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Willson Contreras homers twice as Cubs edge Orioles

Aug 18, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) is congratulated after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Willson Contreras homered twice and Adrian Sampson threw 5 2/3 shutout innings to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the host Baltimore Orioles in Thursday’s makeup game.

Rafael Ortega belted a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning.

Sampson (1-3) avenged one of his losses from last month by limiting the Orioles to four hits and two walks while striking out six.

Cubs reliever Sean Newcomb was unscathed for 1 1/3 inning before walking the first two Orioles batters of the eighth. Erich Uelmen took the mound and gave up Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI single. Anthony Santander followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the gap to 3-2.

It stayed that way when Mountcastle was thrown out at home trying to score on Ramon Urias’ grounder for the second out of the inning.

With an error and a Jorge Mateo’s single, the Orioles put two runners on base with one out in the ninth against Brandon Hughes. Cedric Mullins lined into a double play to end the game as Hughes, a rookie, recorded his first career save.

Baltimore starter Spenser Watkins was stellar for 5 2/3 innings other than issuing Contreras’ first long ball. Watkins (4-3) allowed five hits and didn’t issue a walk.

The Cubs, who lost the three previous meetings with the Orioles by a combined score of 20-6, made a one-game stop in Baltimore to finish the season series.

Contreras homered to right in the sixth inning for the game’s first run.

Ortega’s homer stretched the lead to 2-0. Two batters later, Contreras went deep for the second time of the game and for the 19th time this season.

Contreras had a total of three home runs in his past 19 games played since July 23.

Chicago’s Franmil Reyes went 2-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to all eight games since joining the team. Ian Happ also had two hits for the Cubs.

No Baltimore player had more than one hit.

–Field Level Media