The game started so well, with newly returned Mikie Mahtook hitting a single in his first at bat back with the Tigers. Mahtook would score on a Jeimer Candelario groundout (welcome back to Wrigley, Jeimer!). Niko Goodrum then made use of Candelario advancing Nicholas Castellanos and doubled in a run, putting the Tigers ahead 2-0.
In the fourth inning, another former Cub — Jim Adduci — scored on a McCann single and the Tigers were looking to be in good shape.
Micheal Fulmer was going okay at the start of the game, but loaded the bases in the third to start building some tension. He was able to pitch out of the jam, but things started getting really rocky in the fifth. Albert Almora Jr hit a double to score Tommy La Stella. Jason Heyward got a double of his own to bring Almora Jr home, and then Anthony Rizzo was able to get Heyward home, tying the game 3-3.
The Cubs scored three runs on four hits with hit percentages of 21, 42, 74 and 38 percent, per Statcast.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) July 3, 2018
So the collective odds of all four hits occurring was about 2 percent, which I'm sure will console Michael Fulmer after the game.
Tigers, Cubs tied at 3 after 5.
Fulmer came back out for the sixth and made a monster throw over to first base to get Willson Contreras out at the bag. Really just a highly athletic and accurate toss. Niko Goodrum and James McCann teamed up for another beautiful out as David Bote moved for second base and Goodrum, after missing the initial tag, kept the heat on just long enough for Bote to be called out and the inning to end.
Old friend alert! Justin Wilson came on for the Cubs in the seventh.
Jose Iglesias got on board with at missed throw to first base, giving the Tigers an opportunity, but the Tigers were unable to make use of it.
In the bottom of the seventh, Anthony Rizzo struck again with a fielder’s choice to second, scoring Heyward once again, giving the Cubs their first lead of the game. The in the bottom of the eighth the lead got a little wider with a no-doubt home run right into the outfield basket. It was his 17th home run of the season, unexpectedly making him the Cubs’ home run leader.
Contreras made a misguided decision to stretch a single into a double and was easily tagged out with a nice throw from Castellanos to Jose Iglesias.
Pedro Strop came on to shut things down for the Cubs in the ninth, with Jim Adduci, JaCoby Jones, and James McCann the last remaining hopes for the Tigers to win. Jones got aboard but the Tigers couldn’t manage to get anyone else, and the Cubs won 5-3 in the first game of the short holiday series.
Who was the Tigers player of the game?
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Michael Fulmer (6 IP, 4.22 ERA)
Mikie Mahtook (3 H, 1 R)
Jeimer Candelario (1 RBI)
Niko Goodrum (1 RBI, tag at second)