Chicago at Seattle

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Chi. Cubs (32-40) «0100001000001360
Seattle (30-42)00010010000002111

Byrd's clutch single in 13th bails out Cubs against M's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Marlon Byrd caught himself mid-sentence. He wasn't about to portray any doubt.

"I'm hoping we're going to put together a run. Actually, I'm not hoping. I know we're going to put together a run before the All-Star break," the Cubs center fielder said after driving in the tiebreaking run in the 13th inning of a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.

It's a refrain Cubs' fans have heard for much of the subpar season. They can only hope Thursday's victory and a weekend series against the rival White Sox can be the starting point for the run Byrd said he knows is coming.

On an afternoon where both teams struggled to come up with a clutch hit, Byrd finally came through with a single off Seattle reliever Sean White to help Chicago avoid a sweep. Alfonso Soriano walked to lead off the 13th against Garrett Olson (0-2) and didn't hesitate at third, scoring ahead of Ichiro Suzuki's throw.

While the Cubs were able to salvage a game against the equally underperforming Mariners, it's the next 10 games that hold major importance. After facing the White Sox, the Cubs have seven straight at home.

"Right now we're a team trying to figure out how to win and now we have to go in there and try and win the series," Byrd said. "It's series after series, you just can't win one."

John Grabow (1-3) pitched two innings of relief for the win. He gave up just one hit in his first victory since May 24, 2009, for Pittsburgh, and Chicago's bullpen tossed seven innings of relief, giving up just one run and six hits.

Tom Gorzelanny got the final out of the 13th inning for his first career save.

"I like starting more. Closing is a little too stressful," Gorzelanny said. "There is a lot of pressure for just three outs."

The Cubs victory snapped Seattle's six-game winning streak and spoiled another stellar performance by young right-hander Felix Hernandez. But Seattle failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities to hand Hernandez his sixth win of the season.

The Mariners left 13 runners on base and were 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

"The key for me is the amount of strikeouts. We had 10 strikeouts with runners on base and that just can't happen," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said.

Mike Fontenot drove in Chicago's first run with a sacrifice fly in the third and Chad Tracy gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the seventh with an RBI single.

Jack Wilson hit an RBI double in the bottom half off reliever Andrew Cashner to tie it 2-all.

It was the continuation of a strong month by Hernandez. Recovering from a 2-4 start to the season, Hernandez has now thrown at least eight innings on five of his last six outings. He tossed a complete game last Saturday against Cincinnati, giving up just one run and five hits.

He nearly matched that on Thursday. Hernandez scattered five hits, struck out eight and allowed just the two runs.

Closer David Aardsma came on for the 10th inning and immediately walked Tracy on four pitches. Pinch-runner Starlin Castro reached third with two outs, and Aardsma got Theriot to fly out to end the threat.

Seattle missed on another great chance in the bottom half. Chone Figgins led off with a four-pitch walk from Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who got Suzuki for the final out of the ninth. Marmol walked Mike Sweeney, but recovered to get Jose Lopez swinging at strike three in the dirt for the first out.

Figgins was then at the front end of a double steal and was called safe by third base umpire Mike Reilly on a close play. That brought Lou Piniella out of the Cubs dugout. Piniella barked at Reilly, taking off his hat and seeming on the verge of getting ejected before returning to the dugout.

After Franklin Gutierrez was intentionally walked, Marmol struck out Josh Wilson and Eliezer Alfonzo, both on wicked sliders, to end the threat.

"I certainly had a big one with the bases loaded and couldn't put the ball in play. That hurts," Josh Wilson said. "Winning teams score that run right there and win."

Cubs starter Ted Lilly threw six strong innings, but his day was cut short by a high pitch count. Lilly surrendered just one run, five hits and struck out six.

