Javier Baez comes off bench to help the Cubs to walk-off win over Phillies

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CHICAGO - Another chilly night was headed toward a chilly finish until "El Mago" decided to play the hero again.

Funny thing is, he wasn't even in the lineup, and wasn't likely to play.

But the right situation came up for Javier Baez to pinch hit, bad heel and all, and play the hero role for the Cubs in a tie game with the Phillies in the ninth inning. Like he almost always has the last four seasons, he did just that.

The infielder came up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning and smacked a hit down the right field line with the bases loaded off Juan Nicasio to bring home Anthony Rizzo to give the Cubs a 3-2 win over Philadelphia at a chilly Wrigley Field. The Cubs immediately swarmed Baez after his game-winning hit at first base, celebrating the second walk-off of his career.

That came after Baez missed just his second start of the season as he continues to recover after a heel injury suffered against the Nationals on Sunday, and it came after the Cubs made an impressive 9th inning rally to get the infielder to that moment.

Kris Bryant led off the inning with a walk and went to third when Anthony Rizzo doubled down the line in right. Instead of sending Bryant to the plate against the strong-armed Bryce Harper, he was held at third. Once again the Cubs decided not to test Harper when Willson Contreras flew out to right-center, and Jason Heyward was intentionally walked.

Albert Almora Jr. then tapped it towards the first base side, close enough that Nicasio was able to make a play on the ball, but his toss towards the plate was late to get Bryant as he scored the tying run.

Baez then stepped to the plate and immediately sent Cubs' fans home happy as they improve to 28-18 on the season. This followed the disappointment on Monday, when the Cubs took an eighth-inning lead only to give it up in the ninth and lose in the 10th by a score of 5-4.

Such a result looked possible again when the Phillies struck for two runs in the seventh. Carl Edwards Jr allowed two hits before getting two outs and was then pulled for Brandon Kintzler. Andrew McCutchen's got a single off him to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.

It turned a strong effort by Jose Quintana - six shutout innings, two hits, and four strikeouts - into a no-decision. The Cubs offense wasn't able to break through in the next two innings as they left three runners on base in those frames.

Luckily, the team found their bats just in time to rescue the game. More specifically, they had Baez to create another memorable moment at Wrigley Field.

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