Payback’s a split: Albert Almora Jr. gets ‘revenge’ on walkoff for Cubs in 10th

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Almora celebrates after beating the Dodgers Tuesday night with a.10th-inning single. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Dodgers walked Jason Heyward in front of Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in a one-run game with one out in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s doubleheader opener with two men in scoring position.

Almora popped up for the second out. The Cubs came away empty – then lost 4-3 when Justin Wilson blew the lead in the ninth.

So when the Dodgers walked Javy Baez in front of Almora in the 10th inning of the nightcap, with Kris Bryant at third base?

“It was personal for me,” he said. “I learned from my mistakes and didn’t try to do too much. But I really wanted that one pretty bad.”

Almora lined Brock Stewart’s 2-0 pitch through the right side of the infield for the 2-1, walkoff win that gave the Cubs a split in the tightly played doubleheader between two of the favorites for the National League pennant.

“Both teams are playoff tested and they know what it feels like to be in games like that tonight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It was kind of obvious to me from the dugout.”

Ex-Cub Rich Hill, activated from the DL (blisters) between games to start nightcap for the Dodgers, held the Cubs to three hits in six scoreless innings before Kyle Schwarber homered off Erik Goeddel in the seventh to tie it.

That’s where it stayed until Bryant led off the 10th with a triple into the corner, setting the stage for Dodger manager Dave Roberts’ counter-intuitive move of walking the strikeout-prone Baez to get to Almora, the contact hitter with a .325 average.

“I have no idea what the strategy was, but I loved Albert in that moment,” Maddon said.

Not more than Albert loved Albert in that moment.

“It was just a little bit of revenge for the first game,” Almora said. “Obviously Javy’s a scary hitter. Scarier than I am, so …

“But I just wanted to get it done,” he said. “I wanted to do it myself, honestly, just because it’s a little payback from the first game.”

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