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Atlanta at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: M. Minor (2-0) L: R. Wells (5-12)
HR: ATL - O. Infante (5),J. Heyward (13),O. Infante (6),J. Heyward (14)   CHC - A. Ramirez (19)

Braves crush Cubs in Piniella's final game

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Lou Piniella had 48 fulfilling years in baseball to think about, rather than one final loss.

Piniella bowed out Sunday, waving goodbye as the Cubs manager and ending a career that spanned five decades after the Atlanta Braves routed Chicago 16-5.

"Today's game wasn't pretty but I'd rather reflect on the good times I've had here," Piniella said.

Piniella, 66, announced before the game that he leaving to be with his ailing mother. Third base coach Mike Quade was promoted to interim manager.

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The disappointing Cubs weren't able to send Piniella out as a winner. Omar Infante and Jason Heyward each hit a pair of home runs, and the Braves scored 11 times in the last three innings to break away.

After contemplating the decision for several days and discussing it with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, Piniella decided to leave a half-century in the game as a player, manager and executive.

The surprising announcement came in a team handout in the morning, and after Piniella had repeatedly insisted he would finish the season. But Piniella made the decision to be with his ailing mother in Florida.

Leaving the field in a uniform for the final time did not come easy for Piniella.

"This will be the last time I put on my uniform. It's been very special," Piniella said, tearing up.

Piniella was in the dugout when the game was over, and he waved his hat to longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox across the field. Cox plans to retire after the season.

"I saw Lou prior to our little home plate [meeting]. It was pretty emotional. I hate to see Lou leave baseball, but we will see what happens, but I know his mom is really, really sick and he needs to get home," Cox said.

Before the game, Piniella talked to his team about the decision.

"When you get a speech like that from Lou Piniella, first of all, your heart goes out to his family. It's not like he's just retiring, he's got some family stuff going on and he's pretty emotional about why he's leaving and you feel for a guy like that when it's your mom," Cubs pitcher Randy Wells said.

"On top of that, this guy has given a lot to baseball so you owe it to him to give it everything you've got out there. That's what me and Koyie [Hill] were talking about when we were warming up was 'Hey, let's leave it all out on the field today.' We just didn't get it done. It's unfortunate. One loss that stings the most for me this year."

The loss left the Cubs at 51-74. Atlanta held its lead in the NL East.

Piniella and Cox were honored before the game as they exchanged lineup cards at home plate.

Piniella and the umpiring crew posed for a picture. He shook hands with Cox, and they hugged each other and exchanged back slaps as Piniella's No. 41 was posted on the center-field scoreboard.

Cox made his last trip as a manager to Wrigley Field. He was announced to the crowd and took his cap off and waved it to the fans.

Braves starter Mike Minor (2-0) set a team rookie record by striking 12 in six innings. The lefty allowed three runs and six hits.

"He was pretty much dominating today," Cox said. "Minor has a great idea how to pitch. We knew that when we drafted him, I was told."

Heyward and Infante each finished with four hits, drove in four runs and scored four times. It was 5-3 before the Braves scored four runs in the seventh, five more in the eighth and twice in the ninth.

"The four hits is the best I've done all year. That shows something," Heyward said.

The Cubs have lost six of their past seven. Wells (5-12) took the loss.

Rookie Cubs shortstop Stalin Castro finished 4 for 5 with two doubles.


  • The teams each had 13 hits despite the lopsided final score.
  • The Cubs have lost 12 of their past 14 at Wrigley.
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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An emotional Lou Piniella waves to the Wrigley Field faithful as he bows out, bringing an end to his career.  (AP)
An emotional Lou Piniella waves to the Wrigley Field faithful as he bows out, bringing an end to his career. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Castro
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0

J. Heyward
AB 4
R 4
H 4
HR 2

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Omar Infante, 2B6444021 .349
Jason Heyward, RF4444200 .265
Martin Prado, 3B6120001 .318
Derrek Lee, 1B4113104 .247
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
Brian McCann, C4101103 .264
Melky Cabrera, LF4211112 .263
Alex Gonzalez, SS4012011 .262
   a- Diory Hernandez, PH-SS1000001 .200
Rick Ankiel, CF4100110 .240
Mike Minor, P3000022 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH-1B0200100 .248
a-grounded out for A. Gonzalez in the 8th
b-hit by pitch for Venters in the 8th
2B - Derrek Lee (22, Berg)
HR - Omar Infante 2 (6, R. Wells, R. Wells), Jason Heyward 2 (14, R. Wells, Mateo)
RBI - Omar Infante 4 (35), Jason Heyward 4 (57), Derrek Lee 3 (59), Brian McCann (64), Melky Cabrera (36), Alex Gonzalez 2 (69)
2-OUT RBI - Omar Infante 3 (14), Jason Heyward 2 (25), Alex Gonzalez 2 (28)
SB - Melky Cabrera (7, 3rd base off R. Wells/Hill)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Infante-Hernandez-Hinske
Atlanta Braves
Mike Minor (W,2-0) 67331121 4.00
Jonny Venters 1100000 1.13
Peter Moylan 1322010 3.22
Cristhian Martinez 1200000 3.68
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 104-71, Jonny Venters 6-6, Peter Moylan 13-11, Cristhian Martinez 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 4-2, Jonny Venters 2-1, Peter Moylan 2-0, Cristhian Martinez 2-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 26, Jonny Venters 4, Peter Moylan 6, Cristhian Martinez 4
Chicago Cubs
Darwin Barney, 2B5000030 .150
Starlin Castro, SS5140010 .316
Marlon Byrd, CF5131002 .307
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4232011 .244
   a- Sam Fuld, PH1000001 .000
Alfonso Soriano, LF4110013 .260
Jeff Baker, RF3000020 .230
    Thomas Diamond, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    Justin Berg, P0000000 .000
   b- Blake DeWitt, PH1011000 .280
    Marcos Mateo, P0000000 .000
Xavier Nady, 1B3011100 .233
Koyie Hill, C4000033 .200
Randy Wells, P2000022 .171
    Tyler Colvin, RF2000001 .251
a-grounded into a double play for Ramirez in the 9th
b-singled for Berg in the 8th
2B - Starlin Castro 2 (23, Minor, Cr. Martinez), Alfonso Soriano (31, Moylan), Xavier Nady (11, Minor)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (19, Minor)
RBI - Marlon Byrd (55), Aramis Ramirez 2 (63), Blake DeWitt (40), Xavier Nady (24)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez 2 (27)
Team LOB - 8
E - Darwin Barney (1, Misplayed grounder), Koyie Hill (2, Throwing(3rd strike bunted foul)), Aramis Ramirez (14, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Randy Wells (L,5-12) 6775453 4.56
Thomas Diamond 0.1010000 7.04
James Russell 0.1011100 4.89
Justin Berg 1.1555100 5.77
Marcos Mateo 1122121 11.37
HBP - Hinske (by Justin Berg)
WP - Justin Berg (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 103-64, Thomas Diamond 7-4, James Russell 9-5, Justin Berg 26-15, Marcos Mateo 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 10-3, Thomas Diamond 1-1, James Russell 1-0, Justin Berg 3-0, Marcos Mateo 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 29, Thomas Diamond 2, James Russell 2, Justin Berg 10, Marcos Mateo 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37518
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dan Iassogna