Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/4/21, Game 2): Cubs 4, Dodgers 3 (F/9) – Extra-Inning Magic Ends in Walk-Off

Keegan Thompson (0-0, 0.00) took the mound against Trevor Bauer (3-1, 2.48 ERA) in game two of a doubleheader, making his first career start in place of Jake Arrieta. The veteran righty was placed on the IL prior to the early game with a right thumb injury that hampered him in his last outing against the Reds.

Thompson escaped a jam in the 1st inning but otherwise did an outstanding job filling in for Arietta, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings and allowing no runs on two hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.

The Cubs broke through against Bauer in the 4th thanks to a solo bomb by Jason Heyward to right field. They threatened later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs but Bauer froze Kris Bryant with a 3-2 fastball to minimize the damage.

The home team had another opportunity to tack on in the fifth but was unable to do so. Anthony Rizzo started the inning with a leadoff triple, but David Bote lifted a fly ball to right field that was too shallow to score the run. Heyward then sent a grounder to first base and Rizzo, running on contact, was gunned down at home. Ildemaro Vargas would ultimately end the inning by striking out.

The Cubs loaded the bases again in the 7th, this time with nobody out. After Joc Pederson popped up to short, Bryant and Rizzo both struck out, allowing yet another golden opportunity to slip through their fingers. These things typically come back to bite you and that’s exactly what happened as Craig Kimbrel surrendered his first run of the year when Max Muncy hit a solo home run into the basket in left-center.

In the 8th inning, Edwin Rios advanced to third on a Gavin Lux groundout and would later score on a Dillon Maples wild pitch. A solo homer by Justin Turner gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead and seemed to hammer several nails in the Cubs’ coffin, but Javier Báez drilled a two-run shot to left to give his team new life.

Bryant started on second base in the 9th and Rizzo moved him over with a groundout to give Bote a chance to walk it off. After missing badly on a pair of breaking balls, Bote waited back and smacked a single to win the game in dramatic fashion by a final of 4-3. (Box Score)

Why the Cubs Won

An admirable job by Thompson, a solo yam by Heyward, and some extra-inning heroics from Báez and Bote resulted in tonight’s victory.

Key Moment(s)

Mookie Betts led off the game with a double, followed by Corey Seager drawing a base on balls. With two on and nobody out, Thompson induced a double play off the bat of Chris Taylor and then got Will Smith to groundout, escaping the inning with no damage.

For a pitcher making his first big league start against the defending champs, this could have gotten away from him rather quickly. Instead, Thompson showed impressive composure and kept his team from having to play from behind. This also set up Bote’s game-winning single in extras.

Stats That Matter

  • Bryant now leads the majors in extra-base hits. He’s batting .320 with an OPS of 1.102.
  • The Cubs were 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position, but the second of those played a huge role.
  • This was Kimbrel’s first blown save of the year and first run given up.

Bottom Line

The Cubs should have been able to score a lot more runs and put this one away long before Muncy tied it in the 7th, but it was great to see them battle through adversity and pull out the win.

On Deck

Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.71 ERA) squares off against Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA) in game three of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CT on Marquee, ESPN (out-of-market only), and 670 The Score.

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