Hoerner hits game-ending single in 10th inning as the Cubs beat the Braves 4-3


CHICAGO (AP) — Nico Hoerner hit a game-ending infield single in the 10th inning in his return to the lineup, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Tuesday night.

The Cubs had runners on the corners with one out in the 10th when the Braves brought their infield in. Hoerner then hit a high chopper to the right side on an 0-2 pitch from Aaron Bummer (1-2).

First baseman Matt Olson and second baseman Ozzie Albies converged on the grounder, and Albies had no play as Cody Bellinger scampered home with the winning run. It was Hoerner's first hit after missing six straight games with left hamstring tightness.

“We get to two strikes, and obviously want to put a ball in play first,” Hoerner said. “Fortunate where it went.”

Mike Tauchman had two hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, who had dropped three of four. Luke Little (1-0) got three outs for his first career win, capping 5 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball for Chicago's bullpen.

“Everybody did a great job,” reliever Mark Leiter Jr. said.

Chicago shortstop Dansby Swanson had two hits in his return to the lineup. The shortstop was activated from the 10-day injured list after he was sidelined by a right knee sprain.

Michael Harris II homered and made two nice defensive plays, but Atlanta lost for the fifth time in six games. Orlando Arcia hit a two-run drive, and Charlie Morton struck out eight in five effective innings on a warm, blustery night at Wrigley Field.

"I wish I could have gone a couple more innings,” Morton said.

The Braves had a chance to go in front in the seventh, but they were stymied by some impressive relief work by Leiter.

Leiter replaced Tyson Miller with runners on first and second. After the game was delayed while the grounds crew worked on the mound, Leiter struck out Olson, Travis d'Arnaud and Harris — all swinging.

The delay with the mound “maybe took some of the adrenaline out of the situation and kind of calmed me down a little bit,” Leiter said.

Harris gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead when he opened the fourth with an opposite-field drive into the bleachers in left for his fifth homer.

“I feel like I have a pretty good mentality right now,” Harris said. “I guess just wish I can come through on some of the other situations that we had tonight.”

Chicago threatened in the bottom half, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Morton escaped the jam with some help from Harris, who made a leaping catch on the warning track on Tauchman's long flyball.

Atlanta third baseman Zack Short dropped Michael Busch's popup for an error in the sixth, and Tauchman hit an RBI single off Daysbel Hernández. But Harris made an impressive running grab in shallow center to keep the game tied at 3.

Olson and Ronald Acuña Jr. also made a couple of big defensive plays for the Braves. Olson snared Ian Happ's liner in the seventh and stepped on first for a double play. Acuña hauled in Patrick Wisdom's pinch-hit flyball on the warning track in right in the eighth.

Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki got in on the act in the ninth, robbing Acuña of a hit with a sliding catch.