Ian Happ homered twice to lead the Chicago Cubs’ offense in a 7-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, completing a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field.
For what seems like the hundredth time this year, veteran Jon Jay came off the bench and delivered. Tied 6-6 in the seventh, the outfielder slapped a ball to left-center against Matt Bowman, scoring Anthony Rizzo and giving the Chicago Cubs the lead for good.
Chicago (28-27) opened the scoring in the top of the third, when Happ hooked a ball around the right-field foul pole for a solo blast. Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived, thanks to a rocky fourth inning from Kyle Hendricks.
The breaking point in that inning came against Stephen Piscotty at the plate. After home plate umpire Chris Guccione called a pitch a ball instead of strike three, Hendricks re-set. But his two-seamer caught the heart of the plate and the Cardinals outfielder crushed it into the left-field seats for a three-run homer.
An RBI single from Paul DeJong, an Illinois native, pushed the St. Louis lead to 4-1 and it looked like the Cubs could be in for a long night.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
But, as they have time and time again this weekend, they battled back.
With two outs, Miguel Montero drew a walk. Struggling shortstop Addison Russell grounded a ball in the hole on the right side and good hustle beat the throw from DeJong, giving the Cubs two men on with two away.
Joe Maddon ended Hendricks’ night then and there, opting to pinch-hit with Albert Almora Jr. The young outfielder delivered, lining a ball to the opposite field. Piscotty misplayed the ball, allowing it to go under his glove, scoring two runs and cutting the St. Louis lead to 4-3.
Following a Kyle Schwarber walk, Happ dug in again, this time blasting a three-run shot. His second home run of the night gave the Cubs a 6-4 lead.
Hendricks, meanwhile, allowed four earned on four hits and three walks over four innings of work. The three-run shot from Piscotty accounted for the bulk of the damage after he sailed through the first three frames.
Rondon struggles again
Hector Rondon, who has struggled this year at times, got into trouble in the sixth. After walking Yadier Molina to lead things off, the Cardinals catcher stole second. Opposing basestealers are now 19-for-19 on the year in stolen bases against Miguel Montero.
A walk and a wild pitch put men on second and third and both men scored, tying things up 6-6 and taking us back to square one heading into the late innings.
Chicago welcomes the Miami Marlins to Wrigley Field Monday night.