Propelled by a pair of two-out, three-run home runs from Javier Baez and Jason Heyward in the sixth inning, the Chicago Cubs came from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-6. Each of the Cubs’ seven runs was scored with two out.
Prior to the Cubs mounting their furious rally, the Dodgers appeared poised to earn a win at Wrigley Field despite mustering all of three hits off Cole Hamels. He took the mound Wednesday night having walked a combined three batters over 26 innings pitched across his first four starts of the season.
Hamels matched that total with one out in the third, and exceeded it in the fourth inning. It wound up costing Hamels, as his fourth and fifth walks of the game put Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger on base.
Chris Taylor’s chopper to first base backed Anthony Rizzo up and led to a foot race between the Dodgers’ outfielder and Hamels.
Rizzo double clutched before throwing to first base, and the half-second Hamels took after Taylor was called safe, allowed Seager enough time to go head-first into home plate for the first run of the game.
After a shift turned A.J. Pollock’s groundball into a base hit, Bellinger followed with an opposite-field two-run homer that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0 and knocked Hamels out of the game.
Even as the Dodgers were struggling to generate any run support early, Walker Buehler did his part to keep the Cubs at bay. He benefitted from good fortune as the Cubs made hard contact with plenty of frequency but had nothing to show for it.
They nearly put the first run on the board when Kris Bryant lined a double down the right-field line. Bellinger chased it down and threw to Kiké Hernandez who fired a strike to home plate to nail Daniel Descalso on his attempt to score from first base.
The Cubs eventually broke through against Buehler in the sixth inning when he surrendered a game-tying home run to Baez on a hanging breaking ball thrown on an 0-2 count. Scott Alexander replaced Buehler and promptly allowed a pinch-hit double followed by a three-run homer to Heyward.
Rizzo’s RBI double off Joe Kelly in the seventh inning, another two-out hit for the Cubs, provided them with insurance that ultimately loomed large because Alex Verdugo clubbed a three-run homer in the eighth that otherwise would’ve tied the game.