Patrick Wisdom-Frank Schwindel HR duo strikes again as Cubs end losing streak
“Schwisdom” combined for back-to-back homers for the second consecutive day — eighth-inning blasts that gave the Cubs the lead — and newcomer P.J. Higgins hit a three-run triple as the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 5-4 to salvage the finale of a four-game series.
Patrick Wisdom took off his Cubs jersey and put on his ‘‘Schwisdom’’ T-shirt before a postgame interview in the clubhouse Sunday. It was a tribute to his pairing with teammate and next-door locker mate Frank Schwindel.
It doesn’t quite have the same ring as the ‘‘Bash Brothers,’’ but it was just as effective on this day.
With the Cubs in a bind after losing an early three-run lead and headed toward a fifth consecutive defeat, Wisdom homered against Diamondbacks reliever Ian Kennedy to tie the score in the eighth inning. Schwindel followed with a homer of his own that gave the Cubs a 5-4 victory before 32,606 fans at Wrigley Field.
As modest as it is in the big picture, ‘‘Schwisdom’’ might be the best thing the Cubs’ offense has going right now. The two also hit back-to-back homers in a 7-6 loss Saturday to the Diamondbacks. It marked the first time the Cubs had the same players hit back-to-back homers in back-to-back games since Ernie Banks and Jim Hickman did it Aug. 23-24, 1969, according to Cubs historian Ed Hartig.
‘‘It was a fun two batters right there,’’ Schwindel said. ‘‘Great team win.’’
Wisdom’s homer, a 404-foot drive to left-center with little doubt, came after he had lined a ball down the left-field line that looked fair to the Cubs but was called foul.
‘‘That’s one of those ones [where] you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s super-close,’ ’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘[Third-base coach] Willie [Harris] is usually the guy who has a pretty good idea, and he just kind of raised his eyebrows, saying it was pretty close.’’
‘‘I thought it was [fair] from my angle,’’ Wisdom said, ‘‘but I think we’ll all take the home run instead. It’s [the umpire’s] call, so I just have to regroup and get back in there. I got another good pitch to hit.’’
Schwindel followed with a high drive to left field that landed three rows into the bleachers. He sprinted around the bases once he knew it was gone, celebrating gleefully, just as Wisdom had done on his homer.
It was the third consecutive game in which the Cubs hit back-to-back homers. Christopher Morel and Ildemaro Vargas did it in a 10-6 loss Friday.
Schwindel acknowledged the difficulty of hitting a homer against a pitcher who has just allowed one.
‘‘But I was riding the momentum,’’ he said. ‘‘I think that was the intent on the swing. It worked out today. It worked [Saturday]. It’s just a lot of fun when we can do that.’’
Until then, the Cubs’ offensive hero was catcher P.J. Higgins, who was called up Sunday with Willson Contreras needing at least a couple of days off because of a strained hamstring.
Higgins, who was 1-for-23 (.043) in a nine-game stint with the Cubs last season before suffering a forearm injury that required surgery, hit a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the second in his first at-bat this season to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
‘‘Nice job of hitting,’’ Ross said. ‘‘Huge knock for us. Huge.’’
It was a particularly clutch hit, given that the Cubs had loaded the bases with no outs before Alfonso Rivas struck out and Andrelton Simmons fouled out.
‘‘Definitely had some emotions,’’ Higgins said. ‘‘Obviously, I didn’t have many hits the first go-round [last season], so to get that with the bases loaded was awesome. The whole crowd, the whole atmosphere, was awesome to be around. I was a little bit tired running around. I don’t hit that many triples, but it was awesome.’’