CHICAGO (AP) — David Bote had no idea if the ball was going out until he saw the signal from the third-base umpire as he sprinted toward second.
No small feat on a blustery day like this.
Bote homered, Adbert Alzolay combined with three relievers on the Chicago’s first shutout and the surging Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Friday.
Bote’s line drive toward the left-field corner leading off the fifth cleared the wall, spoiling Reds starter Vladimir Gutiérrez’s major league debut, and helped the Cubs win for the 10th time in 12 games even though they managed just three hits.
“I knew I got it good,” Bote said. “And then I was like, ‘Oh man, I got to run.’ … With a day like today, you hit the ball hard, you just start running because you’re just trying to get as many extra bases as you can. It’s gonna be tough to get three hits in a row there with the wind blowing in like that.”
Alzolay (3-4) escaped with two runners on in each of the first three innings on a chilly, soggy and windy afternoon. He threw 103 pitches before getting pulled with two out in the sixth. The right-hander gave up five hits, struck out six and walked three after issuing none in his previous three starts.
Overall, he said, it was a “huge step forward” in his development.
“I got in some jams there,” he said. “I was able to keep pitching, execute my pitches and just keep competing.”
Alzolay exited with runners on first and second Max Schrock doubled with two out and Jonathan India walked. Andrew Chafin struck out pinch-hitter Eugenio Suárez to end that threat and dodged a first-and-second jam in the seventh when Tyler Stephenson grounded into a double play.
Tommy Nance retired all three batters in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth on his 33rd birthday for his 12th save in 14…
Leave a Reply