Cubs endure another rain delay to wrap up wacky week with a win

Cubs endure another rain delay to wrap up wacky week with a win
August 23, 2014, 7:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

There was no TarpGate at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon, but another rain delay halted play on the North Side.

After a delay stretching more than three hours, the Cubs prevailed over the Orioles with a 7-2 victory in front of an announced crowd of 37,156 (before the rain hit).

[RELATED: Cubs fans react to Jackie Robinson West win at Wrigley Field]

The Cubs had just taken a 4-2 lead over the O's with a two-out, three-run triple off the bat of Chris Coghlan in the bottom of the second inning when it began to pour. (The grounds crew had no issues getting the tarp on the field.)

It marked the 15th weather delay of the season for the Cubs, stretching a total of 21 hours, 56 minutes, including Tuesday night's four-and-a-half-hour rain delay before suspending the Cubs-Giants game.

"It's tough. Very tough," Coghlan said when asked how the Cubs have gotten through the week. "To think about we went and played that night game (on Tuesday), were here four-and-a-half hours, go home, get home at 2 a.m., then having to play two games (Thursday), then a day game (Friday), then having to play another day game with a three-hour rain delay then another day game after that.

"It's tough. But we're really young, so that helps us out."

The rain didn't wash away the Cubs offense, which tallied insurance runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Cubs have had some clutch hitting in the series against the Orioles, totaling seven two-out RBIs in the first two games of the weekend set, rising above the grueling week they've endured.

"I think they're understanding that there are some things they can control and some things that they can't," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "I think it's important that we not make a big deal out of it when something goes awry. It is what it is. You gotta deal with it and move on."

[MORE: Hector Rondon has been a pleasant surprise in closer role]

After three strikeouts to start the game, Javier Baez delivered his seventh MLB homer, a line shot into the right-field basket.

Rookie Arismendy Alcantara had a big game for the Cubs with three hits, two runs, a stolen base and an outfield assist, nabbing Baltimore's Adam Jones at second base to end the eighth inning.

"I think they've been playing with a lot of confidence right now," Renteria said. "Like all young players, they want to show you they belong."

Baltimore came out with a good approach against Cubs rookie starter Kyle Hendricks, scoring solo runs in the first and second innings. But the Cubs bullpen shut down the O's offense from there, not allowing a run the rest of the way.

Justin Grimm got the ball after the rain delay and retired the first 10 batters he faced, earning his fourth victory of the season. Grimm said the Cubs told him he'd be the long man Saturday while he was watching Jackie Robinson West win the national championship in the Little League World Series and his "heart started beating really fast."

[MORE CUBS: Cubs rooting for Jackie Robinson West]

The Cubs finished 5-2 on a week that started in New York and finished with five games against contending teams at Wrigley Field and three lengthy rain delays.

"It's just been long days," Grimm said. "Just gotta find ways to stay locked in mentally."