CHICAGO -- The Cubs believe they can make in-game adjustments against good pitchers like the Tigers' Michael Fulmer. They believe no lead is too much to overcome. And they believe in Santa Claus, too.Anthony Rizzo drove in the game-tying run with an RBI single in the fifth inning and the
CHICAGO -- The Cubs believe they can make in-game adjustments against good pitchers like the Tigers' Michael Fulmer. They believe no lead is too much to overcome. And they believe in Santa Claus, too.
Anthony Rizzo drove in the game-tying run with an RBI single in the fifth inning and the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice in the seventh to lift the Cubs to a 5-3 victory on Tuesday afternoon over the Tigers at Wrigley Field.
Kyle Schwarber added a solo homer in the eighth and Pedro Strop notched the save to secure the Cubs' fifth straight win, matching their longest streak this season. They're now 7-4 in Interleague Play, including a 6-3 mark at Wrigley Field.
"The approaches are paying off now, we're getting some opposite-field hits," said Jason Heyward, who collected his 13th multi-hit game in his past 30 contests. "The weather warming up, they're getting hot. Hitting is contagious, too. You get a couple guys going there, and it translates through the whole lineup."
Each of the Cubs' past six wins since June 26 have been of the come-from-behind variety. Chicago has 25 such victories this season, the most in the Majors. The Mariners and Phillies began play on Tuesday with 24 each.
"We believe in everything right now," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Santa Claus is absolutely true. When you get to that point and you get that kind of confidence, you don't want to do anything to nick it."
Said starter Kyle Hendricks: "It's so fun watching those guys and their approach now. You know it's just a matter of time in any ballgame for us now."
The Cubs started their comeback in the fifth when they trailed, 3-0. Albert Almora Jr. and Heyward hit back-to-back RBI doubles, and Rizzo added an RBI single. This was Fulmer's first start against the Cubs and his first at Wrigley Field, and the right-hander posted a quality start, giving up three runs over six innings.
"Isn't it fun to watch that?" Maddon said of the rally. "Line to line, two-strike approach, moving the ball with two [outs]. Fulmer is good. … I was really impressed with the way we came back against him.
"That's the kind of guy you keep trying to hit home runs against and you come up empty," Maddon said of the Tigers' right-hander. "We finally adjusted our approach and had some great at-bats. That was beautiful to see."
With the game tied at 3 and one out in the seventh against the Tigers' Daniel Stumpf, Heyward was on third and Benjamin Zobrist at first when Rizzo hit a grounder to second baseman Niko Goodrum, who flipped to shortstop Jose Iglesias for the force at second. Rizzo beat the throw to first, and Heyward scored to go ahead, 4-3.
Rizzo, who said he believes in Santa Claus, too, now has 58 RBIs; he reached 50 by the end of June for the third straight season, and he is the third player in franchise history to do so, joining Ernie Banks and Sammy Sosa.
In 2016, the Cubs' motto was "We never quit." It's engraved on their World Series rings. What's the theme this year?
"Nothing yet," Rizzo said. "I'm sure, organically, something's brewing. Good teams come from behind a lot, they win late in games. That's what we did so well in 2016 that made us say that."
The only downer was Hendricks' inability to go deeper in the game. Two of the Tigers' three runs off him came in the first, which continues to be a problem. He's been charged with 16 earned runs in the first inning of his 17 starts for an 8.47 ERA in that frame. Hendricks has a 3.38 ERA from the second inning on.
"It's very unfamiliar from the dugout, watching it out there," Maddon said.
"It's obviously frustrating," Hendricks said. "I have to stick with what I'm doing and my cues, and hopefully it'll click."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Glove work: Chicago native Jim Adduci, called up for Tuesday's game, singled to lead off the Tigers' fourth. He moved up when JaCoby Jones walked, and he scored on James McCann's single to left to open a 3-0 lead. But the Cubs' defense shut down the Tigers. One out later, Fulmer bunted. Rizzo was ready and charged the ball, scooping it up to start a 3-5-4 double play.
"I told [Rizzo] that double play doesn't get turned by everybody," Heyward said. "We don't take those things lightly. We definitely understand the importance [of playing defense]. We're trying to do what we can on both sides of the ball."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Heyward robbed McCann of a potential extra-base hit with a running catch in to open the Tigers' second inning. Heyward, a five-time Gold Glove winner, slid hard into the wall along the right-field line.
"There's not much room for error there," Heyward said. "Fortunately, it stayed enough in play. It found my glove and I didn't get hurt, knock on wood."
HE SAID IT
"I don't think we've faced any bad pitching recently. That's a challenge. I feel we've done a good job of seeing what teams are trying to do to us throughout the game and not allowing them to do the same thing over and over." -- Heyward
Jose Quintana will close the brief two-game Interleague series on Wednesday. Quintana did not get a decision in his last outing against the Dodgers, giving up three runs over 5 1/3 innings. He has not won a game since May 31, going 0-2 with a 4.33 ERA in five June starts. He's 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA in six home starts. Francisco Liriano will start for Detroit. First pitch at Wrigley Field is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.