For a last-place ballclub, the Cubs were lively and upbeat before Friday's series-opener against the Braves at Wrigley Field.

They were ecstatic fans had picked teammate Anthony Rizzo for the All-Star Game in the MLB.com Final Vote balloting.

There was extended happiness later when Justin Ruggiano singled home Arismendy Alcantara with the winning run in the ninth inning for a 5-4 victory.

The largest home crowd of the season — 39,544 — watched Jake Arrieta throw 72/3 steady innings before closer Hector Rondon gave up a two-out RBI single in the ninth to Christian Bethancourt that tied the game 4-4.

"It seemed like (the fans) were happy to have us back home," manager Rick Renteria said. "… You could feel a little energy. They stayed with us even though we got tied and were cheering us on."

Alcantara reached on a single with two outs in the ninth and stole second before scoring on Ruggiano's clutch single off losing reliever Jordan Walden (0-1).

"That's the kind of stuff we used to do when we were kids, playing Wiffle ball in the backyard," Ruggiano said of the dramatic hit. "You make believe the situation. Now it's coming true. You live for those kind of things."

Alcantara is hitting .385 (5-for-13) including a triple and a double since being called up Wednesday from Triple-A Iowa. And he has acquitted himself well defensively though Renteria is reluctant to commit to the second baseman staying with the big club long term this season.

Alcantara, who was hitting .307 with 25 doubles, 11 triples and 10 home runs at Iowa in 89 games, also took fly balls before the game Friday in center field.

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Chris Coghlan opened with a double off the wall in right-center. He promptly stole third before Mike Olt drew a walk. Arrieta laid down a well-placed sacrifice bunt that allowed Coghlan to score. Ruggiano then singled to score Olt.