Bote's slam in ninth wins it for Chicago Cubs

 
 
Updated 8/13/2018 5:28 PM
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  • Chicago Cubs' David Bote reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting the game-winning grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The Cubs won 4-3.

    Chicago Cubs' David Bote reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting the game-winning grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The Cubs won 4-3.

  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Cole Hamels throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Cole Hamels throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Chicago.

It was going to take some kind of heroics to upstage the classic, retrofitted pitching duel put on by the Cubs' Cole Hamels and the Nationals' Max Scherzer on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

Enter rookie pinch hitter David Bote.

Exit baseball, via a grand slam to center field off reliever Ryan Madson with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Cubs to an improbable 4-3 victory before a national TV audience.

Many in the crowd of 36,490 hung around just to watch Bote being interviewed on the field after the game and getting a Gatorade bath.

"It's a great feeling," said the 25-year-old Bote, who has been up and back between the Cubs and Class AAA Iowa all season. He has been getting a chance lately with third baseman Kris Bryant on the disabled list. "The teammates that we have on this team that support every single guy, we're in it from Pitch 1 every single day.

"When you round those bases and we got the 'W' and I'm seeing my teammates at home plate jumping around because we got the win, it's magical. It's incredible. It's an unbelievable feeling. It couldn't happen to a better team, a better group of people in that clubhouse. And I'm so blessed and honored to be a part of (it)."

Bote's homer, his third of the season, came on a 2-2 count from Madson, and it sailed out with an exit velocity of 110 mph.

It also took the talking points away from what was a wonderful pitching matchup between two veterans.

The Cubs' Hamels, acquired recently in a trade with Texas, gave up only 1 hit in 7 innings. He allowed a run in the second inning on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly. The Nats scored what appeared to be 2 key insurance runs off reliever Brandon Kintzler in the top of the ninth.

Scherzer, perhaps the best pitcher in the National League, worked 7 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits while striking out 11.

"Those guys threw an unbelievable game today," Bote said. "I mean that was incredible to watch, just the precision, the execution, both sides. That was a great game to be a part of. Hats off to Hamels. Hats off to Scherzer."

Bote also saluted right fielder Jason Heyward for running out his one-out ninth-inning bouncer that Nats second baseman Wilmer Difo fumbled for an infield hit. Madson hit Albert Almora Jr. with a pitch before getting Kyle Schwarber to pop out. Willson Contreras was hit with another Madson pitch, setting up Bote's heroics.

Hamels got a no-decision. In 3 starts with the Cubs, he is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA and has breathed life into a starting rotation in desperate need of innings.

He also is liking this Cubs celebration stuff.

"It's saying something when you win ballgames here," said Hamels, who pitched a no-hitter at Wrigley as a member of the Phillies in 2015. "This place is electric. This clubhouse has been outstanding, and the energy that we have after the games, that was something special today. That was a real joy to be a part of, and, obviously, the way that it ended, you just have to give credit to all these guys. They fight to the very end.

"To be able to do this against a tremendous team over there, it just makes it that much sweeter tonight."

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