Russell with walk-off homer in win against Brewers

by - Senior Editor -
David Banks - USA Today Sports
David Banks - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO -- The Wrigley Field faithful sat in a 55-minute rain delay and patiently watched the Cubs trail for eight innings. However, good things come to those who wait as the Northsiders defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 with a walk-off three-run blast by Addison Russell.

"It seems like whenever you count us out we seem to have a spark. That's all it takes is one hit, one walk and we get rolling," Russell said during postgame interviews.

Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks had a rough start as he allowed a two-run homer by Travis Shaw to center field that put the Brewers up 2-0 in the first inning. It didn't get much better in the following inning as Jett Bandy hit a solo shot to left field to add to the Brewers lead at 3-0.

In the bottom of the second inning, young outfielder Albert Almora Jr. launched his first homer of the season to put the Cubs within two runs at 3-1. The promising centerfielder continues to impress with his overall play as Maddon will have to find ways to put him in the lineup in a more consistent manner.

Jonathan Villar had a line drive RBI single to score Orlando Arcia to add to the Brewers lead at 4-1 in the fourth inning.

Hendricks finished up going five innings giving up four hits, four runs, four walks, and four strikeouts on 91 pitches. One interesting tidbit is that Hendricks walked the starting pitcher for the first time in his major league career. Last year's ERA leader is now up to an inflated 6.19 ERA through three starts this season.

The Cubs escaped a base-loaded jam in the sixth inning as Montgomery gave up a hit and two walks but got out of the inning unscathed. In the bottom of the inning, Willson Conteras had a RBI single on a ground ball to right field Hernan Perez to put the Cubs within two runs at 4-2.

Things got closer with shortstop Addison Russell hit a RBI single over the head of the first baseman to cut the Brewers lead to 4-3 in the eighth inning. However, the Albert Almora Jr. and Javy Baez struck out with runners on second and third base to end the inning.

In the ninth inning, the Cubs offense put together some quality at-bats with a walk by Jon Jay and a single by Miguel Montero. Kris Bryant came up to the plate and had a clutch RBI single to tie the game at four.

However, the hero of the game was Addison Russell who had a three-run walk-off homer with two outs in the ninth inning. The home run had an exit velocity of 109 MPH and went 375 feet into the bleachers. He is the youngest Cubs player to hit a walkoff home run since Anthony Rizzo in 2012.

"I'm just trying not to do too much," Russell said. "I really want to get in tune with my thoughts and get into my rhythm. I just go pole to pole. I'm not trying to pull the ball. Not trying to go the other way. Just trying not to do too much."

Another amazing statistic is that Russell hit the home run off of a 96.9 MPH pitch which was the hardest pitch he's ever hit for a home run.

A bullpen implosion was not the issue today for the Cubs as Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara, and Wade Davis combined to pitch four innings without giving up a run.

The Northsiders will have a day off on Thursday and begin a three-game road series with the league-leading Cincinnati Reds.

"It's huge especially coming up with a day off," Russell said. "You definitely want to go into Cincinnati with a sense that we could come back in any part of the game and that's what we did today. I think we had great at-bats. I think the pitchers did very well today. Just don't give up. That's the type of style we play."

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