Anthony Rizzo’s winner nice after Cubs set record for K’s

Written By BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media | BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media Posted: 09/12/2014, 06:31am
Array CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 10: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs hits a walk-off game winning hit against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 10, 2014 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in twelve innings.(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477587779

Anthony Rizzo didn’t change his plate approach in the 12th inning Sunday when the Tampa Bay Rays deployed a five-man infield with Cubs runners at first and third with one out.

‘‘I knew I had to put the ball in the air, and I’m a fly-ball hitter,’’ Rizzo said.

His solid fly single to left against lefty Cesar Ramos (2-4) drove in Ryan Sweeney for a 3-2 victory, the only win for the Cubs in the three-game series.

The Cubs had 13 hits but stranded 11 as they struck out 17 times, setting a dubious franchise record in the process. The series saw Cubs batters strike out 44 times, surpassing the record of 43 strikeouts in a three-game series set in May 2003 against the Houston Astros.

‘‘[The Rays] have a good pitching staff,’’ Rizzo said. ‘‘We ran into some good pitching and good relievers, and we don’t see them a lot, either.

“Strikeouts are part of the game now. You have to move on from it.’’

Carlos Villanueva (5-6) was the seventh Cubs pitcher used. The Rays also used seven.

Cubs starter Travis Wood struck out five in six innings, giving up one unearned run before manager Rick Renteria opted for reliever Neil Ramirez for matchups in the seventh.

‘‘My last couple games I thought my command was back,’’ said Wood, who left in a 1-1 tie. ‘‘I walked three, but I was attacking the zone and kept them off the boards.’’

Roster moves

The bullpen shuffle saw Ramirez return from the disabled list, Jacob Turner arrive from Miami and Chris Rusin return to Class AAA Iowa. Right-hander Brian Schlitter (2-3, 3.47 ERA) also was put on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. The bullpen continues to have eight relievers.

Turner, 23, acquired Friday from the Marlins for minor-league right-handers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer, eventually may find his way into the rotation. He was a starter for the Marlins and the Detroit Tigers, who drafted him in 2009. But his struggles in Miami this season led to a move to the bullpen before the trade.

‘‘For whatever reason, there were times that it seemed to work out and times when [the Marlins] felt they had to go in a different direction,’’ Turner said. ‘‘I’m just excited to be here, and I think it’ll be a good opportunity to get a fresh start and just kind of regroup a little bit.”

‘‘I do [want to start again], but I don’t know where their thought process is on that. Whatever situation, it’s the same game.’’

Rookie Ramirez, 25, was pitching well just before going on the DL with a sore triceps. The Cubs initially said he was being sent to Iowa for a brief rest.

‘‘The team was looking out for me there,’’ Ramirez said.


The Cubs have gone to extra innings in six of their last 12 games.

◆ The walk-off victory was the Cubs’ first since their 4-3 win in a marathon 16-inning game against the Colorado Rockies on July 29.

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