Miguel Montero's 10th-inning homer lifts Chicago Cubs to 11th walk-off win

By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 13, 2015 at 12:39 AM
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero was angry after failing to stop a wild pitch that allowed the Milwaukee Brewers to score a tying run with two outs in the ninth inning on Wednesday night.

"That's a pitch I don't allow myself to let it go by me. I'm better than that and I've got to block that pitch," he said.

But Montero was clear-headed and determined when he stepped to the plate to open the Cubs' 10th. He lined an 0-1 pitch off Brewers right-handed reliever Michael Blazek to left field for the winning home run and a 3-2 victory.

It was Chicago's 11th walk off win of the season.

"You've got to move on. It's already over and I was just coming up to hit and get a good pitch to hit and lucky enough, I did," said Montero, who clubbed his 11th homer of the season and second walk-off of his career.

The Cubs (64-48) collected their sixth straight win and 12th in 13 games and improved to a season-high 16 games above .500.

The loss was the second straight and fourth in five games for the Brewers (48-67), who dropped their second straight series to the Cubs.

Left-handed reliever Tommy Hunter (1-0) worked a perfect 10th for the win. Blazek, the fourth Brewers pitcher, faced just one batter in the 10th and fell to 5-3 with the loss.

Second baseman Addison Russell's two-out single to center in the fifth drove in Montero to snap a 1-1 tie and give the Cubs a 2-1 lead that lasted into the ninth.

But Cubs right-handed reliever Hector Rondon fell short in a bid for his 20th save when he allowed the tying run to score with two outs in the ninth.

Right fielder Ryan Braun singled and first baseman Adam Lind reached on an error with none out and both advanced a base on Rondon's wild pitch.

Rondon struck out left fielder Khris Davis and second baseman Scooter Gennett but threw another wild pitch with two strikes on shortstop Jean Segura as Braun scored to make it 2-2.

Brewers right-handed starter Matt Garza had no decision after allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two. It was his second straight seven-inning effort.

"I'm finally healthy," Garza said. "First three months I was fighting pain. I'm finally healthy and I'm doing what I should have been doing. ... I'm happy where I'm at, but there's still stuff to do."

Chicago right-handed starter Jason Hammel worked 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision and allowed one run and four hits, struck out five and walked one.

With the hot-hitting Lind coming to the plate in the sixth, Cubs manager Joe Maddon opted to pull Hammel, much to his surprise.

"Obviously," Hammel said. "Trying to win ballgames, I'll leave it at that. (I) felt great, my leg's good, fastball command is coming back, slider was good tonight."

Braun's two-out home run to left in the first inning opened a 1-0 Brewers lead. The first-pitch shot was the 250th of his career and left Braun one short of matching Robin Yount for the Milwaukee franchise lead.

"Obviously, it's special. I'm headed in the right direction," Braun said. "But right now we focus on us, focus on what we're trying to do as a team, and it's hard to enjoy any type of individual success when things are going the way they are as a team."

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant matched Braun's shot in the second. His first-pitch leadoff homer to right evened the score 1-1. The home run was the 16th for Bryant, already the most by any Cub playing in their first season.

The next scoring chance came in the bottom of the fifth.

Montero drew a one-out walk, reached second on Hammel's sacrifice bunt and scored on Russell's RBI single to center for a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Hammel fanned Milwaukee center fielder Shane Peterson for the 1,000th strikeout of his career.

NOTES: Brewers RHP Francisco Rodriguez entered Wednesday's game with 374 saves, three short of matching Tigers RHP Joe Nathan for seventh among major league career saves leaders. ... Milwaukee returns home after Thursday's series finale for a three-game series with Philadelphia. The Brewers are 24-36 at Miller Park this season. ... RF Ryan Braun's 250th career home run in the first inning on Wednesday gave the Brewers two players at or beyond that mark. Nine major league teams do not have at least two players with 250 or more career homers. ... Milwaukee sends RHP Tyler Cravy (0-3, 5.40 ERA) against Chicago LHP Jon Lester (7-8, 3.22) in Thursday's series finale. Cravy made his major league debut on June 2 in a 1-0 loss to St. Louis. ... The Cubs' 6-3 win on Tuesday was among 15 victories by home teams on Tuesday, a major league first. ... Four Cubs have stolen at least 11 bases this year, including Dexter Fowler (17), Anthony Rizzo (15), Kris Bryant (12) and Chris Coghlan (11). The last time the Cubs had four with 11-plus was in 1997.

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