¡Viva Avila! #Walkoff pic.twitter.com/1WVeKq1CUJ— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 20, 2017
Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Javier Baez made the smoothest slide of the year in the Chicago Cubs' 6-5 win against the Toronto Blue Jays at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs trailed the Blue Jays 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 10th inning. Toronto tied the contest at 3-3 in the sixth inning before adding two runs in the top of the 10th.
Cubs pinch hitter Alex Avila came up to the plate in the inning to provide the winning knock.. He settled in against Blue Jays righty Roberto Osuna with the bases loaded and the Cubs trailing 5-4. Avila fouled off the first pitch before slapping a base hit to right field. Ben Zobrist came around to tie the game before Baez eyed home plate for the winning run.
Baez trucked around third base and jetted home. Jose Bautista fired in the throw to try and catch the shortstop. Miguel Montero got the ball before Baez reached the plate. But Baez slid in just past his outstretched arm, swiping the bag with the left side of his body.
Baez used his momentum to continue his slide into a standing position, all in one motion. He looked at the home plate umpire and threw up his hands in celebration.
The irony of Baez scoring the winning run is that he initially struck out in the inning, but was able to reach first base on a dropped third strike. Osuna also had a strikeout of Kyle Schwarber in the inning. Schwarber also reached first base after a wild pitch.
"Sometimes over the course of the year, when you're a team trying to get to the playoffs, you have to win crazy games like that that you shouldn't necessarily win," Avila told MLB.com.
Baez went 0-for-5 at the plate in Sunday's win.
Chicago (66-57) begins its three game series against the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs have a two game lead in the National League Central.