Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (8/12/23): Cubs 5, Blue Jays 4 – Morel Mashes to Seal Series Win

The Cubs played a hard-fought game against the Blue Jays Saturday that came down to the final inning. The visitors came through with a clutch hit and were able to capture a one-run win for another series from a playoff team.

Toronto struck first against Justin Steele in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a two-out RBI single. The Cubs answered back in a big way against Chris Bassitt in the top of the 4th.

Nico Hoerner doubled and Ian Happ walked to put two on with nobody out for Cody Bellinger, who ripped a long single off the right field wall to tie the score. Dansby Swanson followed and broke an 0-for-16 slump with a massive three-run homer to the upper deck in left.

The Jays chipped away at the 4-1 lead in the 5th when Whit Merrifield blasted a two-run dinger to center against Steele to cut the margin to one. The home team tied the score in the next frame when Santiago Espinal hit an RBI double against Mark Leiter Jr. The Cubs actually caught a break when the ball bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double that prevented the go-ahead run from scoring.

The score stayed deadlocked until the North Siders rallied in the top of the 9th inning against former Cardinal Jordan Hicks. Bellinger yanked a leadoff double into the right field corner and came home on laser-beam two-bagger to left off the bat of Christopher Morel.

Adbert Alzolay shut things down in the bottom of the frame to earn the save and seal the 5-4 win. (Box score)

Key Moment

Morel had been scuffling recently, including his strikeout with a chance to tie or win the game against the Mets on Wednesday. It was a different story on Saturday, as the designated hitter jumped on a hanging slider and pounded it into the corner for the winning RBI. For a little bit of added flair, he did the splits to avoid over-sliding second base.

Why the Cubs Won

The bullpen did a good job keeping the explosive Toronto lineup in check over the final three innings and gave the offense enough room to scratch out a late run.

Stats That Matter

  • Steele only went five innings after throwing a career high 110 pitches against the Braves: 5 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 7 K, and 0 BB.
  • Bellinger just keeps hitting and working great at bats.
  • Hoerner is really heating up now and showing some extra-base power.

Bottom Line

Facing a team the of the Blue Jays’ quality on the road, you’re often happy just to escape with one win. Bouncing back from a poor series in Queens for a series win in Toronto is huge and I think we are reaching the point of being able to say the Cubs are for real. They can hang in with anybody in baseball and they are going to be in it right to the end of the season.

On Deck

The Cubs go for the sweep Sunday at 12:37pm CT. Jameson Taillon takes the mound against lefty Hyun Jin Ryu in a game airing on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

Back to top button