STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

La Stella’s pinch-hit homer carries Cubs past Braves 5-4

Tommy La Stella is used to coming through off the bench.

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 12:38 AM

ATLANTA (AP) — Tommy La Stella is used to coming through off the bench.

The homer was something new.

The first pinch-hit homer of La Stella’s career tied a franchise record and carried the Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves in a matchup of NL division leaders Thursday night.

“I don’t get to play much,” said La Stella, who homered against the team he started with in the big leagues. “I definitely appreciate the opportunities when I get them.”

Chicago stopped off at SunTrust Park for a single game before starting a regularly scheduled 10-game road trip, making up a contest that was washed out May 17.

La Stella made it a fruitful layover, tying the team record with his 20th pinch hit of the season. After Atlanta went ahead with a three-run fifth, the infielder launched a two-run shot off Mike Foltynewicz that nearly reached the Chop House restaurant above the right-field seats .

“He’s always ready to hit,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He sees one pitch he can hit, and he crushes it.”

Chicago won for the eighth time in nine games, maintaining its 4 1/2-game lead in the NL Central.

Freddie Freeman had three RBIs for the Braves, who lost for the fourth time in six games but still lead the East by three games.

Foltynewicz (10-9) was roughed up after an otherwise dominating August in which he went 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA over his first five starts. The right-hander surrendered six hits and five runs (four earned) over six innings, grooving a fastball to La Stella.

“I went two curveballs there and I was trying to go up over the bat,” Foltynewicz said. “I think I might have missed right down at his belt there, and he got a good swing on it obviously.”

Mike Montgomery came off the disabled list to make his first start for the Cubs since Aug. 7, going 4 2/3 innings.

Brandon Kintzler (2-3) claimed the win by getting the final out of the fifth. Pedro Strop worked the ninth for his 11th save.

BAEZ’S WILD RIDE

Chicago shortstop Javier Baez wreaked havoc in the dugout after striking out in the seventh.

But he put that tirade behind him in the ninth, making a brilliant over-the-shoulder catch while running flat-out with his back toward home plate to help preserve the victory.

“That was as good a catch as you’ll see,” Maddon said. “The important thing is they don’t carry defeat at the plate out with them on defense.”

HEYWARD HURT

Cubs center fielder Jason Heyward had to leave the game in the fifth after diving for Freeman’s opposite-field liner. Heyward stretched out but failed to get a glove on the ball, which rolled all the way to the wall for a two-run triple .

Heyward had tightness in his right hamstring but was able to walk slowly off the field, getting a hug from former teammate Freeman on his way to the Cubs dugout. Maddon said his player will need further evaluation but is expected to miss at least the next couple of games at Philadelphia.

FOLTY’S BALK

Foltynewicz wasn’t sure why he was called for a balk in the second inning, which contributed to a two-run inning for the Cubs.

“All I really did was just spit,” he said. “I’d take it like a man if it was really a balk, but I know in that moment I didn’t really do anything.”

Shortstop Ozzie Albies also made a huge mistake in the second, unleashing a throw that bounced far in front of the plate for an error while trying to get Heyward breaking from third.

DUDA ARRIVES

Lucas Duda is suddenly part of a playoff race after spending most of the season with a team going nowhere.

The slugging first baseman joined the Braves on Thursday after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals. He instantly went from a team that was 37 1/2 games behind in the AL Central to first place.

“I’m happy to fill my role and help the team in any way I can,” said Duda, who flied out in the sixth as a pinch-hitter in his first Atlanta appearance.

The Braves optioned infielder Rio Ruiz to Triple-A Gwinnett.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (shoulder) struck out twice Thursday while batting leadoff during a rehab stint at Iowa. He’ll likely rejoin the big league club this weekend. ... LHP Brian Duensing (shoulder) is also expected back after the rosters expand on Saturday. He’s been sidelined since Aug. 3.

Braves: The bullpen could be rather crowded for the final month of the season. RHPs Shane Carle (shoulder), Peter Moylan (forearm) and Brandon McCarthy (knee) are rehabbing at Triple-A Gwinnett with no apparent issues. Closer Arodys Vizcaino (right shoulder) is set to throw a batting practice session on Friday, which could be a precursor to his rehab stint in the minors. RHP Jose Ramirez (shoulder) is showing signs of improvement after missing much of the season.

UP NEXT

Cubs: Chicago travels to Philadelphia to face another playoff-contending team in a weekend series. LHP Jose Quintana (11-9, 4.33) will get the nod in Friday’s opener against Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.76).

Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 3.05) takes the mound for the opener of a three-game series against Pittsburgh at SunTrust Park. The Pirates will counter with RHP Jameson Taillon (10-9, 3.49).

West Lafayette
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 53°
Kokomo
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 53°
Williamsport
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Frankfort
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Delphi
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 53°
Monticello
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 53°
Logansport
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Cooler, gray weather with spits of rain...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
Unassigned0540

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events