The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers engaged in an epic battle of the bullpens on Saturday afternoon, but it was Willson Contreras that finally broke through as he launched a walk-off home run in a 15-inning triumph at Wrigley Field.
Burch Smith pitched three and a third scoreless innings for Milwaukee before hanging a pitch to Contreras, who launched a towering home run into the left field bleachers to move the Cubs back into first place in the National League Central.
The Cubs’ bullpen combined for a staggering eight innings of shutout baseball, giving up just one hit and 10 strikeouts in the game. Tyler Chatwood got the win for the Cubs, striking out seven batters and giving up zero hits in four innings of stellar relief for the North Siders.
Hernan Pérez launched a solo home run in the fourth inning, the only run of the game for the Brewers.
Cole Hamels had a strong day for the Cubs, giving up one run in seven innings, but was tagged with a no-decision as Chicago’s offense struggled to get going.
Neither team was able to get on the board in the early stages of the game, as Hamels and Zach Davies traded scoreless innings. In the fifth the Brewers finally broke through, as Pérez homered to left-center field, but the Cubs answered right back in the bottom of the inning as Albert Almora Jr. hit a double into the gap, and David Bote scored on an incredible slide at home plate to tie the game at 1-1.
That score would last all the way to the bottom of the 15th inning, when Contreras launched a walk-off home run into the seats in left field to win the game for Chicago.
The Cubs and Brewers will wrap up their series on Sunday night at Wrigley Field, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. The Cubs are hoping to finish off a 10-game homestand in style, as they've won seven of the first nine games at the Friendly Confines.