ATLANTA – Catcher Willson Contreras helped the Cubs throw out two runners at home plate and another at third base before rallying for two runs in the ninth inning, pulling off a stunning 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
After Ronald Acuna Jr. broke a 1-1 tie with a mammoth homer in the eighth, the Cubs bounced back against closer Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Braves a loss that really stung – especially after a couple of questionable calls went against the home team in a wild fifth inning.
Back-to-back doubles by Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell tied it at 2, and Ben Zobrist came through with a two-out, run-scoring single off Vizcaino (1-2).
Carl Edwards Jr. (2-0) earned the win despite surrendering Acuna's homer over the 400-foot sign in center field. Brandon Morrow got the final three outs for his 10th save.
The Braves returned home with the National League's best record after a 6-1 road trip, only to let one get away.
The Cubs' Yu Darvish returned from the disabled list after a bout with the flu. He worked four innings in his first appearance since May 2, allowing a homer to Ender Inciarte.
In the fifth, Javier Baez's throwing error ruined a potential double play, but the Cubs escaped the jam when Contreras threw out runners at home and third after errant pitches got away from him.
The Braves sure didn't see it that way.
First, Mike Montgomery's pitch skipped past Contreras but caught a fortuitous ricocheted off the backstop, bouncing right back to the catcher so he could make a quick throw to Montgomery covering home. The tag caught Johan Camargo on the left shoulder as he made a head-first slide , leading plate umpire Jim Wolf to call him out. The Braves challenged, and at least one replay angle appeared to show Camargo getting his left hand to the plate a split-second ahead of the tag.
After a two-minute review, the call was upheld. Braves manager Brian Snitker was irate, screaming and waving his arms in the dugout until Wolf mouthed to him, "Enough."
Snitker was fuming again when another pitch got away from Contreras, who briefly struggled to find the ball. Charlie Culberson broke for third and appeared to get a foot to the bag before Kris Bryant tagged his ankle, but third-base umpire Sam Holbrook signaled out. With no more challenges, there was nothing the Braves could do.
Mike Foltynewicz struck out 10 in five innings, but the Cubs scored an unearned run in the fourth on Kurt Suzuki's throwing error after a strikeout.
While the Atlanta defense let down Foltynewicz, Darvish benefitted from a brilliant throw by left fielder Kyle Schwarber after a Contreras' errant throw on Freddie Freeman's steal of second skipped into short left field.
Schwarber swooped in to pick up the ball and the throw landed perfectly in Contreras' mitt just in time to tap Freeman's left foot as he was sliding for home.
Braves SS Dansy Swanson (left wrist) appears close to coming off the DL. He took batting practice Tuesday and plans to do the same Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll likely play one rehab game in the minors before rejoining the Braves as early as Friday for the start of a weekend series against the Miami Marlins. Swanson has been out since May 2.
Cubs: RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 3.35) will face the Braves on Wednesday night looking for his fourth straight win after beginning the season 0-3.
Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 5.58) hopes to bounce back from two straight miserable outings. After starting the season with four straight wins, McCarthy has surrendered 23 hits, 14 earned runs and three homers in his last 8 1-3 innings.