Bryant's homer lifts Cubs over Brewers in extras
|Friday, September 22, 2017, 6:15 AM- -|
MILWAUKEE – In a game that not only had playoff implications attached to it but played out like that of a playoff game, as well, the Chicago Cubs increased their lead atop the National League Central standings by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 in extras. Lifted by a two-run homer in the top of the 10th, the Cubs used a late 3-0 scoring run to collect the win and improve to 85-67 overall.
Jake Arrieta started on the mound for the Cubs on the night and pitched well, giving up just one run and five hits in five innings pitched. However, Arrieta was arguably pulled from the game too soon, setting up Milwaukee to score two runs late in the game.
The Cubs took an early lead, thanks to a solo shot to center by left fielder Kyle Schwarber in the second frame. One of two runs given up by Brewers ace Zach Davies, the bomb marked Schwarber's 29th home run of the season, nearly double that of his previous career-high.
Chicago added another run in the proceeding inning after hitting three consecutive one-out singles, the last of which, a single by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, scored outfielder Jon Jay to put the Cubs up 2-0. Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana cut that lead in half in the fourth with a solo jack to center, which was his 28th home run of the year.
The seventh inning saw the Cubs' lead disappear, as much-maligned relief pitcher Brian Duensing gave it away after suffering from a two-out collapse, in which he walked three batters and allowed a game-tying single to be hit by infielder Eric Sogard.
Chicago's relief-pitching woes did not end there, as Justin Wilson, a Cubs reliever, struggled through the eighth inning, giving up the go-ahead run on an RBI single by first baseman Eric Thames, one of two hits on the night for the slugger.
However, the Cubs did not go quietly, adding a run off of Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress to force extra innings. After failing to properly cover first base on an infield single by the Cubs' Ian Happ to begin the inning, Jeffress earned two quick outs but paid the price for his aforementioned mistake when Cubs second baseman Javier Baez produced a clutch two-out single that scored Happ from second.
The Brew Crew nearly ended the game in the bottom of the ninth after loading the bases with one out, but Cubs closer Wade Davis was able to prevent the ball from leaving the infield thereafter, collecting a strikeout and a groundout to end the scoring threat and push the contest into the 10th inning.
Brewers reliever Oliver Drake did not perform nearly as well under pressure as Davis did, as he quickly gave up a leadoff double to Jay in the 10th and then allowed what proved to be the winning two-run home run from Chicago third baseman Kris Bryant, who went 3-4 on the night.
A little kiss from the MVP. pic.twitter.com/UTJCwbr755— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 22, 2017
Davis proceeded to strike out the side in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 5-3 win for the Cubs that was capped off by Bryant's 28th long ball of the season. Featuring 12 hits by each team, the nail-biter was a slugfest that saw the Cubs pull ahead of the Brewers by 4.5 games in the NL Central.