Kansas City, Mo. Despite having four runners thrown out on the bases, and making a throwing error that set up a tying run, the Chicago Cubs persevered.
Tony Campana hit a close-call bunt single and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the ninth inning to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals, 6-4, Friday night.
“Was that a game or a novel? Unbelievable,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “Back and forth, the breaks back and forth. It was unbelievable.”
With one out, Campana popped up a bunt against Aaron Crow (2-1) that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas appeared to catch at his shoetops. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that it hit the grass and Campana was safe at first.
Moustakas and manager Ned Yost argued briefly. Moustakas said he made a mistake in his reaction to the play, even though he thought it was an out.
“If I had come up throwing to first then it wouldn’t have mattered,” Moustakas said. “I’ve got to make the play. I have to finish the play and it ended up costing us the game. You can’t assume anything.”
Campana went to third on D.J. LeMahieu’s single to right and came home when Kosuke Fukudome hit a bouncer that went off the glove of second baseman Chris Getz for an error. Starlin Castro added an RBI single that helped send the Royals to their sixth straight loss.
“It was a topspin ball,” Getz said. “It’s not like I’ve never seen one of those balls before. It got a little bit of speed and I missed it.”
Sean Marshall (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth for Chicago.
On the base paths, Alfonso Soriano was out at the plate in the third, Castro was out trying to steal third in the first inning and Aramis Ramirez was out trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth.
Most remarkable, though, was when and Geovany Soto was caught at third by right fielder Jeff Francoeur in the fourth inning.
“Castro stealing third, we want to give him the freedom to do that, but I didn’t like his jump, but again it’s a pretty close play,” Quade said. “Soto going from first to third, right idea, a pretty good right fielder, bang-bang, I’d love him to be safe. He’s the only rightfielder to me who makes that play. It was a perfect throw and all the rest of it. The aftermath is always now ’look what happened.’ That hurts.
“Soriano, I thought he was safe, but he blocked plate. Two outs take a shot and it goes against us. Ramirez busted out of the box and Gordon’s caroming off the wall and is out easily. Would I love to see him pull up? Again, I kind of understand it.”
Bruce Chen, who came off the disabled list Friday and made his first start since May 5, left after six-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out four.