When Cubs won 3 straight, 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4

When Trey Mancini's single scored Seiya Suzuki from third base in the seventh inning Wednesday afternoon, the Cubs were 6 outs away from doing something that had done only once before, nearly 100 years ago:

Win 3 straight games by 1 run against the same opponent, while scoring 1 run more in each game than in the previous one.

The Cubs had won the first 2 games of the series against the Rays, 1-0 and 2-1. Mancini's 2-out hit put the Cubs in front, 3-2, in Game 3.

Alas, the Rays quickly regained the lead, on a walk and a homer, then held on to beat the Cubs, 4-3.


The Cubs have had 50 total streaks of at least 3 consecutive wins by 1 run.

They have done it in 4 straight games 7 times; in 5 straight, 3 times; and in 7 straight, once.

The only time they won 3 consecutive 1-run games with an increasing run total was in the third through fifth games of the 7-game streak, on June 8-10, 1927.



On Sunday, June 5, 1927, the Cubs snapped a 4-game losing streak by routing the Braves, 7-0, at Wrigley Field.

The next day, they nipped the Braves, 4-3, on Riggs Stephenson's 2-out, bases-loaded hit in the 11th.

On Tuesday, the Cubs trailed the Robins, today's Dodgers, 6-4, when Stephenson led off the eighth with a triple. Charlie Grimm walked, Gabby Hartnett struck out, then Howard Freigau doubled home Stephenson and Grimm to tie the score.

Reliever Luther Roy, who had entered the game at the start of the seventh, followed with a single that drove in Freigau for a 7-6 lead.

The Robins loaded the bases with 1 out in the ninth, but Roy coaxed a 4-3 double play to preserve the victory.



On Wednesday, a walk, a bunt and a home run by Earl Webb put the Cubs on top, 2-0, in the first inning.

Cubs starter Hal Carlson blanked the Robins through the sixth. But with 2 out and a runner on first in the seventh, he surrendered a single to pitcher Dazzy Vance, then an RBI double to former Cub Jigger Statz.

The next batter made an infield hit that brought home the tying run. Statz tried to score, too, but was tagged out at home.

Hack Wilson led off the Cubs' half with a home run to make the score 3-2.

Carlson worked a 1-2-3 eighth.

A single and an error put Robins on first and second with 1 out in the ninth. Carlson got a fly ball for the second out, bringing up Statz.

Before Statz could make contact, the runner on second took off for third. Hartnett fired the ball to Freigau, who tagged the runner, ending the game.



The Cubs struck for a pair of first-inning runs again on Thursday. Sparky Adams led off with a double, was bunted to third and trotted home on a triple by Pete Scott. Wilson's fly ball drove in Scott.

The Robins were held in check by Bob Osborn until 2 outs in the sixth, when he a walk and back-to-back singles cut the Cubs' lead to 2-1.

Brooklyn opened the eighth with 2 more singles, then a game-tying RBI double by Babe Herman that knocked out Osborn.

Roy retired the first batter he faced, then issued consecutive walks that put the Robins in front, 3-2. A forceout at home and another at second, ended the inning.

Clyde Beck began the Cubs' half with a walk. He went to second as Scott grounded out, then raced home on a single by Wilson.

Wilson promptly stole second, then dashed to the plate on a single by Stephenson.

Roy retired the side in order in the ninth to complete the 4-3 win.



It was the Robins' turn to tally twice in the first inning on Friday.

The Cubs got on the board in the second, on a double by Grimm and RBI single by Hartnett.

They pulled even in the fourth, when Grimm doubled and Woody English singled him home.

2-out run-scoring singles by Adams in the seventh and Grimm in the eighth made the score 4-2.

Jim Brillheart was 3 outs from a complete game. Instead, he gave up the tying runs to the first 3 batters in the ninth, on a double, triple and sacrifice fly.

The Cubs wasted a leadoff double in their half, then both teams went 3 up, 3 down in the 10th and 11th.

