Eric Karros' directorial debut was put on hold Saturday afternoon while he took a star turn in front of the cameras at Wrigley Field.
The veteran first baseman, who has been documenting the Cubs' pennant push since the start of September with a digital camcorder, drove in four runs with a pair of doubles in a dramatic 9-6 victory over Cincinnati before a frenzied crowd of 39,983.
The Cubs remained one game behind Houston in the National League Central Division race after the Astros beat St. Louis 2-0, and moved 3½ ahead of the slumping Cardinals.
No lead is safe for the Cubs these days. They blew a 4-0 lead to Montreal in Wednesday night's 8-4 loss in San Juan, Puerto Rico, then blew a 5-0 lead against the Reds on Friday before rebounding to win 7-6. On Saturday, they lost leads of 4-1 and 5-4 before delivering a knockout punch with a four-run seventh.
"It has been something I never could have imagined," Karros said. "If someone would have told me about it, it wouldn't do it justice. You have to go through it.
"I've said it all alongeveryone should get an opportunity to play here one year. I have to say this year has been a special year, though I'm sure a lot of guys wouldn't have been arguing or fighting to come play here last year. This year is a whole new group. [Manager Dusty Baker] has provided for a lot of excitement, a lot of interesting quotes. We've just had everything."
The Cubs survived some raggedy running and a scrappy effort from a Reds lineup of Sean Casey and eight no-names to post their eighth victory in 10 games. They seemingly have put the nightmarish finish to the San Juan trip out of their heads.
"We lost one in San Juan that was a tough loss for us," Mark Grudzielanek said. "These games mean a lot to us, just to get the 'W.' You're not going to go out there and play [well] every time, but we've shown we can go out and score some runs when we have to."
After enjoying a 4-1 lead, Cubs starter Juan Cruz watched the Reds slowly chip away, pulling to within a run on Ray Olmedo's RBI single in the fourth.
D'Angelo Jimenez's solo homer tied it in the fifth before the Cubs benefited from a missed call by second base umpire Larry Vanover in the bottom of the inning. Cruz appeared to miss touching second while rounding the bag on a leadoff triple. After Vanover denied a Reds appeal, Cruz scored the go-ahead run on Grudzielanek's RBI single.
But Cincinnati knocked Cruz out in the sixth, and reliever Mark Guthrie allowed both inherited runners to score as the Reds took a 6-5 lead.
Enter Kenny Lofton, who led off the seventh with a pinch double, advanced to third on a sacrifice and scored the tying run on Grudzielanek's hit past a pulled-in infield.
"Everyone is feeling the fever," Lofton said.
Aramis Ramirez's bases-loaded single off Scott Randall put the Cubs ahead 7-6, and Karros' second two-run double gave them a comfy cushion.
"The last two days, we've come from ahead to win," Karros said.
The Cubs pounded out 14 hits against starter John Bale and four relievers, after knocking out 13 hits Friday. The offense appears to be coming around against the NL's worst pitching staff.
"Any time you get some offense from the top, the middle and the bottom of the order, you're going to score some runs like we're scoring," Baker said.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times