The Chicago Cubs (33-18) keep finding ways to win while Javy Báez mends his hamstring on the injured list. Robel Garcia, up to fill Javy’s shoes for the moment, was a decent facsimile at least on Thursday as Chicago was able to even the score late before exploding in the 12th inning to win the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-31) at PNC Park via MLB The Show 20.
Kyle Hendricks had his only issues in the bottom of the 1st inning. An Adam Frazier single and a walk to Josh Bell put two men on base for Jose Osuna, who rifled a liner over first base for a two-run double. Hendricks would allow just three hits the next six sterling frames from that point.
The aforementioned Garcia singled in the 6th inning, advanced on a groundout, and scored on a Kris Bryant hit to cut the lead in half. The Cubs loaded the bases in the 8th on a pair of walks and a hit before Willson Contreras used his legs to beat out a perfectly placed dribbler for the game-tying RBI infield single.
Both teams traded zeros the next three innings before Chicago broke it open. Frazier booted a Victor Caratini grounder to second and advanced him to third with a single before Bryant knocked him in with his third single of the day to give the Cubs the lead. After an Ian Happ sacrifice fly made it 4-2, Contreras put an exclamation point on things with a two-run bomb to center.
Notes: Brendan Morrow and Jeremy Jeffress each had a scoreless inning of relief. Alec Mills closed out the game in a non-save situation. Garcia’s two singles were his first of the 2020 season. Conditions were cold and damp in Pittsburgh, perhaps explaining the lack of attendance from the announced crowd of 12,544.
Bryant – 3-for-6, R, 2 RBI
Contreras – 2-for-6, HR, 3 RBI
Caratini – 2-for-4, BB, 2 R
Garcia – 2-for-4, BB, 2 R
Newman – 2-for-5
Osuna – 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Keller – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 4 K
Winning Pitcher – Jeffress (5-1)
Losing Pitcher – Kuhl (1-2)
Save – None
Home Runs – Contreras (9)