Bryant hits walk-off home run to lift Cubs over Marlins

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by - Senior Writer -
Kris Bryant sent his Chicago Cubs home with a walk-off win via a 3-run bomb in the bottom of the ninth. (Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
Kris Bryant sent his Chicago Cubs home with a walk-off win via a 3-run bomb in the bottom of the ninth. (Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO, Ill. — After imploding in the ninth inning in their series opener against the Miami Marlins (10-25) on Monday, the Chicago Cubs (20-13) redeemed themselves by coming through in the clutch in the ninth inning on Tuesday. By sending a 3-run home run into the night sky at Wrigley Field, Chicago slugger Kris Bryant also sent the Cubs faithful in attendance into a frenzy and sent the Cubs home with a walk-off win. Bryant's walk-off bomb with two outs in the bottom of the ninth capped off a thrilling 5-2 triumph for the Cubs over the Marlins and provided the North Siders with one of their most exciting victories of the season thus far.

Bryant's walk-off shot was the lone hit of the contest accrued by the Cubs with runners in scoring position, and it brought an end to a game that was effectively a war of attrition for most of the night. The four other runs were all scored in the first three innings, with starting pitchers Jon Lester of the Cubs and Caleb Smith of the Marlins each faring fairly well on the mound. Bryant scored the first and last runs, as the third baseman went 2-for-5 and was plated on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Javier Baez after drilling a triple to deep right field in the bottom of the first.

An error suffered by Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber set the stage for the Marlins to push two runs across and take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. After Schwarber failed to catch a fly ball hit by Marlins veteran Curtis Granderson, Martin Prado scored Granderson with a double to deep right-center. A few at-bats later, Baez nearly pulled off a leaping catch of a hard-hit liner off the bat of Jorge Alfaro, but the ball ricocheted off Baez's glove into the outfield for an RBI single that brought Prado home. Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, who has been hitting the ball well as of late, quickly evened the score with a leadoff dinger that landed in the basket above the wall in center field to start the bottom half of the third inning. The 398-foot solo shot was Almora's second homer of the year.

Lester avoided giving up the lead again in the fifth, with the lefty drawing three straight outs to leave Granderson stranded after he hit a leadoff double off the top of the wall in right-center. Granderson reached third base on the play due to an error committed by Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward, but he was forced to remain there for the rest of the inning. From there, the Cubs squandered multiple auspicious starts to innings, including the bottom of the sixth, when Baez attempted to stretch a routine single into a double, which he is known for doing, and was thrown out at second base.

Bryant ended the frustration with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the ninth. Marlins reliever Adam Conley walked the leadoff man in the inning and then hit the next batter. After that, Conley made the mistake of throwing to first base after fielding a bunt, when he could have easily outed the lead runner at third base. However, the Marlins were able to get the lead runner, Heyward, out on the next play, as a grounder to shortstop resulted in Heyward being tagged out at the plate. Looking down the barrel of extra innings, Bryant came through on a 1-2 count with runners on the corners and two outs in the ninth by clubbing his third career walk-off bomb to grant the Cubs a 5-2 win. The 404-foot homer was a no-doubter hit to straightaway center field, giving Bryant six home runs and 23 RBI on the season.

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