Notes

  • Josh Wilson made the first appearance of his career at 1B on Thursday. The utility infielder showed his inexperience throwing 2 feet behind Hernandez after making a diving stop, but also made two excellent plays in the 8th inning to keep the game tied.
  • The Cubs are expected to activate Aramis Ramirez from the DL on Friday. Ramirez has been out with a left thumb injury.
  • Thursday's matinee crowd of 41,329 was the third largest of the season for Seattle.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Marlon Byrd drives in the tiebreaking run in the 13th to help Chicago avert a sweep. (AP)
Marlon Byrd drives in the tiebreaking run in the 13th to help Chicago avert a sweep. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Seattle

J. Wilson
AB 6
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4000112 .275
Ryan Theriot, 2B5000112 .279
Marlon Byrd, DH-CF5011101 .324
Derrek Lee, 1B6120022 .233
Tyler Colvin, CF-LF5010022 .294
Xavier Nady, LF4110012 .252
    Geovany Soto, C0000000 .267
Mike Fontenot, SS-3B4001013 .285
Chad Tracy, 3B3011111 .250
    Starlin Castro, PR-SS1000010 .255
Koyie Hill, C3000011 .221
   a- Alfonso Soriano, PH0100100 .283
Totals40363511  
a-walked for Hill in the 13th
Batting
SF - Mike Fontenot (2)
SH - Kosuke Fukudome (2), Koyie Hill (3)
RBI - Marlon Byrd (35), Mike Fontenot (16), Chad Tracy (5)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly 6511060 3.28
Andrew Cashner (BS,1) 2311120 0.87
Sean Marshall 0.2100110 2.36
Carlos Marmol 1.1000330 1.64
John Grabow (W,1-3) 2100010 7.46
Bob Howry (H,3) 0.2100000 6.66
Tom Gorzelanny (S,1) 0.1000010 3.46
IBB - Suzuki by Andrew Cashner, Gutierrez by Carlos Marmol
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 103-77, Andrew Cashner 29-15, Sean Marshall 23-14, Carlos Marmol 28-15, John Grabow 27-18, Bob Howry 9-6, Tom Gorzelanny 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 3-9, Andrew Cashner 2-1, Carlos Marmol 1-0, John Grabow 1-4, Bob Howry 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 23, Andrew Cashner 9, Sean Marshall 4, Carlos Marmol 7, John Grabow 7, Bob Howry 3, Tom Gorzelanny 1
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5020102 .339
Chone Figgins, 2B5110124 .230
Mike Sweeney, DH5011100 .253
Jose Lopez, 3B6020012 .241
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5010133 .275
Josh Wilson, 1B6110026 .288
Rob Johnson, C2000013 .202
   a- Milton Bradley, PH0000100 .207
    Eliezer Alfonzo, C2000013 .237
Jack Wilson, SS6031010 .262
Michael Saunders, LF6000034 .211
Totals482112514  
a-walked for Johnson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (17, Lilly), Mike Sweeney (3, Lilly), Jack Wilson (8, Cashner)
SH - Rob Johnson (1)
RBI - Mike Sweeney (17), Jack Wilson (8)
SB - Chone Figgins (16, 3rd base off Marmol/Hill), Mike Sweeney (2, 2nd base off Marmol/Hill), Franklin Gutierrez (8, 2nd base off Lilly/Hill)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Figgins-J. Wilson-Wilson, J. Wilson-Figgins-Wilson, J. Wilson-Figgins-Wilson
E - Josh Wilson (8, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez 9522180 3.28
David Aardsma 1000100 4.88
Brandon League 2000130 3.15
Garrett Olson (L,0-2) 0.1011100 4.50
Sean White 0.2100100 7.27
HBP - Nady (by Felix Hernandez)
WP - Felix Hernandez (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 117-81, David Aardsma 14-7, Brandon League 19-13, Garrett Olson 7-3, Sean White 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 13-6, David Aardsma 2-1, Brandon League 1-1, Garrett Olson 1-0, Sean White 1-0
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 34, David Aardsma 4, Brandon League 6, Garrett Olson 2, Sean White 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41329
Game Time - 4:02
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Mike Reilly