Giancarlo Stanton ended his nearly month long homer drought on Saturday night against the Cubs and apparently the boys in blue have awoken the sleeping bicep giant. After Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs up 1-0 in the first with a RBI to cash in a lead off walk in the form of David DeJesus, Stanton answered right back with a two run line drive home run in the bottom half. Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva would not allow another hit until the sixth inning. In the mean time, the Cubs offense struck back in the top of the third, with Villanueva helping his own cause by leading off the frame with a single. DeJesus would follow up with a single before both runner were driven home by a Starlin Castro double.
Unfortunately the offense did not do further damage to cash in Castro and Rizzo (who walked) with no outs. The inability to break the game open at this point, despite being fairly early in the ballgame, ended up haunting the North Siders. The Marlins offense finally caught up to Villanueva again in the bottom of the sixth. Stanton was the nemesis again, this time hitting a single to tie the game at 3-3. By the time the Cubs starter finished the frame, the Cubs were now down 4-3 and the Fish had an extremely efficient four runs on four hits off of the righty. This was despite a season high eight strikeouts for Villanueva.
Kameron Loe picked a bad time to serve up his first two earned runs as a Cub. The term “serve up” is applicable because he allowed two solo blasts in each of his two innings of work, with Loe being the latest Cubs pitcher falling victim to a Stanton home run. The Cubs line up failed to do anything with a pair of singles by Castro and Rizzo in the eighth before Dioner Navarro led off the ninth with a solo shot to right field. All of the back up catcher’s three home runs this season have been of the late inning variety, but on Sunday afternoon it was not enough as the rest of his mates could not further muster a rally.
The Cubs missed a chance to even their record on the road trip, settling for 4-6. Considering they started the trip by getting swept out of Milwaukee, however, 4-6 does not sound too bad. Regardless, the North Siders will be glad to come home and play host to the Padres. The four game set will be against another fellow bottom dweller. In fact both teams will come into the series with a 9-15 record. Hopefully the Cubs can pick on the Padres like they did with the Marlins in Miami. At least one win on Monday or Tuesday gives the Cubs double digit Ws for April and another series win at 3-1 or better would boost the Cubs record to 12-16.