CHICAGO (AP) — David Bote had to go. So he took matters into his own hands.
Bote hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and the Chicago Cubs used a terrific performance by Tyler Chatwood to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Sunday.
Moments after his fourth career game-ending RBI, Bote rushed off to be with his wife, Rachel, for the birth of their third child in Colorado. Talk about timely hitting.
“Line drive to right field. Beautiful thing,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Led by Chatwood’s six sparkling innings, Chicago carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth. But Jarrod Dyson hit a tying drive to right off Pedro Strop (1-1) with one out.
The Cubs then got right to work against Archie Bradley (1-2) in the bottom half. Javier Báez led off with a double up the first base line and went to third when Adam Jones bobbled the ball in right.
After Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch, Bote hit a liner right through the drawn-in Arizona infield for Chicago’s fifth win in six games. Bote hit two game-ending homers during his rookie season, including a memorable grand slam against Washington, and closed out another win with a bases-loaded walk.
“He’s had a lot of situations come up like that and he’s come through and it’s fun to watch,” teammate Anthony Rizzo said.
The Diamondbacks managed just two singles before Dyson’s third homer . Dyson was the only Arizona runner to reach second safely all day long.
“You’ve got two good pitchers doing what they’re supposed to do, it’s going to be a low-scoring game,” Dyson said. “I think Robbie Ray did a great job of keeping us in the ballgame.”
Chatwood allowed two hits in his first outing in 11 days. The right-hander was slated to pitch last Sunday after Jon Lester was sidelined by a left hamstring strain, but the Cubs skipped their open spot in the rotation after their series finale against the Angels was snowed out.
Chatwood was hampered by control issues last season in his first year with Chicago, but he had no problems against the Diamondbacks. He threw 44 of his 71 pitches for strikes, and each of his two walks was erased by double plays.
“I feel like I’m back. My stuff’s back and I’m commanding the ball like I know I can,” Chatwood said.
Ray was almost as good as Chatwood, allowing four hits in six innings in perhaps his best start so far this year. But he got into a little trouble in the sixth.
The left-hander hit Rizzo with two out, and Báez followed with a drive into the gap in right-center for an RBI triple . Ray then struck out Contreras looking, ending the inning.
“I felt really good. I felt like I was keeping them off balance,” Ray said. “My off-speed was good. I was mixing a fastball in and out. It took some good at-bats, some foul balls that probably elevated my pitch count a little bit, but I think for the most part I kept them from the hard hits.”
JUST IN CASE
The Cubs recalled right-hander Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa to provide some length in case Chatwood faltered, but Mills wasn’t needed. Left-hander Randy Rosario was sent down to make room on the roster.
The Diamondbacks recalled right-hander Jimmie Sherfy from the Triple-A Reno. Sherfy had no record and a 1.65 ERA in 15 appearances with Arizona last year.
Sherfy replaced Taylor Clarke, who was sent down after an impressive performance in Saturday’s 6-0 victory. Clarke worked three innings and singled in the eighth to become the first pitcher with a save and a hit in his major league debut since saves became an official stat in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Diamondbacks: 1B Christian Walker got the day off after he suffered a hip pointer during Saturday’s win. He could return to the starting lineup Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Cubs: The next step for Lester is a bullpen session on Monday or Tuesday. If all goes well, he could come off the injured list to start Thursday against the Dodgers. ... LHP Mike Montgomery (mild left lat strain) is scheduled to make his second rehab start Monday with Double-A Tennessee. He pitched two scoreless innings for Single-A South Bend on Wednesday. “I felt really good after my last outing,” Montgomery said. “Kind of even better the last couple days.” It has been a whirlwind stretch for Montgomery, who celebrated the birth of his son, Max, with wife, Stephanie, on Tuesday.
Diamondbacks: Zack Godley (1-1, 6.26 ERA) pitches Monday night in the opener of a four-game set at Pittsburgh. Joe Musgrove (1-1, 0.81 ERA) gets the ball for the Pirates.
Cubs: Following an off day, José Quintana (2-1, 3.43 ERA) starts Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. Kenta Maeda (3-1, 3.80 ERA) pitches for Los Angeles.