CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
The last-place Cubs struck out 17 times, running their total to 44 for the weekend series, but Rizzo and touted rookie Javier Baez had two hits apiece to key a 13-hit attack. Carlos Villanueva (5-6) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory.
Baez struck out in the 12th, but reached on a wild pitch that moved Ryan Sweeney to third. Baez moved to second on another wild pitch by Cesar Ramos (2-4) before Rizzo lined a single to right-center field.
The Rays lost for only the fifth time in their last 23 road games. They trail Kansas City by 6 1/2 games in the race for the second AL wild card.
Tampa Bay grabbed a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer got it started with a leadoff single against Neil Ramirez, who returned from the disabled list before the game. Guyer stole second and moved to third on a groundout before Desmond Jennings drove him in with a double.
The Cubs responded with a two-out rally in the bottom half against Grant Balfour. Sweeney doubled and scored on Chris Coghlan's triple.
Rays right-hander Alex Cobb pitched six innings of one-run ball. He allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none.
Travis Wood matched Cobb with a strong performance for the Cubs. The left-hander allowed an unearned run and four hits in six innings, but remains winless in his last 10 starts.