Cubs who drove home only 4-6 runs in wins

After documenting the Cubs' wins in which the same player drove in both or all 3 of their runs, I couldn't resist looking at higher RBI totals.

The Cubs have won 129 games in which a player produced their only 2 runs, including 32 in which he did it in more than 1 plate appearance.

They have won 67 in which he produced their only 3 runs, including 30 in which he did it 2 PA and 6 in which he did it in 3.



The first Cub with 4 RBI when the Cubs scored 4 runs in a win was Ray Grimes, in a 4-3, 10-inning win at home against the Pirates on April 26, 1922.

Exactly 100 years and 4 months later, on Aug. 26 of this year, Ian Happ became just the 24th to do it, in another 4-3, 10-inning win over the Pirates, this time at Pittsburgh.

Two other current Cubs have turned the trick: David Bote, with his "Ultimate Slam" that beat the Nationals, 4-3, on Aug. 12, 2018, and Willson Contreras, in a 4-1 win at home against the Cardinals on Sept. 4, 2020.

Two players have accomplished the feat twice; 20, once.



Hank Sauer became the 8th different Cub to drive in all 4 runs in a win on July 20, 1949, at Philadelphia. He homered with a man on base in the fourth and with the bases empty in the sixth, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead. In the 11th, with the score 3-3 and 2 out, Andy Pafko singled and Sauer smacked a tie-breaking triple.

On April 28, 1952, at St. Louis, Sauer hit a 2-run homer in the first and a run-scoring groundout in the third. An RBI single in the fifth put the Cubs up, 4-0, and they held on to win, 4-3.



Ron Santo's homer leading off the second inning opened the scoring against the Giants at home on Aug. 5, 1966.

Santo tied the game at 2 with a leadoff homer in the ninth.

A homer in the top of the 10th put the Giants in front again.

But in the bottom half, Lee Thomas singled and gave way to pinch runner Joey Amalfitano. Adolfo Phillips beat out a bunt, then Glenn Beckert grounded out, leaving the runners on second and third.

Billy Williams was walked intentionally, loading the bases for Santo, who lined an opposite-field hit that drove home the tying and winning runs.


On Sept. 25, 1968, Santo beat the Dodgers, 4-1, by walloping a walk-off grand slam with nobody out in the ninth. It came after a walk to Willie Smith, a double by Billy Williams and an intentional walk to Dick Nen.



Santo, a diabetic, often told the story of that slam. For example, he wrote a first-person account in Guideposts magazine that began:

"I was kneeling in the on-deck circle at Chicago's Wrigley Field that sweltering August afternoon. It was the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-0, but he had a pair of runners on base and slugger Billy Williams at the plate."

Near the end of the story, Santo returns to "that sweltering summer day in 1967."

The year was 1968. The month was September. The score was 1-0. And the temperature when the game began was 63 degrees.


Santo recalls "my head spinning because my blood sugar level had suddenly tumbled.

"On the mound was Bill Singer, a two-time All-Star with a wicked curveball. My problem was this: I saw three Bill Singers, one on top of the other. His first pitch came at me looking like it was attached to a Slinky.

"What did I do? I had no choice: I swung.

"The ball soared higher, higher, out of the park -- one of six grand slams I hit in my career."



Besides Santo in 1968 and Bote 50 years later, 8 other Cubs provided all 4 runs via a grand slam.

Here are those 8, in chronological order (final score in parentheses if different than score after slam)

Clyde Beck, on July 17, 1928, 5th inning, at home vs. Phillies. Made score 4-3.

Ox Miller, Sept. 7, 1947, 2nd, at Pittsburgh, 4-0 (4-3)

Cliff Aberson, Sept. 9, 1947, 8th, vs. Dodgers, 4-3

Roy Smalley, May 26, 1950, 4th, at Pittsburgh, 4-0

Ernie Banks, Sept. 27, 1964, 5th, vs. Giants, 4-0 (4-2)

Bobby Murcer, April 26, 1978, 3rd, at Philadelphia, 4-0 (4-2)

Keith Moreland, Aug. 5, 1984, 3rd, vs. Expos, 4-1 (4-3)

Michael Barrett, June 10, 2006, 7th, at Cincinnati, 4-0 (4-2)

Miller was a pitcher. He and Aberson did it in consecutive games, as the Cubs were idle on the day between them.



Bob Barrett, July 31, 1924, in 4-1 win at Brooklyn: 2-run homer in 3rd (2-0) and 2-run triple in 6th (4-0). Final: 4-1

Andy Pafko, July 1, 1948, in 4-3 win vs. Cardinals: RBI double in 1st (1-1) and 3-run homer in 7th (4-3)

Rodney Scott, Sept. 8, 1978, in 4-2, 10-inning win at Montreal: 2-out, 2-run single in 3rd (2-0) and 2-out, 2-run double in 10th (4-2)

Anthony Rizzo, April 26, 2013, in 4-2 win at Miami: 2-run homer in 1st (2-0) and 2-run homer in 3rd (4-0). Final: 4-2

Alfonso Soriano, July 6, 2013, in 4-1 win vs. Pirates: 2-run homer in 4th (2-0) and 2-run homer in 5th (4-1)

Ian Happ, Aug. 26, 2022, in 4-3 win at Milwaukee: 2-run homer in 7th (2-1) and 2-run homer in 10th (4-2). Final: 4-3



Ray Grimes, the first Cub to drive in all 4 runs in a win, did it in 3 trips to the plate, each with 2 out.

