Bryant's Homer In 10th Give Cubs Win, Cardinals Sweep Reds


Published on September 22 2017 6:07 am
Last Updated on September 22 2017 6:10 am


The pressure was on and Javier Baez delivered for the Chicago Cubs.

Baez grounded a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning, Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the 10th and the Cubs widened their NL Central lead over Milwaukee, rallying past the Brewers 5-3 Thursday night.

Chicago is now 4 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers after winning the opener of a four-game series. The Cubs have won eight of nine.

The Cubs trailed 3-2 when Ian Happ led off the ninth by hitting a grounder that first baseman Neil Walker fielded wide of the bag. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress covered first and Happ was called safe in a close play, a ruling upheld on replay.

Happ moved to second on a one-out grounder and scored when Baez, down to his last strike, singled up the middle.

"There were so many plays tonight that could have been the turning point," Cubs starter Jake Arrieta said. "But down to our last strike, Javy comes up with a huge base hit up the middle to score the tying run. Just an incredible baseball game."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wholeheartedly agreed.

"It was a pretty special game," he said. "Javy has been there before."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell didn't blame Jeffress.

"He did exactly what he was supposed to do," Counsell said. "He made great pitches. He threw a ball on his last pitch. It looked like it was just off the ground, and he just rolled the ball up the middle. Nothing wrong with the pitch. We just didn't have a fielder there."

Milwaukee was in position to win it in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. But Wade Davis (4-1) struck out Domingo Santana and then, after falling behind 3-1 in the count to Orlando Arcia, came back to retire him on an easy comebacker on a full-count pitch.

Davis struck out the side in the 10th.

Jon Jay opened the Cubs 10th with a double and Bryant followed with his 28th homer, connecting off Oliver Drake (3-5).

"It was supposed to be down and away," Drake said. "I just left it up middle. That's what he does with those mistake pitches."

Anthony Rizzo followed Bryant with a drive off the top of the wall in center and wound up with a triple when a crew chief review showed the ball didn't leave the park.

"It could have gone one way or the other, but we made one more play than they did," Arrieta said. "That is what it boiled down to tonight."

Santana hit his 28th home run in the fourth. He doubled off Justin Wilson in the eighth, stole third and scored on Eric Thames' single for a 3-2 lead.

Jeffress took over the ninth because closer Corey Knebel had pitched three days in a day. On Wednesday night, the Brewers lost at Pittsburgh 6-4 on Adam Frazier's walk-off homer against Knebel with two outs in the ninth.

Arrieta gave up one run and five hits over five innings in his first game since Sept. 4. The 2015 NY Cy Young winner had been sidelined by a strained right hamstring.

Kyle Schwarber hit his 29th homer for the Cubs, tagging 17-game winner Zach Davies, who gave up two runs in seven innings.

Cardinals 8, Reds 5

The St. Louis Cardinals rinsed the bad taste of being swept by the Chicago Cubs the best way they could -- sweeping the Cincinnati Reds.

Dexter Fowler delivered again, hitting two doubles and a single as St. Louis overcame Scott Schebler's two home runs to beat the Reds 8-5 Thursday night.

The Cardinals began the day 2 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second NL wild-card spot and five games behind the Central-leading Cubs.

Fowler drove in two runs. He went 7 for 13 with two home runs and six RBI in the three-game series.

Yadier Molina drove in two runs as the Cardinals completed their first sweep in Cincinnati since 2010.

"We didn't play good games in Chicago," said Molina, who reached a new career high with a team-leading 82 RBI. "We got good hitting, good pitching and good defense here. Everybody took good at bats. That's what we need to do."

Five different Cardinals finished with two or more hits as St. Louis scored at least eight runs for the third consecutive game.

"There were a lot of good things," manager Mike Matheny said. "We had a big day. Yadi coming up with big hits. I saw some good things all day long across the board."

"It's a huge game every night. It doesn't matter who you're playing. We were coming off a tough weekend, and the guys did a real nice job clearing their minds and getting back to doing what they need to do to be successful."

Carlos Martinez (12-11), celebrating his 26th birthday, lasted 6 1/3 innings on a muggy night with a gametime temperature of 85 degrees, allowing four runs and nine hits.

"Carlos was OK," Molina said. "His location was up sometimes, and they took advantage, but all in all, he was OK."

Martinez improved to 3-1 in his last four starts. He gave up Phillip Ervin's two-run homer in the fourth and a drive by Schebler in the seventh.

Schebler led off the ninth with a homer, his 29th of the season.

"I got that first one pretty good," Schebler said. "Martinez got a couple pitches in on me. The last at-bat, he just threw me a pitch where I was expecting it."

Homer Bailey (5-9) became the third consecutive Reds starter to be lifted without getting through five innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings. Manager Bryan Price pinch-hit for him with two runners on and two outs in the fourth.

