Monday, August 25, 2014
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Wada flirts with no-hitter as Cubs beat O's

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[August 25, 2014]  CHICAGO -- After flirting with a no-hitter and striking out a career-high eight batters Sunday, Tsuyoshi Wada exited to a standing ovation from Cubs fans at Wrigley Field.

Despite plenty to boast about, the 33-year-old rookie from Japan showed some of the deference and modesty that is familiar among his major league compatriots.

"I feel appreciative that (the fans) honored me even though I allowed the home run," Wada said through an interpreter.

Wada (4-1) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and center fielder Arismendy Alcantara had a solo home run as Chicago beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 to complete a weekend sweep.

After a two-out walk in the first inning, Wada retired 16 straight before giving up a home run to first baseman Steve Pearce to start the seventh, the only blemish against him -- and Baltimore's only hit in the game.

"I obviously knew a no-hitter was going on, but I tried not to focus on it too much," Wada said.

Wada, who spent two seasons in the Orioles system prior to signing with the Cubs last December, exited two batters later after 6 1/3 innings.

"I feel like I let people down not being able to be a factor on the (Orioles), so I tried to be the player they thought they acquired at first," said Wada, whose time with Baltimore was marred by injury and Tommy John surgery in 2012.

Chicago manager Rick Renteria praised Wada's ability to mix pitches and attack the strike zone, and said he was prepared to let Wada pitch as long the no-hitter was intact regardless of pitch count.

"In my heart, I would tell you 'no' -- he was going to stay out there until he got through," Renteria said. "My mind was he was going to keep throwing until someone got a hit."

Wada said that fatigue was starting to affect him before he was pulled..

Hector Rondon had one strikeout as part of a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances to give the Cubs their third straight win. It was the first road sweep of the season for Baltimore, which lost three straight for the first time since losing a season-high four straight from May 27-30.

"I think everybody's looking forward to getting back (home)." said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, whose team went 4-5 to finish their first losing road trip of the season.

Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (6-7), who was recalled from Double-A Bowie before the game, pitched well in his return to the majors, giving up two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

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"I was really happy about Miguel today; he was solid," Showalter said.

Gonzalez retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced before Alcantara's fourth homer of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Alcantara's shot came on a 2-1 pitch and just cleared the fence at the top of the wall in right-center field.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo extended the lead to 2-0 the next inning with an RBI double down the third base line with one out. Left fielder Chris Coglan scored on the play after doubling to right to lead off the inning.

Pearce's blast left the park completely and landed on Waveland Avenue to make the score 2-1. It was his 13th of the season.

NOTES: Cubs LHP Tsuyoshi Wada got his first major league hit on a swinging bunt in the third against RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who had been perfect to that point. ... Baltimore manager Buck Showalter confirmed that 3B Manny Machado will have season-ending surgery Wednesday in California to repair the medial patellofemoral ligament in his right knee. Machado will rehab at the team's spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla., as opposed to Miami, where he rehabbed the same injury to his left knee, which cost him the first 24 games of this season and the tail end of last season. ... Orioles 3B Cord Phelps was designated for assignment before the game. ... Cubs RHP Brian Schlitter (right shoulder inflammation) was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Sunday. Manager Rick Renteria said the reliever's status would be evaluated based on how the he felt following the simulated inning he threw Saturday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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