With 2 out and nobody on in the 12th, Brillheart yielded back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corner. The next batter was walked intentionally, loading the bases, to bring up pitcher Jesse Barnes. The move paid off, as Barnes popped up.

In the bottom half, Barnes got the first out, but walked Beck. Webb singled him to third, then intentionally walked Wilson.

Stephenson responded with a walk-off single: Cubs 5, Robins 4.



The Cubs began a series against the Giants on Saturday.

The got a solo home run from Wilson in the fourth and added a run in the sixth on a triple by Grimm and single by Beck.

Charlie Root surrendered an inside-the-park homer to the first batter in the seventh, followed by a single, bunt and single. The next Giant lined a ball to first baseman Grimm, who threw to shortstop Adams for an inning-ending double play.

Root shrugged off a 2-out single in the eighth, then struck out 3 in a row in the ninth, as a crowd of 30,000 cheered a 2-1 triumph.


It's too bad the Cubs did not win, 6-5, on Saturday, because on Sunday, they won, 7-6, in front of 40,000 fans.

The Giants converted 5 singles and an error into 4 runs in the top of the fourth.

The Cubs came right back with 5 runs on a leadoff homer by Webb, then 4 singles and an error.

A single by Webb, a double by Wilson and a sacrifice fly made the score 6-4 in the seventh.

The Giants tied the game on a 2-run single in the eighth.

Root came out of the bullpen to get the final out, then led off the bottom half with a double. But he tried to reach third on a grounder to short by Adams and was tagged out.

Charlie Pick followed with a grounder that was fielded by second baseman Rogers Hornsby. He reached out with his glove toward Pick, then threw to first. The umpire ruled Hornsby had failed to tag Pick, leading to a prolonged argument.

When it ended, Webb singled and Adams sprinted home with the go-ahead run.

Root allowed a 2-out single in the ninth, then got Hornsby to bounce back to the mound.


The Cubs did not win by 1 run the next day. They won by 4, 6-2. And the day after that, they completed a sweep of the Giants, 4-3, on a walk-off single by Pick with 1 out in the 11th.

They added 12-5 and 7-2 wins over the Phillies, extending their winning streak to 12 games. It ended with a 12-2 loss the following afternoon, June 17.



The Cubs have won 3 straight games by 1 run with progressively higher run totals 1 other time, against 2 different teams.

On Sunday, Aug. 30, 1998, they won at Colorado, 4-3. All their runs came on homers: a 2-run drive by Sammy Sosa and solo shots by Jose Hernandez and Gary Gaetti.

On Monday night, at home, the Cubs trailed the Reds, 4-0, when Sosa homered with a man on in the third.

Hernandez doubled with 1 out in the fourth and scored when the left fielder dropped Gaetti's 2-out fly. Pitcher Kerry Wood then slammed a homer for a 5-4 lead that remained intact the rest of the way.

On Tuesday, the Cubs were down, 4-1, until Brant Brown smacked a 2-run single with 2 out in the sixth.

They tied the game in the seventh on a 1-out double by Gaetti and a 2-out single by Lance Johnson.

Mark Grace broke the tie with a 1-out homer in the eighth. An infield hit by Brown, a 2-out walk and a single by Gaetti produced an insurance run.

Rod Beck served up a 2-out solo homer in the ninth, then a single, before notching a strikeout to conclude a 6-5 win.

The 1-run streak ended with a 4-2 win over the Reds in the series finale.



On Friday-Sunday, Aug. 10-12, 1917, the Cubs won 3 in a row by 1 run, each time with 1 less run than in the previous game.

First they beat the Robins, 5-4 and 4-3, both times in 11 innings. Harry Wolter rapped a walk-off double the first day. The next, Fred Merkle lined a leadoff double, was bunted to third and scored of a fly ball. The Cubs were outhit in that game, 17-7.

Then the Pirates came to town. The Cubs scored twice in the first inning. Pittsburgh did the same in the third.

With 2 out and nobody on in the eighth, Merkle was safe on a throwing error by the third baseman. Cy Williams singled Merkle to third and Pete Kilduff singled him home with the day's final run, 3-2.

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