David Bote’s pinch-hit blast sparks Cubs to thrilling victory
Almost exactly two years after David Bote’s thrilling walk-off grand slam, he pulled off another huge pinch-hit home run for the Cubs.
Staring down a potential doubleheader sweep and a five-game losing streak, Bote hit for Victor Caratini in the top of the 6th inning and smashed a go-ahead 3-run homer into the batter’s eye in center field.
It was only the Cubs’ 2nd hit of the game, but it sparked the team to a 5-4 victory in Game 2 of Monday’s double dip.
“We needed a win — I think that’s evident,” David Ross said. “That was a big win for us.”
After averaging over 5 runs a game on the season, the Cubs entered the 6th inning with only 2 runs and 3 hits in the first 12 innings of the doubleheader.
“Bote staying locked in on the bench, coming in, putting that swing on the ball is beautiful — he’s done that a time or two,” Anthony Rizzo said “It’s a spark, it’s energetic after a long day. Just grind it out and getting the big knock there was exciting for us.
“It’s nice to get that win on the back end of the doubleheader and go to bed with that good feeling of winning and come back tomorrow and be ready to go.”
A couple batters before Bote, Willson Contreras broke up the no-hitter with an RBI double off the left-field wall.
After a tough Game 1 offensively and a hitless start to Game 2, the Cubs lineup continued to grind and keep their approach, knowing they were only one big hit away from getting back into a groove.
They finished the second game with just 3 hits, but all 3 went for extra bases and they also drew 10 free passes (9 walks and a hit-by-pitch) while forcing the Cardinals staff to throw 132 pitches in 7 innings.
“You’re aware of things we weren’t getting guys in as well as we did earlier in the year,” Bote said. “That’s gonna happen — it’s baseball. I think something like this can catapult us back into it. The overall process, the overall drive, the overall grinding mentality I think is still there. Our at-bats have been great.
“Just to be able to keep putting the pressure on the defense, keep putting the pressure on the pitcher and more often than not, good things are going to happen.”
The Cubs bullpen made the lead hold up over the final 2 innings as the Cardinals served as the “home” team and batted last in the second game of the doubleheader (as a makeup game of the postponed series in St. Louis earlier this month).
Tyson Miller made his MLB debut for the Cubs to start Game 2, allowing 2 runs in 2 innings of work.
In the first game, the Cardinals rallied in the 7th to plate a pair of runs off Kyle Hendricks to hand the Cubs’ their fourth straight loss.
The Cubs are now 14-7 on the campaign and square off against the Cardinals three times over the next two days (with another doubleheader Wednesday).