Cubs beat Brewers in 10th on bases-loaded walk
Jake Fox's persistence and patience in drawing a game-winning, bases-loaded walk Friday should come as no surprise. He's a determined guy with big minor league numbers trying to find a permanent job with the Chicago Cubs.
Fox fouled off four pitches before working a two-out walk on a close 3-2 pitch from Mike DiFelice, sending the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in 10 innings Friday.
"He made some great pitches and I was able to fight them off until he either gave me a pitch to hit or made a mistake. And he missed one," Fox said.
"I just went back into the video room to check it out. ... It was a little up and a little bit in. I thought the umpire made a good call there. But it was a close one."
Ryan Theriot singled off second baseman Craig Counsell's glove with one out in the 10th and went to second on a wild pitch from DiFelice (4-1). After Theriot moved up on a fly ball, the Brewers intentionally walked Milton Bradley. With a 3-0 count on pinch-hitter Geovany Soto, DiFelice also walked him intentionally to load the bases.
Fox, in his second stint with the Cubs after hitting 17 homers and batting .409 at Triple-A, finally got a ball four - and the Cubs had a victory. It was a call that had DiFelice extending his arms and walking toward plate umpire Bill Welke as the Cubs celebrated and mobbed Fox.
"I shouldn't have put us in that situation," DiFelice said. "I started getting tired toward the end there, but it shouldn't have been bases loaded, 3-2 count in the first place."
Before Friday, DiFelice had walked only five batters all season in 31 1-3 innings.
"For a guy that prides himself on being a control pitcher, I think that is the toughest thing," he said. "To lose a game with a walk-off walk, that definitely hurts more."
The Brewers threatened in the ninth when Cubs right fielder Bradley lost Jason Kendall's high fly in the sun - the ball hit him on the right arm - and fell for a double. Kevin Gregg (3-2) hit Counsell with a pitch, but Ryan Braun popped out to end the inning.
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead when Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano walked Corey Hart with the bases loaded in the fourth. The Cubs tied it in the fifth on Zambrano's RBI single off Jeff Suppan.
Cubs center fielder Kosuke Fukudome made a great throw to cut down Suppan at the plate in the seventh and keep the game tied.
Suppan opened with a single before third baseman Fox fumbled Kendall's bunt for an error, putting runners at first and second. With two outs, Prince Fielder hit a sharp single to center and Fukudome made a one-hop throw to Koyie Hill, who tagged Suppan to end the inning.
"I wish I was a little bit faster to be honest with you. It was just one of those things where I was never really gifted with speed and I just try to get there," Suppan said.
Fukudome called it a normal baseball play.
"The runner was a pitcher, so I definitely had a chance," Fukudome said.
Zambrano, who hasn't won in five starts since June 5, gave up five hits and a run in seven innings.
Suppan yielded four hits and a run in seven innings - his longest outing of the season.
The Brewers loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth after Counsell and Braun singled and Zambrano hit Fielder on the shoulder with a high inside pitch, but Milwaukee managed only one run when Zambrano walked Hart.
When Suppan drilled Derrek Lee on the left hip in the bottom of the inning, Welke warned both benches. Lee had seven RBIS and two homers Thursday night in the opener.
Bradley grounded a single to left to put runners at first and third, but J.J. Hardy fielded Fukudome's hard grounder up the middle and started an inning-ending double play.
After Fox was hit with a pitch in the fifth, Mike Fontenot followed with a double over Braun's outstretched glove in left to put runners at second and third. Zambrano, a switch-hitter batting right-handed against the right-handed Suppan, then dumped a one-out single into center to tie the game.
Struggling Alfonso Soriano returned to the lineup after missing two games. He went 0 for 5 and is in an 0-for-12 slide. ... The announced crowd was 41,204 on another cool day in July with game-time temperature 67 degrees and the wind blowing in.