Cubs Recap: Anthony Rizzo sparks another offensive outburst vs Cardinals


Final. 5. 33. 8. 9

Rizzo’s records career home run No. 100

First baseman Anthony Rizzo helped put together another strong offensive showing by clubbing a two-run homer during the first inning of tonight’s ballgame as the Chicago Cubs would go onto defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by the final score of 8-5.

The Cubs (80-57) chased Lance Lynn early yesterday afternoon but really brought it to Cardinals (87-51) ace, Michael Wacha in tonight’s showdown. Rookie infielder Javier Baez had himself a fantastic performance at the plate as well and started off his night with his first double of the season to left field and only one out.

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Jason Hammel helped out his own cause with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Baez from second to make it a three-run ballgame. Austin Jackson, who picked up the start in center, followed that up with a single of his own.

Second baseman Starlin Castro made quick work of Wacha by drilling the first pitch in the at-bat. Castro sent a 93 miles per hour fastball to left-center field which made it a six-run contest in the second.

Hammel (8-6, 3.53 ERA) channeled his inner Dan Haren by turning in a quality performance, holding the Cardinals to only two earned runs on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts.

Pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk swatted his 16th home run of the season to the upper decks in left field. It was a two-run homer which was also his club’s first runs of this series.

Skipper Joe Maddon pulled him just moments later and brought in Justin Grimm. Grimm gave up a single to load up the bases, which led to another pitching change for Chicago.

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St. Louis continued to fight back in the seventh, cutting Chicago’s lead down to four with a two-run RBI single up the middle off Padro Strop. Strop continued to struggle with his command, falling behind 3-0 to Jason Heyward who worked another walk to load up the bases.

Pedro struck out Grichuk to end the inning, but the Cardinals managed to push five across in the inning.

After Fernando Rodney worked a scoreless eighth, Chris Denorfia drove a pitch to center field that bounced off the wall and got past both Jon Jay and Jason Heyward. Denorfia ended up at third on the play with Rizzo being intentionally walked just seconds later.

Hector Rondon entered the ninth inning with a save opportunity and struck out the first batter of the inning looking on a fastball inside. Carpenter, however, kept his team alive with a one-out double to right field.

Thankfully, Rizzo was able to chase down a groundball off the bat of Heyward who then tossed it over to Rondon who was covering first. It’s the first time the Cubs have reached 80 wins since 2008.

Next: Cubs will clash with A.L. West in 2016