Starting and finishing with a statement, the Chicago Cubs hammered the St. Louis Cardinals by a 17-5 final at Busch Stadium Monday night, behind a career-high six RBIs by outfielder Junior Lake.
With the Cubs already leading 4-0 in the top of the second, Lake drove a Tyler Lyons pitch deep into the bleachers for a three-run homer, which pushed the Chicago lead to 7-0 – which proved to be just the tip of the iceberg for the club’s offense.
Chicago starter Travis Wood (3-4) wasn’t particularly effective, but the offense bailed him out. The southpaw tossed six innings, allowing five runs – four of which were earned. The Cardinals (19-20) roughed up Wood for two in the second and three in the fifth.
The first pair of St. Louis runs came when a ball was hit toward Junior Lake. As the outfielder charged, the ball went underneath his glove, rolling all the way to the wall, scoring both Yadier Molina and Peter Bourjos and cutting the Chicago lead to 7-2.
Lyons (0-3) was shellacked by the Cubs tonight, and was charged with nine earned runs on nine hits in just four innings of work.
Chicago (13-24) waited until the ninth to add six more runs against St. Louis relievers, meaning of the club’s 17 runs, 10 of them came in either the first or ninth innings. The Cubs took an 11-5 advantage into the top of the ninth, but five singles and two doubles later, that lead had grown to 17-5, which is where the ballgame ended.
Lake joined Castro, Darwin Barney and Emilio Bonifacio with at least three hits on the night. With his four hits, Bonifacio raised his season average back over the .300 mark, and is now sitting at .312.
Despite pounding out 17 runs on a robust 7-for-16 clip with runners in scoring position, the Cubs stranded 15 runners on base in the ballgame. Chicago relievers combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief of Wood.