The Cubs got out to a big lead against the Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon only to see it slip away on one swing of the bat. Chicago was undeterred by the sudden reversal of fortune, however, and scored late to win the game and the series.
The Cubs got on the board first against Tarik Skubal in the top of the 2nd inning with back-to-back doubles from Seiya Suzuki and Jeimer Candelario. Cody Bellinger increased the advantage to 3-0 with a two-run single in the 3rd.
Nick Madrigal knocked in another run with a hit in the top of the 4th inning and the North Siders were ahead 4-0. That seemed like plenty of cushion for Jameson Taillon, who did not allow a hit through the first five innings Wednesday.
Then the wheels completely fell off in the 6th inning as the Tigers had three consecutive singles to load the bases with nobody out. Taillon got a strikeout and a pop-up to get two outs and it appeared he might be able to escape the jam. Unfortunately, the red-hot Kerry Carpenter got a hold of a 3-1 fastball and hit a game-tying grand slam.
Closer Adbert Alzolay made things interesting in the bottom of the frame, giving up a walk and a base hit before striking out two consecutive batters to earn the save. (Box score)
Julian Merryweather got the final out in the 7th, then pitched the 8th and struck out the Tigers’ 2-3-4 hitters to preserve the one-run lead.
Why the Cubs Won
They were able to rally back late and the bullpen did a good job keeping the suddenly dangerous Detroit lineup in check.
Stats That Matter
- Taillon was so close to a quality outing, but a crucial mistake on his last pitch cost him: 5.2 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 6 K, and 1 BB.
- Gomes has been huge in clutch situations and had two hits Wednesday.
- Candelario got on twice and made two excellent defensive plays at first base.
These games have not been easy for Chicago, yet they keep winning when it really matters. Can’t sweep ’em all. As long as you keep winning two of three, your chances to make the playoffs are very good.
The Cubs now head to Pittsburgh to play four starting Thursday at 6:05pm CT as Justin Steele takes on a yet-to-be-named Pirates pitcher in a game airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.