Bryant, Baez lead Cubs rally in ninth to top Phillies
Kris Bryant and Javier Baez don't have supernatural powers. But it seemed that way Tuesday night.
Bryant talked about having eyes in the back of his head.
And Baez? All he did was get a quick tape job on his heel and come off the bench to take one swing of the bat to give the Chicago Cubs a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth inning.
Baez's first-pitch single to right field with the bases loaded scored Anthony Rizzo with the winning run right after Bryant hustled home to beat a force play on Albert Almora's tapper back toward the mound.
It was Baez's first game action since Sunday night, when he bruised his right heel in Washington. He had an MRI earlier Tuesday and wasn't scheduled to play.
"Javy was available to pinch hit," joked Cubs manager Joe Maddon, whose team improved to 28-18. "I had no idea what we were going to do after that. Had we not won that game and it had been tied, (backup catcher Victor) Caratini would have be playing somewhere.
"At the beginning of that inning, PJ (athletic trainer Mainville) came by and said, 'We're taping him up. He can hit.'"
Baez, who had to leave quickly after the game and was not available to talk, came through in his first pinch-hit appearance of the season.
As for Bryant, he went 3-for-4 with 2 runs, a double and a walk. He scored the game's first run in the first inning, scoring all the way from second base on Willson Contreras' groundout.
"I feel like baserunning is the most controllable part of this game, really, besides your attitude," Bryant said. "So I just give it 100 percent effort every time and try not to do anything stupid out there. And it ended up working twice for me today.
"It's one of the areas I take the most pride in just because it's something I can really control. I feel I'm good at it."
On the first scoring play, Bryant read it right from the get-go and chugged home after being off with the pitch.
"It's probably one of my favorite baserunning plays I've made," he said. "I don't know when I made the decision. I saw (third base coach Brian Butterfield) holding me up, too. It almost felt like I had eyes in the back of my head."
Starting pitcher Jose Quintana turned in his team-leading sixth quality start with 6 scoreless innings but did not get the decision as his ERA fell from 3.68 to 3.30.
Cubs relievers Carl Edwards Jr. and Brandon Kintzler combined to give up 2 runs in the seventh as the Phillies took a 2-1 lead.
"Trusting my stuff," Quintana said. "Try to get ahead of almost all the hitters. Just be aggressive and attack the zone early and try to get as little damage as I can and get soft contact."