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Chicago Cubs: Soler’s two-run homer caps huge first inning in 15-4 win

Mar 17, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler (68) celebrates with Kyle Schwarber (12) after hitting a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning during a spring training game at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler (68) celebrates with Kyle Schwarber (12) after hitting a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning during a spring training game at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Joe Maddon‘s boys lit up the Arizona Diamondbacks today, scoring five runs in the very first inning. Chicago was shut out by the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday only to bounce back with a 15-4 win on St. Patricks Day.

Outfielder Jorge Soler struggled with runners in scoring position in his previous appearance for the Chicago Cubs but bounced back yesterday with a huge day in the batter’s box.

In two innings, Soler accounted for three of Chicago’s runs in the 15-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona was wearing their St. Patricks Day uniforms while the North Siders rocked their all Cubbie blue jerseys.

Right-hander Jason Hammel was the man who started on the mound for the Cubs, giving up the first run of the ballgame on a sacrifice fly to David Peralta. Moments later, his team kicked things into second gear, sparking a huge five-run first inning.

Leadoff man and center fielder Dexter Fowler stepped up to the plate during the bottom half of the first and tied things up almost immediately.

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The soon-to-be 30-year-old switch-hitter jumped all over the first pitch of the at-bat, sending it into right field. On the same play, Fowler crossed home plate thanks to a throwing error by second baseman, Jean Segura.

Fowler’s triple turned out to be the first of four extra-base hits in the inning with Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and of course, Soler coming through with RBI hits.

Bryant drove in Jason Heyward from second on his second RBI double of the spring and later scored on a triple to right field off the bat of Schwarber. Kyle suffered a slight knee injury not too long ago but appears to be 100% after taking some time off.

The only question now is will he have a starting job come Monday, Apr. 4? He started behind the dish and finished the game 1-for-1 with an RBI and two walks.

Even guys who are more than likely going to end up with minor league affiliates soon chipped in to help their club pick up its fifth Cactus League win.

Players such as Munenori Kawasaki, Tom Federowicz, Kristopher Negron and John Andreoli each drove in a run. Andreoli, along with Negron and Contreras, has been very impressive so far this spring.

He connected on the sixth pitch of his at-bat and sent it over the fence in left-center field. It was his fourth homer, raising his batting line to .370/.419/.889 with eight RBI through 27 at-bats.

Hammel would be issued the win after striking out six batters and surrendering one earned run on five hits across four innings of work His counterpart, however, made it through 2 1/3 before his skipper put an end to his evening.

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