CHICAGO (AP) — Spotting opponents an early lead hasn’t been a problem lately for Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs.
Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap a tie, Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and the Cubs rebounded from an early three-run deficit to edge the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Tuesday for their fifth straight win.
The other team has scored first in each of Chicago’s recent victories, but the Cubs have kept chipping away.
“We know we’re a good team,” Rizzo said. “We just have to string together good at-bats.”
The Cubs did just that again on Tuesday.
With one out in the seventh, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist singled off Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf (1-4). Rizzo’s slow bouncer up the middle resulted in a force of Zobrist at second, but Jose Iglesias’ throw to first was too late to double up Rizzo and Heyward scored from third to put Chicago ahead for the first time, 4-3.
Schwarber hit his team-leading 17th homer to right against a steady wind off Lake Michigan in the eighth.
Trailing 3-0, Albert Almora, Jr. and Heyward each drove in a run with a double, then Rizzo followed with an RBI single in Chicago’s three-run fifth.
Rizzo has just one homer in his past 20 games — and 12 this season — after launching at least 31 in each of the past four seasons. But the Cubs slugger says the longball isn’t always the best approach.
“You get down and start battling @ two strikes, it’s not about hitting a homer,” Rizzo said. “It’s just about putting the ball in play and we’re doing a good job at that.”
Justin Wilson (3-2), the second of Chicago’s four relievers, pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win. Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in four chances.
The Cubs’ bullpen allowed just one hit after starter Kyle Hendricks labored through five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits in a no-decision. In his past six starts, the right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA.
“They didn’t beat him up by any means today,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s just that it wasn’t a typical surgeon-like procedure from Kyle. He looks good, he’s just not executing.”
Detroit leadoff hitter Mikie Mahtook had three singles and scored a run. Niko Goodrum drove in a run with a double, and Jeimer Candelario and James McCann each had an RBI as the Tigers lost their 12th game in their past 14.
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer went six innings and allowed three runs — all in the fifth — and seven hits.
“He had really good stuff,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He got a couple of pitches up a bit, but they kind of put them in the right place.
“It wasn’t like they were lashing them, but they put them on the outfield grass, kind of like what we did to them early.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. After Mahtook and Nick Castellanos led off with singles, Candelario drove in a run with a groundout. Goodrum’s double to the right-field corner scored the second run.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth on McCann’s RBI single.
The Cubs tied it 3-all in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Tommy LaStella, Almora and Heyward led off with consecutive doubles to cut it to 3-2, then Rizzo’s hit with one out tied it.
WINDY CITY TIGER
INF/OF Jim Adduci, called up from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, was in Detroit’s lineup at first base and singled and scored in his first game this season. The 33-year-old attended Evergreen Park High School in Chicago’s south suburbs and grew up a fan of both the Cubs and White Sox. Adduci’s father, also named Jim, played a total of 70 games with three major league teams in the 1980s and was at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Cubs: INF/OF Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) probably will return Wednesday or Friday, Maddon said after the game. The Cubs star has been sidelined since June 22. ... RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps inflammation, right elbow impingement/inflammation) rejoined the Cubs after seeing Dr. Keith Meister in Texas on Friday and getting a cortisone shot. Maddon said he still hadn’t yet talked to the right-hander about his progress following the injection.
Tigers LHP Francisco Liriano (3-4. 3.99) takes the mound against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-6. 4.31) on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of the two-game interleague set. Liriano has lost both of his starts since coming off the disabled list (right hamstring strain) on June 23. Quintana has two losses and three no-decisions in his past five starts and hasn’t won since May 31.