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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Angels 6

By Dan Arritt
Special to ESPNChicago.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anthony Rizzo delivered a three-run double in the 10th inning, and the Chicago Cubs rallied from an early deficit against the Los Angeles Angels to earn a split in the two-game series with an 8-6 victory.

How it happened: The Cubs found themselves in a 4-1 hole after four innings but found light in the fifth thanks to a three-run homer by third baseman Cody Ransom, and then took the lead in the sixth on Ryan Sweeney's opposite-field RBI single. James Russell relieved Chicago starter Matt Garza in the seventh and pitched out of a first-and-third, one-out jam. But Cubs manager Dale Sveum left the left-hander in to face Mark Trumbo to start the eighth, and Trumbo clobbered his 14th homer of the season to knot the score at 5. The score remained tied until the 10th, when Dioner Navarro walked with one out and Darwin Barney followed with a two-out single to left on a hit-and-run play, moving pinch runner Julio Borbon to third. Luis Valbuena walked to load the bases and Rizzo followed with his bases-clearing double down the right-field line. Trumbo hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 10th and the Angels brought the winning run to the plate, but back-up catcher Hank Conger struck out on a 3-2 pitch off closer Kevin Gregg.

What it means: The gap between the Cubs and the top three teams in the National League Central remains a wide one, but Chicago ended a three-game losing streak with the win and has won six of its past nine overall. Throw in strong games from Ransom and Sweeney, two castoffs from other organizations, and it was a positive night for the Cubs faithful.

Key play: Angels catcher Chris Iannetta walked to lead off the ninth and J.B. Shuck sacrificed pinch runner Chris Nelson to second. Nelson moved to third on a groundout, prompting Sveum to call on Gregg out of the bullpen. The former Angels reliever stared down last season's American League Rookie of the Year, Mike Trout, and struck him out to send the game into extra innings.

Outside the box: Barney batted leadoff for the first time this season and just the seventh time in 372 career games. He came in 2-for-19 in that spot with four walks and six strikeouts. He struck out on four pitches in his first at-bat but came back to finish 2-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Who's next: The Cubs return home after their quick two-day trip to Southern California and host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series beginning Friday. Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-2, 2.17 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Cubs left-hander Travis Wood (5-3, 2.75) in the series opener.