ST. LOUIS — Never say never.
The Cubs had a wild ninth-inning rally in Arizona on Saturday, but they topped it Tuesday against the Cardinals, scoring six runs in the ninth for a 7-6 comeback victory.
The Cubs trailed 6-1 and seemed ready to drop consecutive games against their division rivals. Patrick Wisdom started the rally by reaching on a dropped third strike. A single by Nico Hoerner and walks to Jake Marisnick and Sergio Alcantara loaded the bases and made it 6-2.
“I love it,” manager David Ross said after the win. “I mean, they don’t stop competing. There’s no give-up with this group and their experience, and when things haven’t been going our way, it would be really easy to kind of cash one in, especially a game like that on Tuesday night.”
Anthony Rizzo drew a walk with two outs to bring in another run before Javy Baez closed the deficit to a run with a two-run single. Ian Happ, who came into the game for Kris Bryant in the fifth inning, lined a two-run double into the right-field corner off closer Alex Reyes to give the Cubs the lead.
“It was just fun to be able to come through there in that situation,” Happ said. “Been grinding a lot this year and haven’t really had a lot of moments like that, so to really kind of find it and really be able to complete that rally and get the ball to Craig [Kimbrel] was obviously big.”
“Pretty spectacular that [Happ] comes up with that hit in that moment,” Ross said. “All he’s been grinding through and working through. Super-happy for him and our group.”
Williams gets a start
It had been some time since right-hander Trevor Williams started a game for the Cubs.
After an inconsistent first half, he was looking to start his second half strong. Williams got through the first two innings against the Cardinals without much damage, but things unraveled in the third and fourth.
After being handed a 1-0 lead on Hoerner’s RBI groundout in the second inning, Williams surrendered a two-out RBI double to Dylan Carlson in the third inning.
Nolan Arenado’s home run made it 2-1 in the fourth, and RBI singles by Harrison Bader and pitcher Johan Oviedo increased the Cardinals’ lead to 4-1.
In five innings, Williams allowed four runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
Ortega working way into outfield mix
Ross has been finding a balance for his outfield mix all season, but with the trade of Joc Pederson opening up more at-bats, he has had to get more creative.
Happ appeared to be in line to get a good portion of those at-bats, but Rafael Ortega has moved into the outfield picture.
Ortega is hitting .348 in 13 games this month. Happ has struggled to get things going after a strong May.