Bote's Pinch-Hit Magic Lifts Cubs Past Cardinals

David Bote's go-ahead three-run homer gave the Cubs a 5-4 win.

Bruce Levine
August 17, 2020 - 11:15 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Cubs infielder David Bote's pinch-hit magic returned at the perfect time in a peculiar game Monday evening.

With the Cubs having already dropped the opener of a doubleheader and then trailing as the visiting team in a makeup game at Wrigley Field, Bote hit a pinch-hit go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to help lift Chicago to a 5-4 win against St. Louis. Both ends of the doubleheader were seven-inning games under MLB's revised rules in the pandemic season.

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"Bote staying locked in on the bench coming in, and putting a good swing on the ball was beautiful," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "He has done that a time or two, and it's a spark and energetic for us. We just ground it out, and him getting the big hit was exciting for us."

Bote's 434-foot blast to center field was his second career pinch-hit homer. His first was a memorable one, as it was a walk-off grand slam to lift the Cubs to a win against the Nationals on Sunday Night Baseball on Aug. 12, 2018. 

This one was also special and well-timed, as it snapped the Cubs' four-game losing streak that included a 3-1 setback to the Cardinals in the opener Monday. The Cubs now sit at 14-7, 3.5 games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central.

"We had been playing really good baseball," Bote said. "You knew this was going to eventually happen after stretches that don't go your way. We were putting really good at-bats together and kept grinding and grinding."

Bote's homer came off Cardinals lefty reliever Tyler Webb after the Cubs trailed 4-1 entering the frame and after they'd been no-hit for the first five innings. Willson Contreras' RBI double was the Cubs' first hit of the evening and cut their deficit to 4-2. Jason Heyward later walked before Bote came up big in pinch-hitting for Victor Caratini.

"That was a big swing right there from David," manager David Ross said. "Getting everyone consistent at-bats to help get guys confident to go into situations like that, that is a tough thing to do to come off the bench and put a good at-bat together."

Afterward, Bote reflected on how different this pinch-hit homer was from his famous one against the Nationals. This time, there were no fans in the Wrigley Field stands.

"The roar of the crowd can never be overstated enough," Bote said. "You miss that roar and the silence waiting and then the roar of the crowd. That is a huge thing you miss. Hopefully, we can get them back soon."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.