant struck out to open the frame, back-to-back singles by Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist got things started. Addison Russell then popped out to short for the second out of the inning.

But Chicago was far from done. Outfielder Jason Heyward took an outside fastball to the opposite field, closing the Phillies’ gap to 3-2. Joe Maddon then opted for a pinch-hitter, calling upon Willson Contreras to bat for Miguel Montero.

During the at-bat, a wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position, setting up what proved to be the game-winning knock. The Cubs catcher lined the 1-1 pitch into left, scoring both Zobrist and Heyward and giving Chicago its first lead of the night.

A Matt Szczur RBI single later in the inning extended the Chicago advantage to 5-3.

More first-inning runs allowed

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Chicago Cubs

Arietta scattered six base hits across six innings Wednesday. Despite allowing the two early runs, it’s not hard to make the case they could have been avoided.

Had Jason Heyward been playing right instead of center, there’s a decent chance the first runner is cut down at the dish and the run-scoring double that lined over Zobrist’s head is caught, keeping the Phillies off the board.

Either way, the right-hander was sharp, limiting the visitors to just one run after the first. He also struck out seven on the night.

What Stood Out

Chicago starting pitchers have allowed 35 first-inning runs this season. This narrative has been beat into the ground, even just one month into things.

Entering Wednesday night’s game, Cubs starters owned a 10.73 ERA in 26 games. Opponents are batting just under .340 on the year in the first inning – which plays into a staggering 1.134 OPS.

On the other end of the game, Wade Davis remained perfect as the Chicago closer, nailing down the save in the ninth to preserve the victory.

Next: Contreras looking more and more like catcher of the future

What’s Next

Chicago and Philadelphia conclude the four-game set on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley.

Right-hander John Lackey starts the finale squares off against Zach Eflin. First pitch is at 1:20 p.m. CT.