"Homer got the first two outs on three pitches," Price said. "It was labor-intensive after that. I don't think he threw the ball bad. It was tough to take Homer out. He had pitches left on the table. In that situation, I had to take a shot."

"It was Bryan's decision and it's not mine to question," Bailey said. "I was battling, for sure. I didn't get any breaks, a double play or a borderline pitch, but that's not an excuse. Sometimes you can get through if you get a break here or there."

Fowler doubled and scored on Jose Martinez's single in the first, then hit a two-run double over Ervin's head in center in the third and later scored on Molina's sacrifice fly.

Molina added an RBI double in the seventh.

White Sox 3, Astros 1

Two weeks ago, Chris Volstad was hanging out at home. His Triple-A season was finished, and for the second straight year, the Chicago White Sox hadn't needed him at all in the major leagues.

"It's kind of crazy how things can change in about two weeks," he said.

Finally back in the big leagues, the 30-year-old Volstad got his first victory since 2012 on Thursday night, leading a group of seven relievers that covered 8 2/3 innings as Chicago beat the Houston Astros 3-1.

Volstad (1-0) entered after starter Carson Fulmer was pulled with a blister on his right index finger. Volstad allowed a run over 4 1/3 innings, and six more relievers kept Houston scoreless from there. Juan Minaya worked around two walks in the ninth for his fifth save.

Volstad hadn't appeared in the majors since 2015 before Chicago purchased his contract Sept. 10. His previous win was on Sept. 10, 2012, when the Cubs beat Dallas Keuchel and the Astros 4-1. Keuchel also took the loss Thursday.

Volstad had to be reminded that his last win was in Houston.

"Was it really? Well there you go," he said shaking his head. "That's pretty cool, actually. Nice."

Manager Rick Renteria raved about Volstad.

"The opportunity opened up and since he's been here, he's shown us that he's capable again of pitching in the big leagues," Renteria said. "He's been around, he's got experience and he continues to improve. So we're very happy that he's here."

Tim Anderson homered to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, and Kevan Smith added two hits for Chicago.

The victory snapped a six-game winning streak for the Astros, who clinched the AL West on Sunday but are still making a push for the league's best record.

"All in all, you just have nights like this where you face a couple of different pitchers, and they make pitches, and it ends up not being your night," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Chicago built a 2-0 lead against Keuchel (13-5) by the third inning. Brian McCann got Houston within 1 on a solo homer in the bottom of the inning.

Anderson launched a towering shot to center to begin the eighth inning. He is batting .426 with two homers, three doubles and six RBI during this streak.

Fulmer walked two before leaving because of the blister. Volstad took over and allowed three hits while striking out two. It was the longest relief outing of his career and lowered his ERA to 1.08. Volstad had mostly pitched in Triple-A since making 21 starts with the Cubs in 2012.

Avisail Garcia and Smith hit consecutive singles with one out in the second before a two-out single by Willy Garcia loaded the bases. The White Sox took a 1-0 lead when Rymer Liriano walked, but Keuchel struck out the next two batters to limit the damage.

Yoan Moncada walked to start the third before a double by Jose Abreu. Garcia drew a walk to load the bases, and Moncada scored when Smith grounded into a double play to make it 2-0.

McCann sent Volstad's first pitch of the third inning into the second deck in right field to cut the lead to 2-1.

Keuchel faced the minimum over his last three innings, retiring seven in a row and then getting a double play to end the sixth after a single by Smith with one out in the inning. The left-hander yielded five hits and two runs while walking three in six innings.

Thursday, September 21 Scoreboard

Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Philadelphia 4

Cleveland 4, Los Angeles Angels 1

Baltimore 3, Tampa Bay 1

Kansas City 1, Toronto 0

Minnesota 12, Detroit 1

St. Louis 8, Cincinnati 5

Atlanta 3, Washington 2

Chicago Cubs 5, Milwaukee 3 (F/10)

Chicago White Sox 3, Houston 1

Texas 4, Seattle 2

San Diego 3, Colorado 0


Friday, September 22 Schedule (All Times Central)

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.

Washington at New York Mets, 6:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 6:35 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Houston, 7:10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 9:05 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.

Colorado at  San Diego, 9:10 p.m.

Saturday, September 23 Schedule (All Times Central)

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 12:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston, 12:05 p.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 3:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 5:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 6:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 6:10 p.m.

Washington at New York Mets, 6;10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 7:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 7:40 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 8:05 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.

Sunday, September 24 Schedule (All Times Central)

Minnesota at Detroit, 11:10 a.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 12:07 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 12:10 p.m.

Washignton at New York Mets, 12:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 12:35 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 12:35 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 12:35 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 3:05 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 3:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Houston, 7 p.m.