Chicago Cubs back Arrieta with five homers in 13-2 win over Cardinals
The Chicago Cubs routed division rival St. Louis behind the five home runs hit by the youthful Cubs, and behind the pitching of Jake Arrieta who notched his 14th win, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run and four hits. Arrieta’s (14-5) ERA is at 2.55 for the season.
Arrieta wasn’t sharp today, but the Chicago Cubs offense ignited early and took a 7-0 lead after just two innings. Arrieta struck out six and walked two batters, but his pitch count was over 100 and manager Joe Maddon took him out with two out in the sixth inning.
For the Cubs, today’s win made it 11 straight and now lead the Cardinals by 14 games. Chicago (73-41) is as Jake Arrieta recently said, “Playing on all cylinders.”
Today, the Cubs hit four doubles and five home runs. Matt Szczur was the batting star hitting two home runs, his first multi-home run game in his career. Szczur also had a double to lead off the game.
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Kris Bryant followed with a double of his own to drive in Szczur for a quick 1-0 lead. Bryant moved to third on an infield fielder’s choice and Addison Russell promptly drove him in with a double of his own. Now, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.
Chicago later filled the bases in the inning, but could not push across any more runs. It would be all Arrieta would need. But the Cubs weren’t done.
They scored five runs in the bottom of the second, the big blow being the three-run home run by Willson Contreras. The Cards’ starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, just didn’t have it today.
In the top of the fifth, Stephen Piscotty hit his 16th home run of the season to put the Cards on the board. Now, it was 7-1, Chicago.
In the last of the sixth inning, Szczur went deep and Jorge Soler soon followed with his own blast, to make a 9-1 Cubs score. Apparently, the Cards were not going to catch Chicago in this one.
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In the seventh inning with Cards’ Jerome Williams on the mound, it got away from St. Louis. Contreras hit a single and Javy Baez teed off on Williams to drive the ball deep and the rout was on, 11-1. But Chris Coghlan reached first after being hit by a pitch, and Szczur hit another home run, his first two home run day in his career. Szczur is now hitting .317 and having quite a year.
The Cubs needed a game like this. Their recent wins have marked by excellent pitching and timely hitting. Today, the Cubs had an offensive barrage with the young Cubs flexing their bats. They are hot just like the weather in Chicago.