The Chicago Cubs (28-14) got their three-game home series off to a good start against the Milwaukee Brewers (20-22), even if they didn’t get a stellar pitching performance from Yu Darvish. Victor Caratini hit in a pinch and produced a walk-off victory in the 9th inning, via MLB The Show 20.
Darvish faced Brewers starter Freddy Peralta on the mound and neither got any outs after the 5th inning. That was surprising, given that both pitchers were efficient early on and kept their respective opponents off the board until the top of the 4th inning. The Brewers got going first when Darvish walked Keston Hiura, gave up a single to Omar Narváez, and served up a double to Avisaíl García to put Milwaukee ahead, 2-0.
But the Cubs responded in the bottom half, starting with a leadoff homer by Javier Báez to cut the lead in half. Kyle Schwarber reached on an infield single, then advanced to third when Willson Contreras knocked one into right field. Ian Happ kept the line moving with a base hit to center that tied the score at 2-2.
Chicago took the lead in the 5th when Peralta loaded the bases with two outs and Brewers manager Craig Counsell went to pitcher Zack Brown out of the bullpen. Brown walked Contreras to force in a run, putting the Cubs ahead 3-2.
Darvish went back to the mound for the 6th and was greeted by a Narváez double. The Cubs pitcher ramped up the velocity in an attempt to make one final stand, but he ended up walking García and allowing the game-tying single to first baseman Justin Smoak. That ended the day for Darvish, who went five innings with three runs allowed on six hits and four walks, striking out just five.
Brandon Morrow made his second straight appearance with the team in relief of Darvish, setting down the next three batters down in order. The bullpens played to a standstill until the 9th inning, with Morrow, Kyle Ryan, Jeremy Jeffress, and Danny Hultzen combining to throw four shutout innings with one hit, three walks, and four strikeouts.
Milwaukee went to right-hander Corbin Burnes for the 9th and he struck out David Bote to begin the frame. Cubs manager David Ross went to backup catcher Victor Caratini to pinch-hit, and Caratini launched the first pitch he saw from Burnes to walk the Cubs off with a 4-3 victory.
Notes: Despite only having been with the team a few weeks and throwing just eight innings in 10 appearances, Hultzen picked up his third win in relief … With the victory, the Cubs are now 14-8 at Wrigley Field this season. They’re 14-6 on the road … The Cubs have been one of the best offensive teams in baseball so far this year. They rank No. 2 in runs scored behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, No. 4 in overall batting average at .270, and No. 1 in home runs … Bryant currently leads the majors with 16 homers.
Báez – 2-for-4, HR, RBI
Bryant – 2-for-4, 2B, R
Caratini – 1-for-1, HR, RBI
Contreras – 2-for-3, BB, RBI
Narváez – 2-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 R
García – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Winning Pitcher – Hultzen (3-0)
Losing Pitcher – Burnes (0-1)
Save – None
Home Runs – Báez (10), Caratini (3)