7/26 Cubs 3, Giants 2
Two runs scored on an error by Giants first baseman Brandon Belt with two outs in the ninth to give the Cubs a 3-2 victory Friday night. Trailing, 2-1, against Sergio Romo, pinch-hitter Julio Borbon singled and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro walked. One out later, Junior Lake reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Navarro at second. Rizzo then lined the ball to right, through Belt’s legs, for an error. Borbon and Lake scored.
“It’s just a routine ground ball,” Belt said. “I did what I’ve always done in that situation. … That wasn’t the only mistake I made. Looking back on it, it cost us the game.”
The other blip came in the seventh. More on that later.
The Cubs picked up their 24th win on the road, one more than they won all last season away from Wrigley Field.
“Yes,” Sveum said emphatically. “And a lot more west of the Mississippi [River].”
Edwin Jackson did not get a decision but continued his much improved second half. He struck out five and did not walk a batter in the first six innings. Second baseman Darwin Barney made a great diving stop on Buster Posey’s hard-hit grounder and threw him out to begin the seventh. Jackson then walked Pablo Sandoval, and Hunter Pence doubled down the left-field line.
Belt was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Jeff Francoeur blooped a single to right, driving in Sandoval and Pence. That’s when Belt’s other mistake occurred. He thought about scoring, but Jackson, who had his back to the action on the field, got a break as the throw went past him, bounced off the wall and back to the pitcher, who made the tag.
“Jackson wasn’t even looking,” Belt said. “He had no idea where the ball was.”
Sometimes, things do work in the Cubs’ favor.
“I think he was frustrated,” Sveum said of Jackson. “The ball fell in, and he might have lost concentration there. You saw where the ball was and he ended up making the play.”
Catcher Welington Castillo yelled at his pitcher to get his attention but probably couldn’t be heard over the crowd of 41,797 at AT&T Park. What happened?
“I stopped to not run into Sandoval,” Jackson said. “When I stopped to not run into him, I went around him. By the time I could turn around, the ball was coming at me, and right in front of me. Sometimes the ball bounces in your favor, and sometimes it doesn’t. … It’s a crazy game. That was something that worked in our favor.”
It’s not a good idea to run into Sandoval.
“He’s a big man,” Jackson said. “Nobody wants that collision at home like that.”
— Carrie Muskat