Chicago Cubs: Cubs win as Mike Montgomery flirts with no-no

(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

In a reunion tour for many Chicago Cubs members, the Cubs beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1, extending their winning streak to seven.

It was a successful homecoming for Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs.

Mike Montgomery flirted with a no-hitter, Kyle Schwarber homered and the Cubs one-hit the Tampa Bay Rays in a 2-1 win Tuesday evening at Tropicana Field.

Schwarber blast-off

Maddon was honored with a video tribute for his nine seasons as Rays skipper after the first inning, and Schwarber put the Cubs ahead with his 28th home run in the second inning. Schwarber has four home runs this season from the DH spot.

In the fifth inning, Javier Baez ripped a double to score Addison Russell from first. That was all the scoring Mike Montgomery would need.

Flawless Monty

Nearly perfect on the mound, Montgomery turned in a complete 180 performance from his last start against the Brewers Sep. 9. He didn’t allow a base-runner until the fourth due to a throwing error by Russell.

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He carried a no-hitter into the sixth when Brad Miller hit a solo home run to break it up. For the night Montgomery went six innings, struck out six, walked none, and allowed just the one hit and run.

Dominant bullpen

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Wade Davis were perfect in relief, as the Cubs’ bullpen extended their scoreless mark.

Over the last five games now, Cubs’ relievers have worked 18 innings, allowing just one earned run in that span. Davis notched his 32nd consecutive save.

For the Rays, Archer was solid tossing six innings, striking out six, and allowing two runs on four hits. Tampa’s bullpen allowed just two hits.

Both teams’ pitchers combined to strike out 20 batters and issued just one walk.

It was also a trip back to old stomping grounds for Ben Zobrist who began his career in Tampa, where he debuted in 2006 before being traded in 2014. Cubs coaches Dave Martinez, Eric Hinske, Chris BosioRene Rivera, and Davis also spent time with the Rays.

Montgomery is the first Cubs pitcher to work 55 innings as a starter and reliever in the same season since Les Lancaster in 1991. It is the first win for the Cubs at Tropicana Field, and Chicago is on a season-high seven-game winning streak.

Next: Kyle Hendricks has been solid since the All-Star break

What’s next

Wednesday concludes the season series between the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays. Jon Lester (11-7, 4.30 ERA) opposes Blake Snell (3-6, 4.25 ERA).

First pitch from Tropicana Field is 6:10 pm C.T.