Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/11/24): Rays 5, Cubs 2 – Walk-Off Ends Opener in Tampa

The Cubs blew yet another game on Tuesday night, this one against the Rays at Tropicana Field. They gave up a one-run lead in the 9th inning and then allowed a three-run walk-off homer to Tampa’s Brandon Lowe.

Both starting pitchers, Jameson Taillon and Zach Eflin, were throwing well early and the game remained scoreless through three frames. Christopher Morel put Chicago ahead when he blasted a long solo homer to left field in the 4th inning.

Taillon would eventually go six shutout innings to keep his team ahead. Pinch-hitter David Bote added an RBI single to double the Cubs lead in the top of the 6th. The Rays cut that margin in half in the 7th when catcher Miguel Amaya inadvertently kicked a ball in the dirt away from the plate to bring in a run on what was ruled a wild pitch.

Héctor Neris saw his high-wire act end in disaster when Tampa Bay rallied for four runs in the 9th inning. José Caballero tied the score at 2-2 with a single before Lowe smacked the game-winning shot to right to secure a 5-2 victory for the home team. (Box score)

Key Moment

Neris has been living dangerously all season and it finally came back to bite him in this game. The timing could not have been worse for the Cubs, but it was perfectly in line with everything else that has happened over the last six weeks.

Why the Cubs Lost

The aforementioned bullpen meltdown and the inability to add to the lead conspired to doom them in this contest.

Stats That Matter

  • Taillon gave up a couple of hard-hit balls but did more than enough to give his team a chance to win: 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
  • Morel singled and scored the second Cubs run in addition to his homer.
  • Bote had two hits in two at-bats after coming in as a pinch-hitter.

Bottom Line

It’s getting to be very hard to avoid the conclusion that the Cubs are just a bad team. At least two or three things go wrong every single game and it’s often too much for them to overcome. It appears the only way things will change is with some kind of roster shakeup but it’s unclear if Jed Hoyer is willing to do that.

On Deck

The two teams will meet Wednesday for game two of the series at 5:50pm CT. Javier Assad is on the mound against Aaron Civale in a contest airing on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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