Addison Russell and the Chicago Cubs escaped with a victory. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
BALTIMORE -- Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Brad Brach in the top of the ninth as the Chicago Cubs shook off blowing an eight-run lead and recorded a 9-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Russell lined a homer to left on the first pitch from Brach (2-2) with one out in the ninth. It was Chicago's fifth homer of the game.
Russell's eight homer occurred after Baltimore's Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer to left against Koji Uehara (3-4) in the eighth which tied the score at 8-8.
Wade Davis of Chicago closed it in the ninth for his 17th save.
The Orioles (42-47) scored eight straight runs after the Cubs took an 8-0 lead in the first three innings.
Willson Contreras (three-run) and Kyle Schwarber (solo) both homered as the Cubs (44-45) scored four in the first. Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward added two-run homers in the second and third, respectively, and Chicago took that early eight-run lead.
The Cubs pounded Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman for those eight runs on seven hits in the three innings. Gausman saw his ERA jump to 6.39.
The Cubs answered a 49-minute rain delay by starting quickly in the first, when Zobrist led off with a double and went to third on a one-out single from Anthony Rizzo. Both came around to score as Contreras crushed a three-run homer to left-center.
Schwarber added a solo shot on the next pitch, which made it 4-0 against Gausman.
The right-hander found more trouble in the second as Zobrist lined a two-run homer to right.
Heyward added a two-run homer to deep right which made it 8-0 in the third, again off Gausman.
The Orioles answered with a Welington Castillo solo homer in the third and a Chris Davis RBI double off starter Mike Montgomery in the fourth.
The Orioles then put runners at second and third with one out in the fifth, ending Montgomery's night. Justin Grimm entered and allowed RBI singles to Trumbo and Trey Mancini and a Joey Rickard two-run single that sliced the lead to 8-6 before Ruben Tejada flied out, ending the inning.
NOTES: To open a roster spot for 1B Chris Davis, the Orioles outrighted OF Craig Gentry to Triple-A Norfolk. Davis has been on the disabled list since June 14 (retroactive to the previous day) with a right oblique strain. ...The back-to-back homers from C Willson Contreras and DH Kyle Schwarber in the first inning is the fourth time the Cubs have done that this season. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks (hand inflammation, disabled list since June 8) will make a rehab start at Double-A Tennessee, and the Cubs are hoping to get him back soon.