Cubs lose war of attrition with Giants in walk-off fashion

by - Senior Writer -
The Cubs tallied 11 hits over the course of innings one through nine but came up empty in extras. (Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
The Cubs tallied 11 hits over the course of innings one through nine but came up empty in extras. (Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

SAN FRANCISCO — A strange series, in which neither team ever seemed to settle into a rhythm at the plate, came to an end with a tug-of-war on Wednesday. Lasting 13 innings, the second extra-innings installment of the three-game affair between the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants was won in walk-off fashion by the Giants for the second time in three days.

After two low-scoring contests with relatively little offensive excitement, the Cubs and the Giants concluded their three-game set with a slobberknocker. Although neither club performed particularly well when sporting runners on base, with the Cubs leaving 26 stranded and the Giants stranding 25, Wednesday's matchup featured a combined 25 hits.

The Giants got to Cubs starter Mike Montgomery early. Chase d'Arnaud led off the game with a home run into the left-field corner. Later on in the inning, San Francisco tacked on three more runs via a two-out rally. With two outs and runners on first and second, Gorkys Hernandez clubbed a double off the wall in right field that brought in two runs. Hernandez, who reached third base after his hit was mishandled by Cubs right fielder Ben Zobrist, then came home on an RBI single by Steven Duggar that gave the Giants a four-run advantage.

The Cubs proceeded to score four unanswered runs, all of which came on home runs. First, center fielder Jason Heyward smacked a high shot to right-center for his sixth home run of the season and seventh of his career at AT&T Park. Heyward, who has had plenty of success at the plate when playing in San Francisco throughout playing days, went 3-6 with a bat in his hands.

In the top of the fifth, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant let it be known that he had not lost a step by drilling a 409-foot bomb to straightaway center field. A two-run homer that scored Heyward, the dinger was Bryant's 10th of the year and his first since June 15. Fresh off a disabled-list stint, Bryant, who was in Double-A ball just yesterday, rejoined the big leagues with a bang.

Javier Baez swatted the second leadoff home run on the day for the Cubs when he went yard in the seventh. Barely clearing Duggar's glove in center field, the solo shot tied the game at 4-4. Baez, who is set to compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday, sports 18 home runs and 66 RBI, both of which are team highs.

After giving up four runs on four hits in the first inning, Montgomery gained his composure and went on to pitch five frames of eight-hit ball. Giants starter Johnny Cueto, who recently returned from an injury layoff, fanned seven in five innings of work but gave up three runs on six hits and three walks.

The bats went cold for both clubs in extra innings. Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Hall-of-Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, pitched three scoreless innings in relief for San Francisco and earned a win that made him 4-1. The Cubs failed to accrue a hit in extras, while the Giants experienced minor success at the dish before finally ending the war of attrition in the 13th.

Making his big-league debut, recent Cubs call-up James Norwood valiantly battled through a baptism by fire in the 12th and 13th innings, only to fall to 0-1 lifetime. Norwood pitched well in the 12th but suffered a two-out letdown in the 13th inning. After walking Brandon Belt to put a man on with two outs, Norwood then allowed a single to Andrew McCutchen that advanced Belt to second.

Soon afterward, on a 2-2 count, star Giants catcher Buster Posey slugged a deep single off the wall in right to bring home Belt and give the Giants a 5-4 win, which improved them to 49-46 and dropped the Cubs to 52-38. As a result, San Francisco took two out of three from Chicago by the bay and secured a 3-3 tie to wrap up the season series.

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