Sunday, March 9, 2014

"King Kong" Kingman Attacks Houston

The Cubs and Astros played four close games, the first three going to extra innings and the fourth won in the bottom of the ninth. Dave Kingman does most of the late inning damage for the Cubbies in the extra inning affairs.

Game One: Cubs 5, Astros 3 (10 innings)
W: Burris (1-1)
L: Sambito (3-2)
S: Caudill (1)

Three singles off the Astros' Frank Riccelli in the Cubs' fifth give them a 3-0 lead, but the Astros come right back to score two quick runs and tie it in the eighth on a Bob Watson smash aided by a Dave Kingman throwing error. In the 10th, Kingman redeems himself by socking his 10th homer of the year off Astros' closer Joe Sambito for the win.

Game Two: Cubs 7, Astros 5 (11 innings)

W: Sutter (1-0)
L: Sambito (3-3)

The game is tied 5-5 in regulation as both teams score early. Bill Buckner and Jerry Martin homer off the Astros' Ken Forsch, while Houston chips away with 10 hits in seven innings off Cubs' starter Lynn McGlothen. Cubs' pinch hitter Scot Thompson homers in the 10th but the Astros hand Bruce Sutter his first blown save as Jesus Alou walks with the bases loaded to tie the game. But shades of Game One, Dave Kingman steps in the batters box in the 11th and hits a two run homer off Joe Sambito to provide the margin of victory.

Game Three: Cubs 4, Astros 2 (10 innings)
W: Sutter (2-0)
L: Mclaughlin (0-2)

Houston spot starter Rick Williams keeps Chicago bats at bay but allows two runs in the eighth to Mick Kelleher and Bill Buckner to tie the game, after Houston pulled ahead early off Ken Holtzman on a Bruce Bochy single that scores two. Bruce Sutter pitches three innings of scoreless relief and gets the win in the 10th. Kingman again does damage by singling, stealing second and scoring the winning run off a ground single from Tim Blackwell.

Game Four: Houston 3, Chicago 2
W: Dixon (1-1)
L: Caudill (0-2)

Starters Mike Krukow and Joe Niekro  pitch good games but both tire after six and the score tied at 2 apiece. It looks to be another long afternoon of extra inning baseball at the Astrodome until Alan Ashby and Julio Gonzalez single off Cubs reliever Bill Caudill in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, pinch hitter Jesus Alou sends the crowd home happy for once by singling to left center for the Houston win.

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