Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/21/24): Cubs 4, Braves 3 F/10 – Hoerner Baltimore Chops Braves in Extras

The Cubs welcomed the Braves to a very warm and windy Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, with conditions distinctly in the hitters favor. Surprisingly, there were only two home runs all night. The game was a low-scoring extra innings affair that was decided by a walk-off infield single from the returning Nico Hoerner.

Javier Assad pitched very carefully with the wind howling out. However, Orlando Arcia got a hold of a mistake in the 2nd inning and pounded it out to left for a two-run homer to put Atlanta ahead. Chicago got those runs right back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single from Mike Tauchman and a passed ball by catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

Michael Harris II put the Braves back on top with an opposite-field solo shot to left off of Assad in the top of the 4th. Former Cub farmhand Zack Short dropped a routine pop-up off the bat of Michael Busch at third base for a two-base error in the 6th. The North Siders made that mistake hurt with Tauchman’s second run-scoring single of the game which made it a 3-3 contest.

Both bullpens pitched well and the score remained unchanged into the 10th inning. The Braves came up empty in the top half of the frame, setting the stage for Hoerner to step up to the plate with runners on first and third with one out. The Cubs second baseman hit an old-fashioned Baltimore chop off of home plate and by the time the ball came back down into Matt Olson‘s glove at first base all the runners were safe and the home team had won 4-3. (Box score)

Key Moment

Mark Leiter Jr. came on in relief with two on and nobody out with the score even in the top of the 7th. Leiter proceeded to strike out Olson, d’Arnaud, and Harris to escape the jam unscathed.

Why the Cubs Won

The much-maligned bullpen did an excellent job in this one not allowing any runs over 6.1 innings of work. That gave the offense a chance to push across the courtesy runner in the 10th.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad had a lot of walks as he tried to avoid contact with the wind blowing out but still did a decent job to keep his team in the game: 4.2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 4 K, and 5 BB.
  • Tauchman continues to come up with big hits and was robbed of a double when Harris made a great catch in center field.
  • Dansby Swanson looked very good in his return from the IL with a single and a ringing double.
  • Miguel Amaya singled and had a pair of walks which is a very good sign after his recent struggles.

Bottom Line

That was a very impressive win for the Cubs against a quality opponent. It was nice to see some relief options starting to find a little footing, hopefully that’s something to build on. The lineup didn’t do much Tuesday but it is fully healthy and intact for the first time since early April which has to be a good sign.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Wednesday night at 6:40pm CT. It’s a battle of hard-throwing lefties between Justin Steele and Max Fried with a broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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