His single in the first inning on April 26, 1922, narrowed the Pirates' lead to 2-1. His 2-run single in the fifth tied the game at 3, and his single in the 10th broke the tie.

On June 8, 1923, Bob O'Farrell doubled home 2 runs in the first against the Braves. Another double made the score 3-1 in the third and his leadoff homer in the sixth made it 4-1. The final score was 4-2.

Derrek Lee hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth at Pittsburgh on May 17, 2005, to pull the Cubs even at 1. His solo homer in the seventh brought them to within 2-3 and his 2-run homer with 1 out in the ninth put them ahead to stay, 4-3.

Willson Contreras joined the club on Sept. 4, 2020 at home vs. the Cardinals. A 2-out, 2-run single in the first gave the Cubs an early advantage. Another 2-out single in the third increased it to 3-0, and a 1-out homer in the sixth made it 4-1, which was how the game ended.



8 Cubs have managed to do this, once each. Half of them also had a 4-run, 4-RBI game, including Hank Sauer and Ron Santo, the 2 who drove in all 4 runs twice.

Sauer slugged 3 homers in a 5-4 win at St. Louis on Aug. 14, 1951: 2-run shots in the first and third innings for the game's first 4 runs, then a solo homer in the fifth that made the score 5-1. He grounded out in the seventh.

On Aug. 30, 1968, Santo smacked a 3-run homer in the bottom of the fourth against the Astros, then broke a 3-3 tie with another homer in the sixth. Houston failed to score again.


Here are the 6 other such games, in chronological order:

Roy Smalley, June 30, 1952, in 5-4 win vs. Pirates: 2-run double in 2nd (2-3) and 3-run homer in 8th (5-4)

Ernie Banks, Aug. 21, 1958, in 5-3 win vs. Pirates: 3-run homer in 3rd (3-1), 2-out double in 5th (4-1) and leadoff homer in 8th (5-3)

Andre Dawson, Aug. 1, 1987, in 5-3 win vs. Phillies: 3-run homer in 3rd (3-0), leadoff homer in 4th (4-2) and leadoff homer in 7th (5-3)

Derrick May, June 19, 1992, in 5-2 win at Philadelphia: 2-run homer in 2nd (2-0) and 3-run homer in 6th (5-2)

Aramis Ramirez, Sept. 16, 2004, in 5-4 win at Cincinnati: 2-run homer in 1st (2-0), solo homer in 5th (3-1) and 2-run homer in 7th (5-4)

Geovany Soto, Sept. 19, 2011, in 5-2 win vs. Brewers: 2-run homer in 3rd (2-1), single in 4th (3-1) and 2-run homer in 6th (5-1)

Note that Soto is the only player who singled home a run, while Smalley and Banks were the only 2 who got RBIs on doubles.

36 of the 40 RBI came on 18 homers: 5 with 2 on base, 8 with 1 on and 5 with nobody on.


In 5 games, a Cub knocked in 5 of 6 runs: Bill Nicholson (1940), Clyde McCullough (1954), Billy Williams (1963), Bill Buckner (1977) and Glenallen Hill (1994).



The only thing better than being the only person to achieve some feat is to be the only person and to have done it twice.

79 Cubs have driven in 6 runs in a game.

Nobody but Sammy Sosa produced all 6 runs in a game.

He did it on July 27, 1998, in a 6-2 win at Arizona, then again less than 8 weeks later, on Sept. 16, in a 6-3 win at San Diego.

The first time, Sosa tied the game with a 2-run homer in the sixth, then hit a grand slam in the eighth -- the first of his career, after 246 previous homers.

He hit his second slam the next day and his third to reach 6 RBI in the game at San Diego, again breaking a 2-2 tie. He had given the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the seventh with a double.


In 3 games, a Cub delivered 6 of 7 runs: Bill Nicholson (1947), Ron Santo (1965) and Kris Bryant (2015).



No Cub with at least 7 RBI in a win has been responsible for all the team's runs.

Derrek Lee (2009) and David Bote (2019) both knocked in 7 of 9. In the 23 other games in which a player had 7 RBI, the Cubs scored at least 11 runs, and the average was 14.


The Cubs have played 8 games in which a player drove home 8 runs.

In half of them, the Cubs scored exactly 10 runs. The batters were Rogers Hornsby (1931), Babe Herman (1933), Ed Bailey (1965) and Dave Kingman (1978).

In the other half, the Cubs scored 14, 15, 16 and 18.


Heinie Zimmerman set the team record with 9 RBI in a 20-2 rout of the Rustlers (today's Braves) on June 11, 1911.

Sammy Sosa tied the mark in a 15-1 win at Colorado on Aug. 10, 2002.



7 big league players have had 7 or more RBI in a win and produced all of their team's runs, but only 1 in more than half a century:

9: Mike Greenwall, Red Sox, in 9-8 win at Seattle on Sept. 2, 1996

8: George Kelly, Giants, in 8-6 win over Reds on June 14, 1924

8: Bob Johnson, Athletics, in 8-3 win over Browns on June 12, 1938

7: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, in 7-4 win over Yankees on Sept. 14, 1946

7: Del Ennis, Phillies, in 7-2 win over Cardinals on July 23, 1955

7: Ken Harrelson, Red Sox, in 7-2 win at Cleveland on June 14, 1968

7: Brant Alyea, Twins, in 7-6 win over Brewers on Sept. 7, 1970

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