In their first interleague game of the simulation season, the Chicago Cubs (9-8) were burned by a pitcher they once had on their free agent radar. Alex Cobb out-dueled Yu Darvish, giving the Baltimore Orioles (6-11) a much-needed 7-4 victory on Tuesday at Camden Yards, via MLB The Show 20.
The Cubs took an early lead, as has been typical of them this season. Bryant walked to start the game and moved to second when Javier Baez walked with one out. Kyle Schwarber then drilled an RBI single into right-center, putting Chicago in front 1-0. The Cubs loaded the bases when Cobb dished out his third walk of the inning to Willson Contreras, but Ian Happ struck out and David Bote grounded out sharply to second base to end the threat.
Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t last long. The Orioles took the lead on the back of a Trey Mancini two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the 1st. Darvish didn’t have his best stuff on the day, but he didn’t get much help from his defense. In the 3rd, José Iglesias reached on an error when the normally sure-handed Jason Heyward dropped a fly ball in right field. Hanser Alberto was up next and he reached on a throwing error by Contreras.
Darvish struck out Mancini, but Anthony Santander drilled a two-run double into the gap to give Baltimore a 4-1 lead. Ramon Urias pushed it to 5-1 with a solo homer in the 4th, then Renato Núñez made it 6-1 with an RBI double in the 5th. That ended Darvish’s day at 4 1/3 innings after he’d allowed six runs — four earned — on as many hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Cubs offense did finally break through, but it was once again too little, too late. Schwarber walked to begin the top of the 9th against right-handed reliever Miguel Castro and Contreras followed with a single. Happ flew out to center field and Bote grounded into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on first and third for Heyward. The right fielder continued his hot start to the season, crushing a two-out, three-run home run to center field to close the gap to 7-4.
But the Orioles brought in reliever Shawn Armstrong to close out the game and he was able to induce a lazy fly ball off the bat of Albert Almora Jr. to end it. Cobb earned the win, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing just two hits, walking four and striking out two. Three of his four walks and one of the two hits came in the 1st inning, when the Cubs scored their lone run against the right-hander.
Schwarber – 1-for-3, BB, RBI
Heyward – 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Mancini – 1-for-3, BB, HR, 2 RBI
Urias – 1-for-2, BB, HR, RBI
Cobb – 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 1 ER, 2 K
Winning Pitcher – Cobb (1-0)
Losing Pitcher – Darvish (3-1)
Save – Armstrong (1)
Home Runs – Heyward (3), Mancini (6), Urias (1)