Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/14/24): Cubs 3, Mariners 2 – Bullpen Withstands Walks, Cubs Win Series

The Cubs and Mariners faced off in the rubber match of their three-game set Sunday afternoon at T-Mobile Park. Chicago took the lead early and were able to sweat out two tremendous Seattle scoring chances to preserve a one-run lead and win the series.

Seiya Suzuki doubled off of Mariners starter Luis Castillo in the top of the 1st inning and came home to score when Castillo made a wild throw to first on a Cody Bellinger infield hit. Javier Assad protected the early Cubs advantage nicely, holding the Mariners hitless through the first three innings.

Michael Busch continued his absolute tear with his fourth home run in as many days, this one a two-run shot to right-center field in the top of the 4th. Assad pitched well but tired in the 6th inning and gave up a home run to Jorge Polanco that cut Chicago’s lead to 3-2.

Yency Almonte recorded the final out in that frame before walking the first two hitters in the 7th. Mark Leiter Jr. replaced Almonte and pulled an escape job for the second game in a row, using a fly ball and a double play to keep his team in front.

Héctor Neris got the Cubs into an even bigger pickle in the 8th inning by walking the bases loaded with one out. Incredibly, the Mariners fumbled the bag a second time and Ty France hit into another double play to end the threat.

Adbert Alzolay struck out the first two batters in the 9th before giving up a single to Cal Raleigh. Alzolay then picked off pinch-runner Julio Rodríguez dancing off of first base, but it was initially ruled that he’d made it back safely. Craig Counsell challenged the play and Rodríguez was called out, sealing the road team’s 3-2 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Cubs bullpen gave the Mariners five free baserunners in the late innings, but they managed to escape unscathed. Chicago was very fortunate the contact they gave up was perfectly placed for a pair of twin killings.

Why the Cubs Won

Assad was very good and more power from Busch was just barely enough to scrape by with a victory thanks to an assist from the opposition failing to jump on their golden opportunities.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad’s performance was very similar to his work on Monday but this time he was rewarded with a win: 5.2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 6 K, and 1 BB.
  • Busch had two more hits and is making a strong push for player of the month. Not surprisingly, he is the first Cubs rookie ever to hit home runs in four consecutive games.
  • It was a tough series for Ian Happ who did not get a hit all weekend.

Bottom Line

The Cubs had absolutely no business winning that game and tried very hard to give it to the Mariners, who would not take it. That being said, they had no business losing Monday’s game against the Padres so I guess it evens out. Relievers like Neris and Almonte have to start throwing more strikes because double plays aren’t going to get you off the hook every time.

On Deck

The final stop on the Cubs’ West Coast road trip is Arizona for three games with the Diamondbacks starting Monday at 8:40pm CT. Ben Brown is back on the mound facing Merrill Kelly in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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