CHICAGO (AP) Nico Hoerner's soft single off Matt Brash with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning scored pinch-runner Nick Madrigal and gave the Chicago Cubs a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
“What a special thing to experience, something I've never done before,” Hoerner said of his first walkoff hit.
Madrigal was inserted as a pinch-runner and stole third off Brash (0-1), setting up Hoerner's winning hit. Keegan Thompson (1-0) had worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th.
“Once I saw his (Brash's) inside move, I was committed already,” Madrigal said. “It's a tough throw, and their (infield) is shifted over. I kept going, and it worked out.”
The Cubs were two outs away from a win in regulation until Jarred Kelenic launched a home run off closer Michael Fulmer that struck the right field message board. The homer came one inning after Seattle's Cooper Hummel was thrown out trying to advance from second to third on a grounder to short.
Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly threw five innings of two-hit ball after allowing seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in his season debut April 3 at Cincinnati. Smyly relied on a sharp knuckle-curve and had seven strikeouts. He retired the first 10 batters and was supported by exceptional defensive plays in the third by third baseman Patrick Wisdom and second baseman Hoerner.
Seattle (4-7) scored its lone run off Smyly in the fourth. Ty France doubled off a diving Miles Mastrobuoni in right field and AJ Pollock lofted a sacrifice fly.
Smyly retired the final five batters he faced, and struck out the side in the fifth - all on knuckle-curves. He threw 11 consecutive knuckle-curves at one point.
“It seemed like that was the best pitch to throw, and I was wondering how many I could keep throwing,” Smyly said.
The Cubs (5-4) broke through against Luis Castillo in a resourceful manner. After Ian Happ stole second base, Cody Bellinger fouled off four consecutive pitches before capping a seven-pitch at-bat by yanking a double down the right field line, scoring Happ and snapping Castillo's scoreless streak at 14 2/3 innings.
Eric Hosmer hit an opposite field single to left that scored Bellinger with the go-ahead run. Hosmer is 12 for 18 lifetime against Castillo.
Mariners right fielder Teoscar Hernandez leaped against the right field wall and robbed Dansby Swanson of an extra-base hit to end the third.
“It's disappointing to have an extra-inning loss again,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That's our third one of the year, and I think all three we just haven't made a play defensively that ended up costing us the game.”
Cubs: RF Seiya Suzuki (left oblique) and LHP Brendan Hughes (left knee inflammation) will continue their rehab assignments with Triple-A Iowa. Manager David Ross said, in a best-case scenario, Suzuki would rejoin the Cubs on its upcoming six-game West Coast trip starting Friday at Los Angeles.
HELP ON THE WAY
Mariners: Selected RHP Jose Rodriguez from Triple-A Tacoma to provide length after 12-inning loss to Guardians. RHP JB Bukauskas was optioned to Tacoma. INF/OF Nick Solak was designated for assignment.
Cubs: RF Nelson Velazquez was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to provide late-inning defense. RHP Javier Assad was optioned to Iowa.
Mariners RHP Chris Flexen (0-1, 3.00) will oppose Cubs RHP Hayden Wesneski (0-0, 5.79) Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
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