Welington Castillo drove in Anthony Rizzo with the game-winning run in the 10th inning as the Chicago Cubs eked past the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Tuesday.
“I feel really good,” said Castillo. “I’m always thinking this is the last game of my life and just go with all that I got.”
The middle test of this three-game series came down to which bullpen blinked first, and Pat Neshek was the unfortunate scapegoat.
Rizzo doubled off Neshek (7-2) with one away in the 10th and moved to third on Jorge Soler’s groundout. After Luis Valbuena was intentionally walked, Castillo punched a single to right for the walk-off hit.
Castillo also hit a two-run homer and Zac Rosscup (1-0) picked up his first big-league victory in relief for the Cubs, who had dropped four of five coming in.
The Cardinals lost for just the third time in their last 11 games but saw their division lead shrink to 1 1/2 games over Pittsburgh. The streaking Pirates have won 11 of 13 and have a game in hand on St. Louis.
Matt Holliday smacked a two-run homer in defeat.
“Our guys did a great job of getting us back in the game,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Castillo staked Chicago to an early lead with a two-run homer in the second inning, and Matt Szczur tacked on a leadoff homer in the fifth.
St. Louis’ Shelby Miller was pulled with one out in the fifth and was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks. He did, however, record a season- high eight strikeouts.
Kyle Hendricks’ otherwise solid outing abruptly came to an end when Holliday tied things at 3-3 with a screaming two-run homer to left with one out in the sixth.
Earlier in the frame, Oscar Taveras and Matt Carpenter both singled and Taveras scored ahead of the homer on Jon Jay’s groundout.