Rizzo draws bases-loaded walk in 11th, Cubs beat Cubs 4-3
CHICAGO (AP) Anthony Rizzo finished celebrating, retreated to the clubhouse and reminded his Chicago Cubs teammates that they've now won games in their last at-bat on a wild pitch, a squeeze bunt and a bases-loaded walk.
It's been that kind of season.
Rizzo drew a walk from Zach Duke with two outs in the 11th inning and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday night for their 10th consecutive win.
''It's one of those things where it's going our way,'' Rizzo said. ''We just want it to keep going our way.''
Not only did the Cubs open a 13-game lead over the second-place Cardinals in the NL Central, St. Louis lost slugger Matt Holliday to a broken right thumb after he was hit by a pitch in the 10th inning.
Holliday wasn't sure if he'll miss the rest of the season. He's to see a hand specialist Friday.
''For sure it's super disappointing but it's part of sport unfortunately,'' Holliday said.
Pinch-hitters Willson Contreras and Jorge Soler led off with singles against the lefty Duke (2-1) and Dexter Fowler walked to load the bases with one out. Kris Bryant struck out before Rizzo took a 3-1 pitch inside to give the Cubs their longest winning streak since getting 12 straight in 2001.
''Crazy stuff,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ''Entertaining? Yes.''
Mike Montgomery (4-5) allowed a single and two walks to load the bases in the 11th before striking out Matt Carpenter to end the threat. Montgomery, who won his first game with Chicago after being acquired from Seattle last month, also hit Holliday with a 94 mph fastball on a 1-1 count with nobody on and two out an inning earlier.
''I definitely feel for him,'' Montgomery said. ''It wasn't on purpose. It's just one of those pitches that's a big part of the game, going inside, and it just got away.''
Randal Grichuk, called up from the minors before the game, tied it for St. Louis with a pinch-hit solo home run off Travis Wood in the seventh. Brandon Moss also homered for St. Louis.
Chris Coghlan had a two-run single and David Ross an RBI bunt single in the sixth for the Cubs.
Both managers used their closers in the ninth. Chicago's Aroldis Chapman needed three pitches to get two liners to third and a groundout, while Seung Hwan Oh struck out the side for St. Louis. Oh then worked out of a 10th-inning jam.
The Cubs wasted three good opportunities to score before capitalizing in odd fashion, as has been their signature.
After Coghlan's two-out two-run single off Carlos Martinez tied it at 2, the 39-year-old Ross bunted an 0-1 curveball between the mound and third base. Martinez elected to throw to first, and it drew Carpenter off the bag as Jason Heyward scored to put Chicago ahead.
Coghlan also teamed with Addison Russell to throw out Carpenter at the plate from left field on Stephen Piscotty's double to end the seventh.
Cubs lefty Jon Lester allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts in six innings but lost a chance at his 13th win when Grichuk sent a 1-0 cutter into the left-field bleachers.
Moss hit his first homer off a lefty this season in the sixth to put the Cardinals up 2-0. Yadier Molina added three hits, including an RBI single in the first to extend his on-base streak to 24 games.
Martinez allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings. He hurt himself when he cut off a throw home that seemingly had a chance to get Rizzo on Chicago's second run.
The Cubs would have turned to starting pitcher John Lackey if the game had gone to the 12th. He was also in the bullpen when Lester beat Seattle with a 12th-inning squeeze bunt on July 31 that started the winning streak.
''It's just a sign of a good team,'' Lester said. ''The close game we grind out.''
Cardinals: A day after being scratched, 1B Matt Adams (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Grichuk was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
Cubs: Pedro Strop (knee surgery) will be out four to six weeks and Hector Rondon (triceps) was unavailable. Rondon played catch and is scheduled for a bullpen session Friday.
Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (13-5, 2.59 ERA) faces RHP Adam Wainwright (9-6, 4.34) on Friday afternoon.