ANAHEIM, Calif. — Anthony Rizzo grounded out to first base in each of his first four plate appearances. Then he finally got a hit his next time up, and did even better in his final at-bat.
Rizzo had a bases-clearing double in the 10th inning and the Chicago Cubs overcame a pair of homers by Mark Trumbo to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on Wednesday night.
"I want to be in that situation," Rizzo said. "They made good pitches on me today, but I was able to get the big hit at the end. Even when you're feeling down at the plate, it takes one pitch, one at-bat, one swing. So that's what you've got to go by."
Rookie Robert Coello (3-2) walked Dioner Navarro with one out in the Cubs' 10th and Darwin Barney singled with two outs. Barney advanced on catcher's indifference and Luis Valbuena walked before Rizzo doubled into the right-field corner, increasing his team-high total to 39 RBIs.
"I faced him a few times before in the minor leagues, so I know that's what he likes to do — throw the fastball in that spot," Rizzo said. "He has a splitty, too, but I know he doesn't like to throw that with runners on. So I looked for the fastball and tried to lay off everything else."
Cody Ransom connected for a three-run homer for Chicago, and center fielder Ryan Sweeney made a spectacular catch against Albert Pujols in the seventh with the Cubs clinging to 5-4 lead.
Trumbo tied it at 5 in the eighth with a mammoth leadoff drive to right-center against James Russell, and added his team-high 15th of the season in the 10th. Howie Kendrick homered and had four hits for the Angels, who have lost seven of 10 following an eight-game winning streak.
"We put up a pretty good effort today, and that's what you want to see," Trumbo said. "Unfortunately, they were just a little better."
Kevin Gregg (2-0) pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for the victory against his former team. He struck out Hank Conger swinging with two runners on to end the game.
Mike Trout had a chance to win it for the Angels in the ninth, but Gregg came in and struck him out with a runner at third.
Matt Garza pitched 6 1-3 innings for the Cubs in his fourth start off the disabled list and allowed four runs and seven hits. He benefited from a video replay reversal in the second after J.B. Shuck's towering drive past the right-field pole was originally called a home run by first base umpire Jeff Nelson.
Shuck came up against Garza again with one out in the seventh and hit a fly ball to the warning track that was dropped by Nate Schierholtz, who had just taken over in right field for Scott Hairston after hitting for him.
"Nate's a great outfielder and makes every play, so we honestly weren't expecting that. But it happens," Ransom said. "You look at the good teams through history, and they pick up a guy when something like that happens. Good teams win games like that, and we've been missing that."
Shuck ended up at third on the error, but was stranded there when Sweeney sprinted toward right-center and robbed Pujols of a potential two-run double with runners at the corners. Sweeney was making only his third start in center while David DeJesus got the day off.
"I feel comfortable out there," Sweeney said. "I didn't think I could get that ball at first, but I knew obviously the importance of that run on third base, so I just ran all out to see if I could get it and I caught it right before it hit the ground."
Angels lefty Jason Vargas gave up five runs and 11 hits in five-plus innings. He was making his first start since he was picked as the AL pitcher of the month because of his 5-0 record and 2.30 ERA in May.
Vargas had a 4-1 lead into the fifth before Navarro and Barney singled and Ransom drove his fifth homer of the season into the lower seats in the left field corner to tie it.Comment on this story
"The difference was the homer to Cody Ransom. That's what got them going," Vargas said. "I feel like I made a dumb mistake. We're up three runs and I decide to go after him like it was a pretty close ballgame. Three runs isn't a huge lead, but it was definitely a mental mistake on my part. Just go ahead and go after him and make him beat us the hard way. I left a changeup up to him and that really let them back in the ballgame. I feel like that cost us the game."
NOTES: Ransom's previous six home runs all were solo shots. ... The Angels are going back to a regular five-man rotation. RHP Jerome Williams is the odd man out because he is better suited to a relief role than either Tommy Hanson or Joe Blanton. ... Kendrick was 7 for 8 in this two-game set, and is 12 for 22 lifetime against Cubs pitching. ... The Angels begin a six-game road trip Friday night at Boston, trying to extend an eight-game winning streak against the Red Sox.