The Chicago Cubs improved to .500 after winning a hard fought game over the Brewers in game 2 of a 3 game series.
Final Score: Cubs (4-4) 7 – Brewers (3-5) 6
Whenever Randy Wells’ (1-0) spot in the rotation comes up, the Chicago Cubs know they are going to get a solid performance. The Cubs breakout star of 2009 started the game out dealing. Wells began the game by striking out the side in order.
The Cubs (minus Alfonso Soriano) brought their gloves to the park in support of Wells. In the 2nd inning Ryan Theriot threw out Prince Fielder at the plate to keep the Brewers from scoring. Later in the 5th, new center fielder Marlon Byrd threw out Carlos Gomez at 3rd base, neutralizing the threat.
The offense struggled against Brewers pitcher Dave Bush. However, Wells got a little run support in the 2nd, on back to back doubles by Soriano and Fontenot that put the Cubs 1-0.
Wells was cruising through the game until the 5th. With men on 1st and 2nd, Wells gave up a line drive to Ricky Weeks that plated both Brewer runners making the score 2-1 . Weeks was credited with a double but advanced to 3rd because of another error by Alfonso Soriano who had trouble picking up the ball.
It didn’t take long for the Cubs to get even. In the bottom half of the 5th, the former rookie of the year, Geovany Soto crushed a home run onto Waveland to tie the game at 2.
However, the Brewers immediately took the lead once again in the 6th, when Randy Wells ran into more trouble. Wells allowed back to back singles to Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Braun scored on a slowly hit roller to right field by Casey McGehee.
Wells was pulled in the 7th after allowing another run to score and retiring only 1 out. Wells finished the day allowing 4 (3 earned) runs on 10 hits, while walking only 1 and striking out 7. Justin Berg and James Russel relieved Wells each recording 1 out.
Bush finished the day with 6 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, walking 0 and striking out 2 batters. He was relieved by Chris Narveson. Narveson allowed a single to pinch hitter Jeff Baker and walked Soto on 4 consecutive pitches. Tyler Colvin, who replaced Soriano in left, put down a sac bunt to advance both runners. The Brewers decided to play the matchup and relieved Narveson with the hefty Todd Coffey.
Ryan Theriot hit a line-drive that deflected off of Alcides Escobar’s glove, loading the bases for Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome hit a sac fly allowing Baker to score making it a 1 run game. Aramis Ramirez walked to re-load the bases for Xavier Nady. Nady grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the potentially huge inning.
In the 8th inning, and for the 1st time in over a decade, the number 34 was worn on a Cubs uniform by someone not named Kerry Wood. Jeff Gray made his season debut sporting the number of the popular Indians closer. Gray had a rough outing. The Brewers took a 3 run lead on back to back triples by Gomez and Escobar. Gray escaped the inning with a double play but the damage was done with the Brewers up 6-3.
Luckily for the Cubs, the Brewers sent LaTroy Hawkins to pitch the 8th. Chicago didn’t go quietly. Tyler Colvin took a walk to load the bases with 2 outs. Theriot hit a 2 run single to bring the Cubs within a run. Fukudome followed suit and singled in 2 more runs to put the Cubs up.
In the 9th, Carlos Marmol was filthy. The Cubs closer struck out Hart, Braun and Fielder (all swinging) in order to record his 3rd save of the season. With the come back from behind victory, Jeff Gray (1-0) was rewarded with the victory.
The series will conclude on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM. The Cubs will send “ace” Carlos Zambrano (1-1) to the mound. The Brewers will counter with Jeff Suppan (0-0) who is making his season debut.
Game Notes: Derrek Lee was out of the lineup with the right thumb injury sustained in Monday’s Opening Day win. Lee is expected to be back in the lineup for the series finale. The Cubs made a roster move placing relieve pitcher, Esmailin Caridad on the disabled list with a strained forearm injury. This early in the season, the team wants to be careful with their young pitchers. Taking his spot on the 25 man roster is right hander Jeff Gray. Gray was acquired from Oakland in the Jake Fox trade. Gray was projected to break camp with the team out of Spring Training, but injured his groin early in camp. Xavier Nady was hit by a pitch for the 3rd time already in only 8 games.