Cubs edge Dodgers in 10 innings for their fourth straight win
Facing a five-man infield with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, Chris Denorfia did exactly what he wanted to do.
Denorfia hit a game-ending sacrifice fly, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Tuesday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
"Obviously that’s a situation where I know that all I need to do is hit a fly ball," Denorfia said. "So I tried to just take a deep breath and not try to do too much. Just get a ball that was up in the zone and just get the bottom half of it."
Jason Motte (5-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, finishing a three-hitter for Jason Hammel and three relievers. The Cubs’ major league-leading eighth victory in extra innings put them nine games over .500 (39-30) for the first time since they were 57-48 in 2009.
"We don’t quit," Hammel said. "We’re going to keep coming."
Los Angeles has dropped six of eight. It also has lost four consecutive road games to fall to 12-20 away from Dodger Stadium this season.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th on two singles and a walk. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then replaced Joel Peralta (1-1) with Kenley Jansen and brought the infield in.
Los Angeles got one out when Addison Russell bounced into a fielder’s choice, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez juggling the ball before making a strong throw to the plate. But Denorfia followed with a line drive to center that Joc Pederson brought in on the run, giving him no chance of making a play.
"You have to take things. Nobody gives you anything here," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "You’ve got to take things, so I love the way our guys are going about their business."
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke allowed three hits and walked two in six innings while extending his scoreless streak to 13 frames. The right-hander is 0-2 in his last nine starts despite a 1.79 ERA over that stretch.
"I don’t worry about it and just think our team’s good and by the end of the year, if everyone does their job, we’re going to be all right," Greinke said.
The Cubs nearly got to Greinke in the first, putting runners on second and third with two outs. But Starlin Castro flied out to right to end the inning.
"Zack threw the ball well," Mattingly said. "The bullpen did a nice job for us, gave us a lot of chances."
Hammel allowed two hits in 7-2/3 innings, and one of them was a gift triple for Yasiel Puig in the sixth that was lost in the night sky by outfielders Matt Szczur and Mike Baxter. Hammel then got Pederson to pop out to shortstop, ending the threat.
Hammel struck out six and walked two, bouncing back from a sluggish start at Cleveland on Thursday. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA in five June outings.
"Fastball command was there tonight, and it makes me a different pitcher," he said.
A man holding a baby made a great barehanded catch over the glove of Gonzalez in the second inning, prompting a replay review.
With two outs and none on, Gonzalez chased Hammel’s popup and reached over the rolled-up tarp while trying to make a play, but Keith Hartley, of Chicago, grabbed the ball with his right hand while carrying his 7-month-old son, Isaac, in his left arm.
"I was just feeding him and I saw the ball coming our way and held on to him and made sure I protected him and I stood up and it kind of just fell in my hand," Hartley said.
Mattingly came out of the dugout and argued for fan interference. While the play was being reviewed, the crowd roared as the sequence was shown again on the ballpark’s videoboards.
After a brief delay, the call was reversed and Hammel was ruled out, ending the inning.
"It would have been more impressive if the baby would have caught it," Gonzalez deadpanned.
Dodgers: Mattingly said Cuban INF Hector Olivera has a mild left hamstring strain and is going to Arizona for treatment. Olivera finalized a $62.5 million, six-year contract with Los Angeles in May and was playing for Triple-A Oklahoma City at the time of the injury.
Cubs: CF Dexter Fowler was out of the starting lineup after he sprained his left ankle in the series opener. He walked as a pinch-hitter in the 10th. … LHP Tsuyoshi Wada played catch after he was pulled from Monday night’s 4-2 win due to cramping in the back of his left arm. The team is still hoping he will be able to take his next turn in the rotation Saturday at St. Louis.