Game Forty-Four – Cubs 12, Cardinals 3
WP – Jason Hammel (6-1) LP – Michael Wacha (2-5) Save – None
The Cubs scored six runs in the first inning on a single from Kris Bryant, a bases loaded walk by Jorge Soler and back-to-back, two-out, two-run doubles from David Ross and Jason Hammel. Jorge Soler launched a two-run homer in the fifth and the Cubs scored four more run in the ninth. Jason Hammel allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings as the Cubs beat the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.
Joe Maddon’s team is the first in the majors to 30 wins this season.
The Cubs broke out the bats Tuesday night and snapped the three-game skid. The Cubs pounded out 15 hits and walked six times. Seven different Cubs drove in runs with the eighth and ninth spots in Maddon’s lineup recording seven RBI.
Kris Bryant (2-for-6 with a run scored and a RBI) put the Cubs on the board with a single to left that plated Dexter Fowler (3-for-6 with a double, a run scored and a RBI). The biggest at bat in the first inning was turned in by Jorge Soler (2-for-3 with a home run, two walks, two runs scored and three RBI). Soler started his huge night at the plate with a bases loaded walk that forced in Bryant with the Cubs second run.
David Ross (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and two RBI) notched the 500th hit of his big league career, a two-out, two-run double that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Jason Hammel (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) added the exclamation point in the six-run first inning with a two-out two-run double.
Jorge Soler launched a two-run homer in the fifth with Ben Zobrist (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) along for the ride.
Joe Maddon emptied his bench and the Cubs scored four more runs in the ninth on a Tim Federowicz (1-for-1 with a RBI) single, a two-run triple from Matt Szczur (1-for-1 with a triple and two RBI) and a Dexter Fowler single.
Jason Hammel had a strong outing on the mound. Hammel took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning. Hammel worked extremely well with David Ross. And with a big lead Hammel found a rhythm and just pumped the zone with quality strikes.
The Cardinals put two runners on base in the same inning twice against Hammel, second and fifth innings. Hammel gave up a run on a double by Brandon Moss in the eighth that ended his night.
Jason Hammel’s performance will be lost in the big night by the offense. Hammel did exactly what his team needed from him. Hammel was given a big lead and did not allow the Cardinals to get back in the game. Hammel allowed one run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Hammel made 103 pitches, 66 for strikes, in 7 1/3 innings … his longest outing of the season.
Justin Grimm picked up the last two outs in the eighth. And if there was a negative from Tuesday’s game it would be Clayton Richard giving up two runs in the eighth. Richard was shaky at best after entering the game with an 11-run lead and forced Maddon to use Trevor Cahill for the final out.
The Cubs worked out some recent frustrations on Michael Wacha in the first inning. Dexter Fowler started the game with a double off the wall in right center (3-1). Jason Heyward put the ball in play and grounded out to second. Heyward’s productive out moved Fowler to third base with one out.
Kris Bryant ripped a 1-1 pitch into left. Fowler scored easily and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to left center. Bryant motored to third with one down. Ben Zobrist walked to load the bases.
Jorge Soler put together the biggest at-bat in the first inning. Soler worked a full count and took ball four on the eight pitch of the plate appearance. Soler walked and forced in Bryant with the Cubs’ second run. Russell grounded out to Adams at first. The Cardinals’ first baseman threw home to force Rizzo for the second out.
David Ross cranked a 1-2 pitch to deep center. Grichuk could not complete the play. The ball hit off the end of his glove. Zobrist and Soler scored on the 500th hit of Ross’ career, a two-run double to center. Jason Hammel stepped in with runners on second and third. Hammel ripped a 1-0 pitch from Wacha past Grichuk in left center. Hammel ended up at second with a double. Russell and Ross scored, 6-0 Cubs. Fowler lined out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs sent 10 to the plate in the top of the first, scored six runs and forced Michael Wacha to make 36 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Jason Hammel pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the first on seven pitches, five for strikes. And after one complete, the Cubs led 6-0.
The Cubs added two runs in the fifth and chased Michael Wacha from the game.
Ben Zobrist led off the fifth with a double to right and jogged home on Jorge Soler’s mammoth homer to center. At the end of five innings, the Cubs had an 8-0 lead.
Hammel took the hill for the eighth inning with the 8-0 lead. Randal Grichuk led off with a double to left. Soler misplayed the ball and just missed making a catch before hitting the wall. A wild pitch allowed Grichuk to move to third. Kolten Wong popped out to Bryant at third for the first out.
Brandon Moss doubled to center. Grichuk scored 8-1 Cubs, and ended Hammel’s night. Justin Grimm retired Eric Fryer on a flyout to right. And Grimm fielded a ball ticketed for center between his legs and threw out Aledmys Diaz at first to end the inning.
At the end of eight, the Cubs led 8-1.
Lefty Dean Kiekhefer hit Javier Baez to start the ninth. Soler flied out to center. Addison Russell appeared to ground out to Wong. But Russell hustled down the line and actually beat the throw. Maddon asked the umps to take another look. The call on the field was overturned and Russell had a single that put runners on first and second with one out.
Tim Federowicz batted for Ross and singled to center. Baez scored, 9-1 Cubs. Matt Szczur hit for Justin Grimm and tripled in Russell and Federowicz, 11-1 Cubs. Dexter Fowler singled to center and Szczur trotted in with the Cubs’ 12th run. Heyward and Bryant struck out swinging to end the inning.
Clayton Richard started the ninth with a 12-1 lead. Richard continued his season-long struggles. Jeremy Hazelbaker reached on an error at second by Tommy La Stella. Jedd Gyorko hit for Kiekhefer and singled to left. Matt Adams single to center. Hazelbaker scored, 12-2 Cubs. With runners on first and second with no outs, Ruben Tejada flied out to right. Hazelbaker moved to third and scored on a single to center from Grichuk. Wong grounded back to Richard. Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Maddon made the slow walk and went to the pen for Trevor Cahill. Eric Fryer was caught looking at a 0-2 pitch to end the game.
With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 30-14 on the season.
The Cubs wrap up the series in St. Louis and nine-game road trip on Wednesday afternoon (12:45pm CDT). Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Carlos Martinez.