Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs hammer Phillies 8-1 in Almora’s first big league start

Jun 8, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) scores on a slide past Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (29) during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) scores on a slide past Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (29) during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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After failing to back Kyle Hendricks in yesterday’s 3-2 loss to the Phillies, the Chicago Cubs exploded for eight runs over the final five innings. Today’s help helped them claim another series, improving to 41-17 on the year with an off day set for tomorrow.

Final. 1. 6. 8. 9

Today’s afternoon game was delayed a bit due to rain in the Philadelphia area but it wasn’t going to stop the Chicago Cubs from seeking redemption following yesterday’s loss. John Lackey was solid through seven innings of work.

Lackey (7-2, 2.63 ERA) has been on a roll for the Cubs (41-17) as of late and continued to dominate on the mound, holding the Phillies (29-31) to three hits, no runs, walks, and recorded eight strikeouts in the process.

His counterpart, however, was unable to pitch past the first inning of the ballgame as he was removed due to injury after 1/3.

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Vincent Velasquez would end up being replaced by another former Houston Astro Brett Oberholtzer who kept things under control until other arms from the bullpen took over.

Oberholtzer (2-1, 5.83 ERA) surrendered four hits, one unearned run while issuing one walk and striking out one in four innings of work before handing things over to Andrew Bailey and Colton Murray.

That’s when the Cubs started to unload. Just an inning after Javier Baez gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with an RBI single, Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist each launched a pair of home runs in the sixth inning.

Bryant’s team-leading 14th home run of the season was a towering two-run shot to deep left field that brought Jason Heyward around to score with him. Zobrist added a one-out solo home run to center field, making it 4-0.

We’ll jump to the top of the eighth inning with Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the batter’s box. Rizzo lined a pitch to left field for his 12th double of the year, scoring Bryant to extend the lead to five runs.

Next: Almora up, Soler to the disabled list

Top outfield prospect, Albert Almora, made his first big league start this afternoon following his first at-bat as a pinch-hitter Tuesday evening. Almora put his arm on display in the sixth inning with no outs and runners on the corners for the Phillies.

Freddy Galvis turned on the first pitch of his at-bat, sending it out to left field. It was deep enough to get Odubel Herrera in safely from home but Almora had other plans. After recording the first out, the young outfielder and fired to Miguel Montero just in time to record the out at home.

And not only did he record his first outfield assist as a big league player but came through with his first hit and RBI in the eighth.

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