The Cubs outlast the D-backs in a 15-inning marathon series finale
PHOENIX — Despite a heroic effort from third baseman Eduardo Escobar, the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their final game against the Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in a grueling 15-inning affair on Sunday.
Escobar was 2-for-6 with two home runs, three RBI and a walk for the D-backs.
“Just a situation where I think we ran out of a little steam in the bottom of the 15th,” said manager Torey Lovullo after the game. “But we made things interesting and that’s one of the great qualities that this team walks around with is that they’re not going to shut down under any circumstance, and they fought as hard as they could for the entire 15 innings.”
The first few innings was a pitcher’s duel between starters Luke Weaver for the D-backs and Jose Quintana for the Cubs.
But the Cubs struck first offensively when Kris Bryant launched a four-seam fastball from Weaver into right field for a two-run shot, his third of the season.
Weaver then allowed his second homer of the game, a solo home run to Wilson Contreras in the top of the fourth, giving the Cubs a three-run lead.
Entering Sunday, Weaver had given up only two home runs in five starts and 27 innings pitched this season. He lasted 4.1 innings in this game, allowing six hits and three earned runs. He struck out five with one walk issued and hit one batter.
The D-backs’ offense was stagnant against Quintana and didn’t offer Weaver much support. Their first hit was a Carson Kelly double in the third inning, his seventh double of the season. Seven of Kelly’s ten hits this season, including his last five hits, have been doubles.
Escobar put the D-backs on the board in the fourth with a solo home run of his own, his fourth dinger of the year. But he wasn’t done yet.
In the bottom of the sixth, Escobar once again went yard off of Quintana with a game-tying two-run homer. Escobar had his fifth career multi-home run game of his career.
The third baseman is hitting .361 with six doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI in his last 20 games.
Despite the bullpen once again holding the Cubs in check and giving the team a chance to play catch-up, the rest of the offense couldn’t muster anything up against Quintana or the bullpen.
Yoan Lopez had another scoreless appearance for the D-backs. The right-handed reliever now has a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings pitched this season.
“The bullpen I thought did an exceptional job,” said Lovullo. “We pieced it together for the next 10-plus innings, highlighted probably for me by Jon Duplantier, who gave us an incredible effort.”
Duplantier had a big-league outing in relief, going scoreless in four innings which included getting out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the 12th and another two on, one out jam in the 13th.
The D-backs announced Duplantier is being optioned to Triple-A Reno after the game. A corresponding move will be announced on Tuesday.
Both teams stayed off the scoreboard until the top of the 15th inning when pitcher Tyler Chatwood and outfielder Albert Almora Jr. were driven in by a Ben Zobrist two-RBI triple off of Matt Andriese. Bryant added a sac fly RBI to close the door.
The D-backs made it interesting by adding two runs in the bottom of the 15th, but they fell just short in the second longest game in Chase Field history.
The D-backs will face the New York Yankees in a two-game series at Chase Field starting on Tuesday. Merrill Kelly will start against CC Sabathia for the Yankees. Kelly is 2-3 in five starts this season with a 3.94 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.