Ortega's walk off home run ends Cubs' record home losing streak

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs' Rafael Ortega celebrates his two-run, walk off home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Daniel Bard, left, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Chicago. The Cubs won 6-4.

    Chicago Cubs' Rafael Ortega celebrates his two-run, walk off home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Daniel Bard, left, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Chicago. The Cubs won 6-4.

 
 
Updated 8/23/2021 10:53 PM

Even though the results haven't mattered for a while, the Cubs needed something like this.

After tying the game with 3 runs in the eighth, Rafael Ortega hit a 2-run, walk-off homer in the ninth, giving the Cubs a 6-4 victory over Colorado and ending their franchise-record 13-game home losing streak.

 

Ortega got a refreshing ice water bath from Patrick Wisdom as he did the postgame interview.

"I just had a feeling that if I could get up there, stay patient, wait for the right pitch, I thought that I could do it, I could hit a homer in that situation," Ortega said. "Once that ball hit the bat, I give thanks to God and it just felt great."

It was the Cubs' first walk-off home run since Kyle Schwarber did it on July 16, 2019. It was their first win at Wrigley Field since July 26 of this season, when Javy Baez delivered a non-home run walk off hit against Cincinnati.

For most of the night, the difference was a slow start by pitcher Kyle Hendricks. He gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and a hit batter in the top of the first inning, capped by a 2-run single from Sam Hilliard. Hendricks settled in and made it through 7 innings.

"(Threw) a lot of pitches and just wasn't executing great," Hendricks said. "We made the adjustment after the first inning noticing they got a couple hits off changeups. They were sitting soft, so we decided just to attack and make them swing to the fastball and then go from there. Just had to use the fastball a little more."

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He was off the hook for the loss, though, when the Cubs caught a break in the bottom of the eighth. Rockies reliever Jhoulys Chacin walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches to start the inning.

Patrick Wisdom's single up the middle brought in 1 run, then another scored on a double play. With two outs, Michael Hermosillo ripped a double off the wall in left to tie the score.

The Cubs also loaded the bases in the sixth with nobody out but scored just once that time as David Bote hit into the first of two bases-loaded double plays.

Cody Heuer and Manuel Rodriguez kept Colorado off the board in the eighth and ninth innings, with Rodriguez getting the win. Ian Happ came alive at the plate with 3 hits, including 2 doubles.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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