Comeback Cubs: Go-ahead blast by Rizzo lifts Cubs over Dodgers

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by - Senior Writer -
Anthony Rizzo's late-game heroics resulted in a come-from-behind win for the Cubs. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Anthony Rizzo's late-game heroics resulted in a come-from-behind win for the Cubs. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — Entering Saturday night's contest at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers (47-24), the Chicago Cubs (39-31) were the lone team in the majors this season that had not yet won a game in which they trailed at any point after the sixth inning. With one swing of his bat, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo changed that, as he powered out a go-ahead 2-run blast in the top of the ninth to provide the North Siders with their first late-game comeback triumph of the year. Considering that the Cubs have lost a slew of games in 2019 that saw great hitting wasted by shabby pitching, the win on Saturday that featured just three Chicago hits was quite ironic. Rizzo's dinger was one of the three hits, and it led to a 2-1 Cubs victory.

Former Dodgers hurler Yu Darvish faced off against his old club when he toed the rubber for the Cubs on the evening, and he did not disappoint. With arguably his best performance of the season, Darvish consistently threw filth throughout his seven innings of work and struck out 10 batters while giving up just two hits. However, Darvish's great outing almost culminated in a losing decision because of one bad pitch made by the lefty. The Dodgers registered a modest five hits in the contest, but they nearly came away with the win because one of the five hits generated the only run scored in innings one through eight. Alex Verdugo put the Dodgers ahead 1-0 when Darvish threw a fastball right down the middle on his first pitch of the bottom of the fourth, resulting in a 459-foot solo jack for Verdugo.

Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Walker Buehler also produced a stellar 7-inning outing, with the righty fanning six and giving up only two hits in a scoreless stint on the mound. Buehler actually worked a no-hitter until the Cubs' Addison Russell hit a 1-out single in the sixth. The no-hitter was prolonged when Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez was charged with a questionable throwing error on a difficult play in the fourth that probably should have been scored as an infield single for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. Nonetheless, Buehler was outstanding, but a rare blown save by Kenley Jansen, one of the best closers in the sport, culminated in a no-decision for the burgeoning ace.

Jansen was not his usual self after taking the hill to begin the ninth, and he made that clear when he beaned Bryant in the side on his very first pitch. Three pitches later, Rizzo took Jansen deep on a 408-foot 2-run homer that was skied to right. Rizzo's 19th long ball of the year seemed to snap Jansen out of his stupor, as the All-Star reliever returned to form and collected three easy outs after that. The damage had been done, though, and Cubs closer Pedro Strop proceeded to accomplish what Jansen failed to do by earning the save in the bottom of the ninth to secure the Cubs' 2-1 win.

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jun 15, 2019123456789RHE
Chicago (39-31)000000002230
Los Angeles (47-24)000100000152
W: Kyle Ryan (2-1) L: Kenley Jansen (2-2) S: Pedro Strop (8)

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