Game One Hundred Fourteen – Cubs 13, Cardinals 2
WP – Jake Arrieta (14-5) LP – Adam Wainwright (9-7) Save – None
The Cubs broke out the bats Friday afternoon and hit the ball all over, and out, of Wrigley Field. The Cubs pounded Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals bullpen. Matt Szczur had a career day and hit two of the Cubs five home runs. The Cubs had nine extra basehits on the afternoon and put the game away in the second inning. The Cubs scored seven of the 13 runs off Wainwright, knocked him out of the game and went on to beat the Cardinals for the second time in two days.
It hasn’t happened often over the past two seasons that Jake Arrieta is not the story on the day he pitches. Arrieta turned in a good outing Friday and took a backseat to the Cubs offense. Arrieta gave up one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Arrieta made 105 pitches, 70 for strikes, and committed only one mistake on the day. Stephen Piscotty hit a solo homer to center in the fifth inning. Errors by Kris Bryant and Javier Baez cost Arrieta around 15 pitches and shortened his day.
The Cubs pounded out 14 hits and scored 13 runs against Adam Wainwright and the bullpen. Nine of the Cubs 14 hits went for extra bases and five left the yard. Four different Cubs hit longballs. Matt Szczur went deep twice. Willson Contreras knocked Wainwright out of the game with a three-run shot in the second inning. Javier Baez launched a two-run shot that hit the Nuveen sign. And Jorge Soler smacked a solo homer in the sixth inning, his third dinger since coming off the DL.
All three of Joe Maddon’s starting outfielders hit home runs on Friday afternoon.
Matt Szczur (3-for-4 with a double, two home runs, a HBP, four runs scored and three RBI) had a career-day. Szczur led the offense subbing for Dexter Fowler at the top of Joe Maddon’s lineup. Szczur scored two of the Cubs’ first three runs and finished the day with three hits, two home runs and a double, four runs scored and three RBI. Szczur was on base four times.
Matt Szczur led off the first with a double to right off Wainwright. Kris Bryant (3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI) doubled to left. Szczur scored and two batters into the game, the Cubs led 1-0. After Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4 with a walk) walked, Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI) hit a roller toward third. Rizzo was forced at second.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI) doubled to left center. Bryant scored, 2-0 Cubs. The Cubs loaded the bases after Miguel Montero (0-for-4 with a walk) walked. Javier Baez (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs kept the pressure on Wainwright in the second inning and forced Mike Matheny to make a pitching change after two innings.
Matt Szczur was hit by a pitch with one out in the second. Kris Bryant smoked another double into the gap in left center. Szczur scored from first, 3-0 Cubs. Rizzo popped out to third. Jorge Soler singled to center. Bryant scored and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead. Russell walked and put runners on first and second with two outs.
Willson Contreras (2-for-5 with a home run, two run scored and three RBI) launched a three-run homer to the bleachers in left center … 7-0 Cubs.
The offense cranked it up again in the sixth inning after Jake Arrieta left the game in the top of the inning.
Matt Szczur led off the sixth against one-time Cubs’ starter Jerome Williams and launched a 1-1 pitch deep to the bleachers in left center. With two outs in the sixth, Jorge Soler lined a 1-1 pitch into the basket in left center. And the Cubs had a 9-1 lead after six complete.
The Cubs turned the game into a blowout in the seventh with a pair of two-run homers.
Willson Contreras led off the seventh with a single to left center. Contreras was on board when Javy went yard. Javier Baez unloaded on a 2-2 pitch from Williams. The ball got out of Wrigley in a hurry and hit the Nuveen sign beyond the left field wall.
After Chris Coghlan was hit by a pitch, Matt Szczur hit his second homer of the game, a two-run homer to left … 13-1 Cubs.
Justin Grimm pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Arrieta. Joe Smith continued to struggle and served up a home run to Jedd Gyorko in the eighth. Smith turned the game over to Travis Wood in the ninth. Wood walked Tommy Pham with two outs and gave up a hit to Jhonny Peralta before inducing a grounder to second off the bat of Piscotty to end the game.
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 73-41 on the season … 32 games over .500.
Kyle Hendricks takes on right-hander Luke Weaver in what will be his Major League debut on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).