Chicago – It's becoming the script too often for the Detroit Tigers, and Tuesday was just another repeat performance.
Take an early lead. Fritter it away. End up with another loss.
This time, it was the Cubs who bounced back, prevailing 5-3 for the fifth straight win. The Tigers lost for the 12th time in 14 games. Chicago was down 3-0.
Leadoff hitter Mikie Mahtook had three singles and scored a run. Niko Goodrum drove in a run with a double, and Jeimer Candelario and James McCann had an RBI.
Starter Michael Fulmer went six innings and allowed three runs – all in the fifth – and seven hits.
“He had really good stuff,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He got a couple of pitches up a bit, but they kind of put them in the right place.
“It wasn’t like they were lashing them, but they put them on the outfield grass, kind of like what we did to them early.”
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first. After Mahtook and Nick Castellanos led off with singles, Candelario drove in a run with a groundout. Goodrum’s double to the right-field corner scored the second run.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth on McCann’s single to make it 3-0.
The Cubs tied it 3-all in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Tommy LaStella, Albert Almora and Jayson Heyward led off with consecutive doubles to cut it to 3-2, then Anthony Rizzo’s hit with one out tied it.
Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap the tie, Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and the Cubs completed their comeback from the early three-run deficit for their fifth straight win.
With one out in the seventh, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist singled off Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf (1-4). Rizzo's slow bouncer up the middle resulted in a force of Zobrist at second, but Jose Iglesias' throw to first was too late to double up Rizzo and Heyward scored from third to put Chicago ahead for the first time, 4-3.
Schwarber hit his team-leading 17th homer to right against a steady wind off Lake Michigan in the eighth.
Rizzo has just one homer in his past 20 games — and 12 this season — after launching at least 31 in each of the past four seasons. But the Cubs slugger says the longball isn't always the best approach.
"You get down and start battling at two strikes; it's not about hitting a homer," Rizzo said. "It's just about putting the ball in play and we're doing a good job at that."
Former Tiger Justin Wilson (3-2), the second of Chicago's four relievers, pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win. Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in four chances.
Jim Adduci, called up from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, was in Detroit's lineup at first base and singled and scored in his first game this season. The 33-year-old attended Evergreen Park High School in Chicago's south suburbs and grew up a fan of both the Cubs and White Sox.
Adduci's father, also named Jim, played a total of 70 games with three major league teams in the 1980s and was at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Liriano vs. Quintana
Tigers LHP Francisco Liriano (3-4. 3.99) takes the mound against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-6. 4.31) on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of the two-game interleague set. Liriano has lost both of his starts since coming off the disabled list (right hamstring strain) on June 23. Quintana has two losses and three no-decisions in his past five starts and hasn't won since May 31.