Rizzo goes deep; Denorfia plates three
All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo launched his 16th home run of the season to left field – a two-run shot that capped off a four-run eighth inning as the Chicago Cubs would go on to defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by the final score of 7-4 in Game 1 of this doubleheader at Wrigley Field.
Infielder, Jonathan Herrera picked up the start at second base for Addison Russell during the afternoon contest and led-off the frame with a single to center fielder, Peter Bourjos. Herrera would come around to score on a long RBI double off the bat of outfielder Dexter Fowler, who nearly had himself a two-run blast of his own.
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The Cubs (45-37) had themselves a three-run lead prior to the Cardinals (54-29) cutting it down to just one in the seventh with Jake Arrieta still on the mound.
Arrieta (9-5, 2.80 ERA) turned in his fourth straight quality start, holding the first-place Redbirds to only two earned runs on seven hits while issuing two walks and recording four punch-outs. He is now one win away from tying his career mark of 10 – Arrieta finished the 2014 campaign with a 10-5 record and hit 10-8 back in 2011 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
After taking a bit of time to figure out Tyler Lyons, the Cubs were able to put themselves in the lead thanks to Chris Denorfia. Both Rizzo and Dexter Fowler started off the frame with back-to-back singles and later advanced on a ground out by Kris Bryant.
With Jorge Soler in the batter’s box, Fowler would be thrown out at home on a sharp ground ball that was hit to the third baseman, Mark Reynolds. Instead of focusing on crossing home plate, Fowler turned his head to see where the ball was going to go.
Lyons (2-1, 5.02 ERA) started the afternoon strong but would be charged with three earned runs on seven hits with five key walks and three strikeouts prior to being pulled after just 5 2/3 frames.
He allowed the Cubs to go up by three runs after issuing a bases-loaded walk to Soler in the third which scored Arrieta with two outs in the sixth inning.
St. Louis later closed the gap by stringing together multiple two-out hits in the seventh. Bourjos recorded an RBI double to Denorfia out in left to make it 3-1, then first baseman Xavier Scruggs sent him around to score on an RBI knock to Soler out in right.