Maddux never had to pitch, however. Derrek Lee opened the 15th inning with his career-high fifth hit, and Todd Walker’s two-out RBI single sent Chicago to a 6-5 victory over the Anaheim Angels on Sunday.
“We were down to our last pitcher and we used every reliever that we had,” Baker said. This was a true team win.”
Lee was 5-for-5 with two walks, a homer and two RBIs for the Cubs, who wasted a 4-1 lead in the eighth. They eventually pulled it out after 5 hours, 8 minutes.
“It was a huge win for us,” Lee said. “Playing 15 innings, our bullpen is kind of spent right now, so that’s a game you almost have to win because we’re going into the next couple of games with a tired bullpen. In a game like this, all the hits are important.”
Anaheim rookie Matt Hensley (0-1), starting his fourth inning of work, gave up a leadoff single in the 15th to Lee, followed by Corey Patterson’s second consecutive bunt hit. Ramon Martinez bunted into a force at third and Jose Macias struck out, but Walker singled through the left side on a 2-0 pitch to score Patterson.
“When you fall behind 2-0, the hitter’s got the upper hand—especially with a guy in scoring position,” Hensley said. “I didn’t make my pitch.”
Walker said he outguessed the rookie right-hander.
“He had thrown a 2-0 curveball to Todd Hollandsworth, and I kind of had that in the back of my mind that he might throw that,” Walker said. “But I changed my mind and figured that he wouldn’t want to go 3-0. He threw the fastball, and it was a good pitch that I could hit.”
Jon Leicester (1-0) earned his first major league win with three scoreless innings in his second appearance since being promoted from Triple-A Iowa on June 6.
With the score tied 4-all, Lee led off the 11th with a double on the first pitch by Ramon Ortiz and advanced on Patterson’s bunt single. After a two-out walk to Walker, Michael Barrett hit an RBI infield single up the middle. Walker barely beat second baseman Chone Figgins’ flip to shortstop Alfredo Amezaga.
But LaTroy Hawkins, who took over as closer for the injured Joe Borowski, gave up three hits in the bottom half—including Vladimir Guerrero’s third RBI single. Guerrero, who leads the Angels with 56 RBIs, was 3-for-6.
Anaheim tied the score in the eighth on Guerrero’s RBI single against former-Angel Kent Mercker and Garret Anderson’s two-run homer off Kyle Farnsworth, his first since a long stint on the disabled list ended Thursday.
Lee drove in Chicago’s first two runs with an RBI single in the fourth and a first-pitch homer in the seventh, giving the Cubs a 2-1 lead against Kelvim Escobar. It was the eighth homer for Lee, who hit 31 last season for the World Series champion Florida Marlins. The five hits raised the Gold Glove first baseman’s average from .265 to .281.
“The thing about Derrek is, you don’t ever worry about his bat because he plays such great first base and saves you so many runs with his glove during the course of the year,” Barrett said. “He’s such a clutch performer, and as he gets a little more comfortable playing on this team, he’s going to be fine.”
The Cubs tacked on two more in the eighth against Scot Shields, ending his 22-inning scoreless streak—the longest in the majors this season by a reliever. Aramis Ramirez got an RBI double on a two-out fly to right field that Guerrero lost in the sun, and Ramirez scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
Escobar was charged with two runs and five hits in seven innings. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last five starts, but has only two wins and three no-decisions to show for it.
Chicago starter Matt Clement allowed a run and six hits in six innings witheight strikeouts.
After the game, the Angels optioned Casey Kotchman to Triple-A Salt Lake in preparation for activating 1B Darin Erstad from the disabled list. Erstad has been sidelined with a strained right hamstring. … Sammy Sosa began a three-day rehabilitation assignment with Double-A West Tenn and hit an RBI single off the center-field wall. He went 1-for-2. … The Angels haven’t decided who will start in place of injured Aaron Sele next Saturday against Roger Clemens in Houston. “I would volunteer in a heartbeat,” Shields said. “I would love to be loss No. 1 for him—but I don’t think that’s going tohappen.”