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Cubs win in 10 on Rizzo's three-run double

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bases loaded, two outs, tie score in the 10th inning -- no pressure.

Anthony Rizzo's three-run double in the top of the 10th inning snapped a 5-5 tie and lifted the Chicago Cubs to an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday at Angels Stadium.

Rizzo came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs to face Angels reliever Robert Coello, and he drilled a 2-1 pitch into the right field corner, scoring all three baserunners and giving the Cubs a split of the two-game series.

For Rizzo, though, the pressure was all on the Angels and Coello.

"I want to be in that situation," Rizzo said. "They made good pitches on me today, but I was able to get the big hit at the end. Even when you're feeling down at the plate, it takes one pitch, one at-bat, one swing. So that's what you've got to go by."

Kevin Gregg (2-0) earned the victory despite giving up a solo homer to Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the 10th, Trumbo's second homer of the game. Coello (2-2), the sixth of seven relievers used by the Angels, got the loss.

The winning rally started with Dioner Navarro's one-out walk. Coello got the second out with a strikeout of Ryan Sweeney but then gave up a single to Darwin Barney and a walk to Luis Valbuena, loading the bases for Rizzo.

"Robert has been pitching well for us, and when he's pitching well, he's getting that fastball in a good location," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He just had a little trouble finishing off that inning. He had some opportunities to get that third out, but give those guys on the other side credit. They got some key hits."

Jason Vargas started for the Angels and was carrying a personal five-game winning streak, but he lasted only five-plus innings and gave up five runs on 11 hits. Cubs starter Matt Garza gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Angels and Cubs went back and forth. Thanks to a two-run homer by Howie Kendrick in the second inning and two-out, RBI singles by Chris Iannetta and J.B. Shuck in the fourth, the Angels took a 4-1 lead against Garza. Kendrick wound up with four hits in the game.

The lead seemed to be safe considering the Angels had Vargas on the mound, coming off winning American League pitcher of the month honors. However, Vargas gave up a game-tying three-run homer to Cody Ransom in the fifth.

"The difference was the homer by Cody Ransom," Vargas said. "That's really what got them going, let 'em back in the ballgame. I feel I made a dumb mistake. We were up three runs and I decided to go after him like it was a pretty close ballgame. Three runs isn't a huge lead, but it definitely was a mental mistake on my part. I left a changeup up and let them back in the ballgame. I feel that's really what cost us."

Sweeney, who tripled and scored in the third inning, had an RBI single in the sixth that gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead and knocked Vargas out of the game. Then in the seventh, Sweeney saved a run by making a catch of Albert Pujols' line drive, stranding runners on first and third.

Sweeney couldn't save Cubs reliever James Russell in the eighth inning, though, when Trumbo crushed a hanging curveball and hit it out, tying the game at 5.

NOTES: Pujols' eighth-inning home run Tuesday was the 54th of his career against the Cubs, more than he's hit against any other opponent. It gave the Angels a 4-3 lead, marking the seventh time in his career he's hit a trailing-to-leading home run in the eighth inning or later. ... Angels RHP Jerome Williams was moved back to the bullpen Wednesday from the rotation despite pitching well as a starter. The Angels used a six-man rotation over the past week, in part to give RHPs Jered Weaver and Tommy Hanson an extra day of rest because they were returning from extended time off. Williams went 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA in six starts. ... Barney batted in the leadoff spot for the first time this season. Barney has primarily hit eighth, and he's also hit seventh and ninth. Barney began the day hitting just .215, but he was hitting .317 against lefties, and the Angels had the left-handed Vargas on the mound. ... Cubs CF David DeJesus, who has three hits in his past 18 at-bats, did not play. He was replaced in center field by Sweeney.
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