Chicago Cubs: Bats break out late as Cubs clinch rubber match in Milwaukee
By Jake Misener
A pair of home runs late gave the Chicago Cubs a series win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park behind a strong start from John Lackey.
After Willson Contreras and Addison Russell each singled home runs in the top of the frame, the Chicago Cubs carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth. But a Domingo Santana two-run blast tied things up and took things back to even at 2-2 apiece.
Each starter pitched dominant games on Sunday afternoon. Lackey struck out seven over six innings of five-hit ball. The only runs surrendered came via the Santana long-ball in his final frame of work.
On the other side of things, Zach Davies made it through seven frames before giving way to the pen. It was in that seventh inning that rookie Victor Caratini, filling in for Anthony Rizzo in the starting lineup, came through with his first big-league home run.
Facing a 1-2 count, Caratini took the sixth pitch he saw from Davis and drove it into center over Brewers rookie Lewis Brinson. The blast gave Chicago the lead for good. But the offense wasn’t done yet.
Kris Bryant stepped in with Davies still on the hill. The Cubs third baseman lined a rocket down the left-field line, dinging it off the foul pole for his 20th of the year. With the homer, he now has at least 20 long-balls in each of his first three seasons in the bigs.
Bullpen lights-out again
After Lackey departed, right-handers Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon handled their business. The Chicago right-handers put up back-to-back 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and eighth innings. Closer Wade Davis entered in the ninth, converting his 22nd save of the year.
The Cubs closer is perfect in save situations this season and owns an even 2.00 earned run average.
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Chicago (56-48) heads into an off-day Monday at a season-high eight games over .500. They welcome in the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday to Wrigley Field for a three-game set.
Jon Lester starts the opener. Right-hander Patrick Corbin takes the ball for Arizona. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from the Friendly Confines.