The Cubs beat the Royals Sunday to earn a much-needed series victory on a beautiful day at historic Wrigley Field. Chicago was able to withstand another late Kansas City rally to prevail in a lightning-quick game that barely lasted two hours.
Bobby Witt Jr. created an early run against Kyle Hendricks by getting a single, stealing second base, and coming home on a base hit by Michael Massey. The Cubs scored two in the bottom of the frame off of Jordan Lyles to go ahead.
Nico Hoerner singled with one out and Ian Happ followed with a hit right back up the middle. Center fielder Kyle Isbel whiffed on the ball and it shot behind him, allowing Hoerner to score and Happ to reach third base. Cody Bellinger then had a sacrifice fly to bring in the runner from third and the North Siders led 2-1.
Hendricks settled in nicely after the opening inning and pitched into the 7th inning with no additional runs allowed. The Cubs added a pair of solo homers, one from Seiya Suzuki in the 5th and the other from Miguel Amaya in the 8th, as Lyles threw an unexpected complete game.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 20, 2023
Chicago needed every bit of that 4-1 advantage when the road team put up two in the top of the 9th. Closer Adbert Alzolay buckled down and got a pair of groundouts to strand the tying run on base. (Box score)
Amaya’s longball turned out to be the difference in the game by giving Alzolay just enough margin for error to escape his jam.
Why the Cubs Won
They got a fifth consecutive quality start and put together just enough offense to come out ahead Sunday.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks was a bit shaky at first but really got rolling after that: 6.1 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 K, and 1 BB.
- Amaya was the only Cub to reach base twice on Sunday.
That was not exactly a work of art, but the Cubs did what they needed to do and won the series. That allowed them to move ahead of the Reds for sole possession of second place in the division and a Wild Card spot.
The Cubs head to Detroit for a three-game series with old friend Javy Báez and the Tigers starting Monday at 5:40pm CT. Javier Assad takes the mound against Alex Faedo in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.