Chicago Cubs Recap: Offense erupts for 14 runs in blowout victory
By Jake Misener
A four-run first got the Chicago Cubs’ offense off and running as the club cruised to a 14-3 blowout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
No offense to Eric Thames, but the Chicago Cubs may very well feature the hottest bat in Major League Baseball.
Outfielder Jason Heyward continued his hot start to the season Monday, driving in four runs to help lead his team to a 14-3 win over division-rival Pittsburgh. On the night, though, it’s hard to put your finger on a player who played poorly.
Chicago (11-8) pounded out a staggering 17 hits, drawing nine walks and striking out just four times. Over the first three innings alone, the Cubs put up 10 runs, before adding four more between the sixth, seventh and eighth.
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Perhaps one of the luckier bats in the lineup belonged to shortstop Addison Russell. Despite hitting the ball softly (albeit in the right spot) twice, he finished with four hits. The performance raised his average on the year to .289 – which ranks amongst the team leaders.
Already up 4-1 in the second, Ben Zobrist delivered a three-run double to blow things wide open. An RBI groundout by Heyward made it 8-1 and the team added another tally before the frame drew to a close.
While most Cubs fans (myself included) are firmly aboard the Willson Contreras bandwagon, veteran Miguel Montero isn’t going quietly into the night.
The left-hander swinging backstop went 3-for-5, raising his team-leading average to .379. Perhaps more importantly, he formed one-half of Monday’s winning pitching battery.
Anderson gets the job done yet again
The other half of that tandem, southpaw veteran Brett Anderson, once again held his own on the hill. He allowed five hits over six innings, en route to a three-run (one earned) performance.
The biggest red flag for Anderson? He walked half-a-dozen batters before turning the ball over to the Chicago bullpen. Justin Grimm and Brian Duensing combined for three scoreless frames of relief to preserve the series-opening win.
Player of the game
We’re going to go ahead and give the honors to the entire lineup. Earlier today, we talked about how the team has been relying on late-inning runs to get wins. Tonight, the Cubs did just the opposite, hanging 10 runs on the board before the fourth inning.
As a team, Chicago went 9-for-18 (.500) with runners in scoring position. Along with Montero, Kris Bryant contributed a trio of hits. Kyle Schwarber added a pair, as well.
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Chicago (11-8) continues the series against Pittsburgh (8-11). After falling victim to a series sweep at Wrigley earlier in the season, the Cubs look to take a series win Tuesday.
Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 6.19) squares off against Pirates ace Gerrit Cole (1-2, 4.70). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT at PNC Park.