The Chicago Cubs (51-25) just keep finding ways to win games. A great pitching performance from Alec Mills was the key against a reeling Boston Red Sox (31-45) team Friday as Chicago needed just two big hits to send the Wrigley faithful home happy, via MLB 20 The Show.
Kris Bryant gave his team the lead with a long solo homer off of Chris Sale in the 3rd inning, the only mistake the lanky Boston lefty would make in seven strong innings. Mills made that lead stick most of the afternoon, holding the Sox off the board through those same seven innings. His lone blemish was a hanging curve that Alex Verdugo lifted into the right field bleachers for a game-tying homer.
The Cubs made sure their teammate got rewarded for his excellent eight innings of work. David Bote coaxed a two-out walk from Heath Hembree in the bottom of the inning and Javy Báez followed by lashing the fireballer’s first pitch for a line drive into the right field corner. Bote came all the way home from first on what would be the game-winning triple from Javy.
Craig Kimbrel slammed the door shut in the 9th for his 29th save.
Notes: Mills’ outing was the best in his major league career as he continues to solidify a rotation spot. Cool temperatures and a lakefront breeze made it an ideal night for pitchers.
Bryant – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Baez – 2-for-3, 3B, RBI
Mills – 8 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 9 K
Verdugo – 2-for-4, HR, RBI
Sale – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 4 K
Winning Pitcher – Mills (4-2)
Losing Pitcher – Hembree (1-3)
Save – Kimbrel (29)
Home Runs – Bryant (26), Verdugo (8)