The Cubs got to celebrate twice on Saturday.
Carlos Pena hit a game-tying home run leading off the ninth inning against the Reds and four batters later, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker smacked what he thought was a game-winning RBI double, prompting the dugout to empty for a victory party.
But Baker's hit bounced on the warning track in center and then into the bleachers for a ground-rule double. Blake DeWitt, who singled one out after Pena's blast, scored what he thought was the winning run but was sent back to third base.
"The first time I scored, I really didn't know what happened," DeWitt said. "The last thing you expect here is a ground-rule double in this park. It was an unfortunate hop, but it worked out."
DeWitt got another chance. Kosuke Fukudome followed Baker with a walk-off single, driving in DeWitt, to lift the Cubs to a 3-2 victory and even the series at one win apiece. This time, the celebration was legit.
"You celebrate, then you're disgusted -- I feel like I'm at Disneyland with this roller coaster," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of the crazy ride in the ninth.
Trailing, 2-1, against Reds closer Francisco Cordero (2-1), Pena launched his third homer in the past four games to right, leading off the inning.
"He hit it out, that's all that happened," said Cordero, now 5-for-6 in save opportunities. "I tried to make a good pitch. I was trying to go down and away and it stayed in the middle. He got the best part. It's one of those days. Sometimes, you're going so good that you throw the same pitch and he'll roll it out for a ground ball."
It was Pena's first home run at Wrigley Field. He's been denied a few times because of the wind.
"I knew," Pena said. "I hit that ball pretty well. It was low. I would've been surprised if it stayed in the park."
Baker said that Pena's home run took the pressure off the Cubs.
"He's been hitting the ball like that a lot this year and hasn't had a lot to show for it," Baker said. "He just hit the ball so hard, the ball had no choice but to go out."
DeWitt, who hit a solo homer in the fourth, singled two batters later. Following a strikeout, Baker drove the ball over center fielder Drew Stubbs and onto the track before it bounced into the seats. Quade questioned the umpires on the call to hold up DeWitt at third.
"I don't think I've ever seen a ball bounce out of Wrigley like that," Baker said.
"It's a ground-rule double, and that's that. That's the way it goes," Quade said.
Fukudome snapped a 0-for-10 skid with his single off a 2-2 pitch from Cordero for the game-winner.
"Yesterday, we had a chance and couldn't score runs," Fukudome said. "It was really nice to win like this."
On Friday, the Cubs were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight in a 5-4 loss to the Reds. On Saturday, they went 1-for-6, with Fukudome's hit the only successful attempt.
"Even if they fall short, they're not done," Quade said of his team. "They keep playing. It's so much fun for me to be around a group like that. It makes my job easy. We didn't solve [Bronson] Arroyo yet, and we still have work to do in that regard, but we hung around and found a way to win, and starting pitching was a part of that."
Arroyo was tough, holding the Cubs to one run on seven hits -- DeWitt's homer -- over 7 1/3 innings. Chicago starter Casey Coleman posted his first quality start, giving up two runs on four hits over six-plus innings, but he did not get a decision.
Coleman walked Chris Heisey to start the Reds' seventh. Heisey reached third on Ryan Hanigan's single. Coleman departed and Kerry Wood took over, forcing pinch-hitter Fred Lewis to hit into a fielder's choice, but Heisey scored to tie the game. One out later, Stubbs singled to drive in Lewis.
"I felt fine," Coleman said. "No excuses to walk Heisey right away."
Coleman shut down reigning National League MVP Joey Votto, who struck out in the first and third innings and walked in the sixth. Coleman's approach was to throw strikes with all of his pitches.
"I remember last year when I got on first base, he told me he had a hard time picking up the changeup," Coleman said. "I knew if I could use that to my advantage in certain counts, it would work out. I got 3-2 on him, and why not? If you walk him, you walk him -- he's a good hitter -- but if you make a good pitch, you can get away with it."
Why would Votto give Coleman any edge against him?
"I feel like he was trying to get me to throw it to him more often," Coleman said. "If I hang one, he's going to hit it 500 feet. I've been lucky to get it down in the zone and get away with it."
Just another lucky break.
"Any team can use a win like this," DeWitt said. "We're playing a good team here, but we're good. We expect to win when we go out on the field. That's a big confidence boost right there to come back in the ninth against a good closer -- that's a hard fought win right there."