Javier Báez and Jason Heyward each hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Dodgers’ comeback attempt came up short as the Cubs beat the Dodgers 7-6. Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a key insurance run in the 7th inning with an RBI double to secure the win.
The game looked like a pitcher’s duel at first. Walker Buehler was cruising through the first 5 innings before running into trouble and surrendering a 3-run homer in the sixth. And Cubs’ starter, Cole Hamels was looking strong at first as well.
The Dodgers managed to break through first thanks to some daring baserunning by Corey Seager. Chris Taylor hit a two-out infield single with Seager on second base. Instead of stopping there, Seager sprinted home and slid in safely under the tag.
In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers scored two more runs on Cody Bellinger‘s 12th homer of the year. He hit a fastball from Hamels high to left field. Despite the cold Chicago air, the ball kept carrying and landed in the first two rows of the bleachers for a two-run homer.
But after this, the momentum completely changed directions. With a man on first, Buehler issued a two-out walk, bringing Báez to the plate with two men on. With two strikes on Báez, Austin Barnes asked for a slider down and away (a logical pitch against a free-swinger like Báez). But Buehler missed his spot badly and Báez made him pay with a game-tying homer.
At this point, Buehler was replaced by Scott Alexander. Alexander only needed one out, but that was too much for him. He surrendered a double, then intentionally walked a batter to get to Heyward. When Alexander threw a poor pitch, Heyward made him pay with a go-ahead three-run bomb.
After Rizzo gave the Cubs another insurance run, Alex Verdugo did his best to get the Dodgers back in the game. When he was given an opportunity with two men on and two outs, Verdugo homered to center and brought the Dodgers within a run. Unfortunately, the Dodgers couldn’t generate any more offense after that.
The Dodgers will look for redemption in the final game of the series. Ross Stripling and John Lester will face off at 11:20 am. Stripling will try to build off a couple of strong starts. In 3 games this year, Lester is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA.