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Arizona at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Novoa (3-3) L: B. Bruney (1-3)
HR: ARI - None   CHC - H. Blanco (4)

Ramirez's RBI single rallies Cubs past Diamondbacks

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- A pair of pinch hitters came through in the clutch for the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez drove in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth as Chicago rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Friday.

Todd Walker started the Cubs' rally in the ninth with a walk off Brian Bruney (1-3). Rookie Matt Murton sacrificed pinch-runner Ronny Cedeno to second, Jose Macias followed with a walk and pinch-hitter Barrett singled to left to drive in the tying run.

Ramirez, who didn't start because of a strained right quad, then knocked a chopper into left and Macias dove headfirst into home as the Cubs poured out of the dugout in celebration.

"I knew I was going to hit at some point," Ramirez said. "I just wanted to make him (Bruney) throw strikes. He had walked two previous guys and I was ahead 2-0 in the count."

Although Barrett had reached base in 30 of his previous 61 plate appearances, he wanted to bear down as a pinch hitter.

"I've had some pretty nerve-racking at-bats lately, especially pinch hitting," he said. "I wanted to improve today on my pinch-hitting.

"One of the things I just told myself the whole game is if I get in there today is I just want to swing at a good pitches," he added. "I feel like I've been swinging at a lot of pitches out the zone. Today I focused on hitting a pitch in a good hitting area."

Roberto Novoa (3-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win. Bruney got his fourth blown save.

"To be a successful closer in this game, you can't walk the leadoff guy, ever," said Bruney, who has issued 28 walks in 38 innings. "My team battled today, came back and gave us an opportunity to win the game. I let them down today."

Troy Glaus had given the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead in the eighth with a two-run single off Mark Prior.

With Chicago leading 2-1, pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken and Craig Counsell singled off Prior, and Chad Tracy's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third with one out.

Prior intentionally walked Luis Gonzalez to face the slumping Glaus, who had only one hit in his previous 23 at-bats. But the Diamondbacks third baseman singled sharply to left on an 0-2 pitch to drive in both runners.

"I was trying to go low and away and it wasn't a good pitch," Prior said. "They (the Cubs) really bailed me out after some stupid pitches. It was great to watch the ninth inning."

Arizona's Javier Vazquez gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two. After allowing a two-run homer to Henry Blanco in the second, Vazquez retired 15 of the next 17 batters.

"Javier held us in there against a guy (Prior) who was rolling," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "It would have been nice to get him a win."

Shawn Green cut Arizona's deficit to 2-1 with a groundout in the seventh. Tony Clark led off with a double, moved to third on an error by Cubs center fielder Jerry Hairston and scored on Green's grounder to second.

Prior, who faced the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career, allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings while striking out eight and walking two.

After Counsell led off the game with a double, the Cubs ace retired 13 of his next 15 batters.

"I had good stuff and didn't use it as effectively as I could have," Prior said. "I'm not happy about that."

Blanco's homer to left on a 3-2 pitch culminated an 11-pitch at-bat and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second. He fouled off three pitches with the count full before his fourth homer of the season.

Murton tripled with one out in the fourth, but was stranded at third after Macias flied out to center, Blanco was walked intentionally and Prior popped to second.


  • Ramirez is expected to start on Saturday.
  • Murton started in left field and went 1-for-3. He is 15-for-32 since being called up from Double-A West Tenn.
  • Cubs RHP Kerry Wood, on the DL with shoulder inflammation, threw in the bullpen before Friday's game. He's expected to pitch a simulated game this weekend, then be assigned to the minors for rehabilitation.
  • SS Nomar Garciaparra, also on the DL, was at Wrigley Field for a pregame workout and batting practice. The Cubs are expected to announce additional rehab plans for him on Saturday.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Chicago's Aramis Ramirez celebrates his game-winning single in the ninth inning.  (Getty Images)
Chicago's Aramis Ramirez celebrates his game-winning single in the ninth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

A. Ramirez
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0

H. Blanco
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, 2B5120011 .265
Chad Tracy, RF3000021 .296
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
    Brian Bruney, P0000000 .000
Luis Gonzalez, LF3010101 .282
Troy Glaus, 3B3012112 .252
Tony Clark, 1B4110023 .328
Shawn Green, CF-RF3001111 .291
Royce Clayton, SS4010013 .265
Chris Snyder, C4000011 .216
Javier Vazquez, P1000000 .268
   a- Quinton McCracken, PH-CF2110010 .244
a-singled for Vazquez in the 8th
2B - Craig Counsell (25, Prior), Tony Clark (16, Prior)
SH - Chad Tracy (1), Javier Vazquez (4)
RBI - Troy Glaus 2 (63), Shawn Green (54)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Clayton-Counsell-Clark
E - Chad Tracy (4, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Javier Vazquez 7522241 4.29
Jose Valverde (H,7) 1100010 3.15
Brian Bruney (BS,4; L,1-3) 0.1222200 6.39
IBB - Blanco by Javier Vazquez
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 113-77, Jose Valverde 12-8, Brian Bruney 20-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 8-9, Jose Valverde 1-0, Brian Bruney 1-0
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Jose Valverde 3, Brian Bruney 5
Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF4000001 .268
Neifi Perez, SS4010000 .262
Derrek Lee, 1B4010021 .363
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3000130 .275
Todd Walker, 2B3000102 .292
    Ronny Cedeno, PR0100000 .240
Matthew Murton, LF3010000 .469
Jose Macias, 3B3210101 .283
Henry Blanco, C2122100 .221
   a- Michael Barrett, PH1011000 .275
Mark Prior, P3000003 .207
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
   b- Aramis Ramirez, PH1011000 .311
a-singled for Blanco in the 9th
b-singled for Novoa in the 9th
3B - Matthew Murton (1, Vazquez)
HR - Henry Blanco (4, Vazquez)
SH - Matthew Murton (1)
RBI - Henry Blanco 2 (12), Michael Barrett (45), Aramis Ramirez (75)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Perez-Walker-Lee
E - Jerry Hairston Jr. (7, Misplayed grounder), Jose Macias (3, Misplayed grounder), Matthew Murton (2, Wild throw)
Chicago Cubs
Mark Prior 7.1733280 3.26
Will Ohman 0.1000100 3.00
Roberto Novoa (W,3-3) 1.1000020 3.86
IBB - Gonzalez by Mark Prior
WP - Mark Prior (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Prior 119-77, Will Ohman 13-6, Roberto Novoa 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Prior 10-4, Roberto Novoa 2-0
Batters Faced - Mark Prior 31, Will Ohman 2, Roberto Novoa 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39312
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Adam Dowdy, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether