CHICAGO – After watching the Cubs waste a couple of leads, Kris Bryant felt a loss was almost inevitable.
That quickly changed with one swing by the Chicago slugger.
Bryant hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Cubs a 12-11 comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants in a wild, back-and-forth game Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
“This is one of those games where you don’t feel like you’re going to win because you’re taking a lead and giving it back,” Bryant said. “But we came out on top, and definitely some good momentum here.”
Nicholas Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber also connected for Chicago, which has won four straight. The Cubs moved back into first place in the NL Central by a half-game over St. Louis, which lost to Milwaukee in a rain-shortened game.
Chicago starter Yu Darvish tossed seven sharp innings against Philadelphia in his last outing and left with a 5-0 lead. But the bullpen blew the big advantage, leaving the right-hander with a no-decision.
The Cubs led 6-2 heading into the fifth on Wednesday. This time, Darvish coughed up the lead himself.
After retiring 12 straight batters, he gave up a double to Brandon Crawford with one out in the fifth. One out later, Yastrzemski homered to make it 6-4.
Chicago got a run back in the bottom half, but San Francisco scored five in the sixth to take the lead.
Darvish, after dropping a routine throw from Anthony Rizzo at first base for an error with one out, gave up a two-run homer to Vogt that made it 7-6. Pillar followed with a solo shot to tie the score.
That was all for Darvish, who allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in 5⅓ innings. He had eight strikeouts and walked none for a career-high fifth straight start.
Castellanos, who went 4-for-5, has homered in three consecutive games for the second time in his career — he also did it with Detroit in 2016 — and has eight in 19 games since being acquired in a trade before the July 31 deadline. He is batting .392 (31-for-79) with the Cubs.
Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski, Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar homered for San Francisco, which has dropped three in a row.
Castellanos led off the eighth with an infield single to set the stage for Bryant, who stroked a 1-1 pitch from Reyes Moronta (3-7) into the left field bleachers.
Brandon Kintzler (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning and Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 11th save.
“That’s a tough one for us,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You get that many runs, that kind of production … those are games that we’ve been winning, and this one got away from us.”
Tigers 2, Astros 1
In Houston, Justin Verlander pitched a two-hitter and lost, allowing homers to John Hicks and Ronny Rodriguez as Detroit edged the Astros.
Hicks led off the ninth with a tiebreaking blast to left-center field off Verlander (15-5), who leads the majors in strikeouts with 239 but ranks second in homers allowed with 33.
The veteran right-hander retired the first 14 batters, with six strikeouts, before Rodriguez homered to the seats in right with two outs in the fifth. Verlander sat down another 10 straight before Hicks connected.
With Verlander on the mound at home against the worst team in the majors, the Astros were more than a 5-1 favorite, one of the biggest favorites in an MLB game that Las Vegas oddsmakers could remember.
Buck Farmer (5-4) walked one in a scoreless eighth and Joe Jimenez finished the Tigers’ six-hitter for his fourth save.
Mets 4, Indians 3 (10)
In New York, J.D. Davis lined an RBI single with two outs that capped a two-run rally in the 10th, and the Mets beat Cleveland.
All-Star reliever Brad Hand’s failure to cover first base on a potential game-ending double-play grounder cost Cleveland. Davis made the Indians pay with his first career game-ending hit.
New York won its fourth in a row and for the 20th time in 25 games, moving a season-high six over .500.
Dodgers 2, Blue Jays 1 (10)
In Los Angeles, Max Muncy homered in the bottom of the 10th to lift the Angeles over Toronto for their 50th home victory of the season.
Orioles 8, Royals 1
In Baltimore, the Orioles tied a major league record by allowing their 258th home run this season but hit four of its own to beat Kansas City.
In Other Games
Athletics 6, Yankees 4
Brewers 5, Cardinals 3 (7½)
Phillies 5, Red Sox 2
Rays 7, Mariners 6
White Sox 4, Twins 0
Braves 5, Marlins 0
Nationals 11, Pirates 1
Rangers 8, Angels 7
Reds 4, Padres 2
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 2