Ross hits winning single in 11th, Cubs beat Royals 2-1
May. 31, 2015
CHICAGO (AP) — David Ross did just fine when he swung away.
After failing to execute a safety-squeeze in the ninth inning, Ross hit an RBI single with one out in the 11th inning Sunday that lifted the Chicago Cubs over the Kansas City Royals 2-1.
"I'm playing the game out in my head. I knew what was coming the first time and I didn't get the bunt down, but luckily I drove that ball into the gap right there at the end," Ross said with a smile.
The Cubs and Royals split the abbreviated two-game series. Saturday's game was rained out and will be made up at Wrigley Field during the last week of the regular season.
Ross delivered the fifth game-ending hit of his career, a bases-loaded single just beyond the reach of shortstop Alcides Escobar, who tried to make a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch.
With runners on second and third, the Royals intentionally walked Starlin Castro to load the bases.
"I knew when they got to second and third, I knew they were going to walk Starlin. I'm batting a buck-60 or something, I would do the same thing."
Despite the lack of power put on the ball, it was perfectly placed.
"Based on the configuration of the defense, you couldn't have thrown the ball any better to end the ballgame," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The ball was just out of the range of left fielder Alex Gordon.
"The ball was just dying. He (Escobar) looked at me, I know I didn't call it, so he went after it and that was that," Gordon said.
Earlier in the inning, Dexter Fowler was thrown out at the plate by Gordon when he tried to score on a single.
It was 47 degrees at gametime with the wind blowing in. The crowd included many Royals fans who made up the announced attendance of 37,766.
"It was a great game. The conditions were tough. You knew offense was going to come at a premium," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Zac Rosscup (2-1) struck out Salvador Perez with runners on first and third with two outs in the 11th.
Ryan Madson (0-1) walked Fowler and Kris Bryant to begin the 11th. Jason Frasor relieved and Anthony Rizzo blooped a single, with a video replay confirming Fowler was out at the plate.
Royals reliever Wade Davis pitched out of a jam in the ninth. Rizzo tripled with one out and Castro was intentionally walked. Ross then bunted back to Davis, who held Rizzo at third base and got the out at first. Davis struck out Jorge Soler to end the inning.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings, allowing one run and four hits. It was his fourth straight outing that he pitched seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.
"He just had everything going. He had a really good curveball, was throwing strikes with his fastball and mixed in some straight changeups," Yost said.
Chris Coghlan had three hits off Ventura, including an RBI single in the seventh.
Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada pitched into the sixth. Recently demoted starter Travis Wood gave up an RBI single to Gordon.
Maddon though it was the right time to get Wada.
"If he goes 1, 2, 3 there, beautiful. I took the walk as a sign that maybe that was the Waterloo moment right there," Maddon said. "From my perspective I'm seeing a little bit of laboring."
Before the game, there was a moment of silence for Lennie Merullo. He died Saturday at 98 and was the oldest former Cubs player, and the last living member of their 1945 World Series team.
The Cubs and the Royals both wore 1915 throwback uniforms. The Cubs wore Chicago Whales uniforms and the Royals broke out the Kansas City Packers threads.
Royals: Start a six-game homestand vs. the Indians on Tuesday. Jeremy Guthrie (4-3) is scheduled to make his 10th start of the season. He will try to bounce back from his worst outing of his career when he gave up 11 runs on nine hits, three walks in one-plus inning against the Yankees on May 25.
Cubs: Begin a nine-game road trip in Miami on Monday. Jason Hammel (3-2) is the scheduled starter. In eight games against Miami, he is 1-3 with a 4.86 ERA.
Royals: Alex Rios returned to the lineup after breaking his left hand on April 13. He was 0 for 4 and played right field. ... Eric Hosmer, who got some rest from the field, pinch-hit in the 10th inning and walked.