CHICAGO (AP) — Albert Almora Jr. thinks preparation leads to success
“I always try to think ahead of time and think of the situations that could happen and execute them when they do,” he said. “I was at the right place at the right time.”
Almora doubled leading off the 13th inning and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Freddy Galvis, giving the Chicago Cubs a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Almora doubled off Joely Rodriguez (1-1) to begin the 13th and held as Javier Baez hit a comebacker. Ben Zobrist was intentionally walked, and Szczur grounded sharply to second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who threw to Galvis for the forceout. Trying to complete an inning-ending double play, Galvis bounced his throw to first, which went to the outside side of the based and skipped into foul territory.
“When Szczur hit the ground ball, you have in the back of your head, like, what if something happens?” Almora said. “He could beat it out and if the first baseman’s not paying attention, I could score. It was in the back of my head.”
Even if the throw had been perfect, Szccur might have beaten the ball to the base.
“You have a speedy player at home plate. You just try to make the out, make the throw,” Galvis said.
Kris Bryant had four hits, Miguel Montero homered and drove in two runs, and Matt Szczur and Addison Russell hit run-scoring doubles as the Cubs extended their winning streak to three.
Cameron Rupp and Maikel Franco homered for Philadelphia, which has lost six of seven, and Hernandez had four hits.
Koji Uehara (1-2), Chicago’s eighth pitcher, got three straight outs.
Chicago trailed 4-3 in the eighth inning and overcame a deficit to win for the 10th time this season.
“It’s just the motto that’s on the ring: We don’t quit,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “Truthfully, if you’re in our dugout, there are guys that are always engaged. If something bad happens, they turn the page real quickly.”
Cubs starter John Lackey wasted a 2-0 lead, allowing three runs and nine hits in five innings. Philadelphia’s Zach Elfin gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings.
Rupp homered off Carl Edwards Jr. leading off the eighth for a 4-3 lead, but Montero went deep against Joaquin Benoit in the bottom half.
“We would prefer not to have to come back,” Bryant said. “But if we’re going to be put in that situation, I think we have a good group of players that work counts when the game’s on the line.”
Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs’ closer during the last two months of the 2016 regular season and the postseason, will be presented with his World Series ring in an on-field ceremony before Friday’s opener of a three-game series with the visiting Yankees. President Theo Epstein and Maddon will be among the Cubs officials to take part in the ceremony. Chapman became a free agent after the Series and signed with New York.
Adam Warren, traded from the Cubs to the Yankees in the Chapman deal last July, also will be presented with a ring.
New York’s visit marks the return of 2B Starlin Castro, who spent the first six seasons of his big league career with the Cubs.
“I’m happy for his success and looking forward to saying hello,” Maddon said.
Phillies: OF Howie Kendrick (oblique) is improving and Philadelphia plans for him to take batting practice during the weekend series against Washington.
Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (0-1, 3.60 ERA) is to face visiting Washington and RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.09) in Friday night’s series opener.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.18 ERA), slated to start Friday, has allowed two runs over 12 innings in his last two starts.
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