Wednesday, June 12, 2024 06:50 PM (ET)

Cubs hang on in ninth to edge Rays

Field Level Media
Jun 12, 2024

Cody Bellinger stroked a go-ahead three-run homer as the Chicago Cubs evened their three-game series with Tampa Bay, edging the Rays 4-3 on Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

With two outs in the seventh and the Cubs trailing 2-1, Bellinger won a lefty-lefty matchup by launching a cutter from Garrett Cleavinger (4-1) for his ninth homer of the season.

Bellinger, who finished 2-for-5, bashed Cleavinger's pitch 407 feet to right-center for a 4-2 advantage that stood up as Chicago moved to 2-4 on its seven-game road trip. The finale is scheduled for Thursday.

Tyson Miller (1-0), who came on with two on and two outs in the fifth for the Cubs, retired all four batters he faced, while Hector Neris allowed a solo homer to Jose Caballero in the ninth but notched his 10th save.

Seiya Suzuki was 2-for-3 with a homer and Michael Busch had two hits as the Cubs totaled nine.

Chicago was 6-for-6 in stolen bases, including a pair by Nico Hoerner.

Cubs starter Javier Assad surrendered two runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two. He also hit a batter.

Tampa Bay's Jose Siri went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and double. Isaac Paredes doubled in a run.

In 5 2/3 innings, Rays starter Aaron Civale yielded one run on five hits while striking out six and walking one. He also hit a batter.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the first inning against Civale, but the right-hander got Hoerner on a high chopper that shortstop Taylor Walls grabbed for a fielder's choice.

The Rays manufactured a run in the third when Walls walked and stole second. He scored three batters later on Paredes' two-out double.

Civale retired seven straight before Suzuki led off the fourth with a drive to straightaway center. The tying homer was Suzuki's eighth and traveled 408 feet.

Siri answered in the bottom half by mauling Assad's 78 mph slider for his own leadoff shot. The towering, 435-foot blast, his seventh, made it 2-1.

The Cubs challenged in the sixth behind Hoerner's single off Civale and a pair of stolen bases against reliever Kevin Kelly. However, Walls snared Dansby Swanson's smash on one hop while on one knee, spun and fired across the infield to preserve the lead.

With one out in the ninth, Caballero's fourth homer cut the deficit to one run. Ben Rortvedt singled and Walls walked, but Neris got Yandy Diaz on a groundout and Brandon Lowe on a flyout for the save.

--Field Level Media

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