Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Home runs, hot pitching powers Cubs to win

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May 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs continued their series with the San Francisco Giants Tuesday evening, and Cubs power was on display in the box and on the mound.

A rematch of last year’s NLDS Game 1, it was Jon Lester (2-2, 3.57 ERA) for the Chicago Cubs and Johnny Cueto for the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Coming off arguably his finest start of 2017 last Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds, Lester was able to follow that up with a gem Tuesday night. He threw his first complete game of the season, allowing one run on four hits. Jon struck out 10.

Lester’s last complete game was Sept. 2, also against the Giants.

Returning to the lineup was Kyle Schwarber who launched his seventh of the season in the bottom of the first. Also, the sensational rookie, Ian Happ returned to the starting lineup (.357, two home runs, five RBI). He tripled off the bench in the eighth inning of Monday’s game, helping spark Chicago’s 4-run 8th inning.

Offensive surge Happ-ening

Entering Tuesday the Cubs’ offense has been heating up of late.

Since the start of the homestand May 16, Chicago came into Tuesday’s action hitting .302 as a team, second best in the majors, with 45 runs scored, also good for second best in MLB. The North Siders had also walked 24 times, (fifth-best), and came in one off the mark for fewest strikeouts (39) during the span.

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Ben Zobrist was back as the lead-off man for the third consecutive game, and since taking over the top spot had gone 3-9 with one 3B, HR, and two RBI. He was 1-4 Tuesday. Happ was held hitless.

In the second inning, Jason Heyward homered, his fourth of the season, and first since April 24 against the Pirates.

Then in the fourth inning, Anthony Rizzo smacked his ninth of the season, a two-run shot.

With the 4-1 Cubs victory, they are 5-2 on their current homestand which concludes Thursday. As mentioned above, the offense has been heating up, and it looks like the Cubs of old might be back.

Next: Breaking down Russell's batting average

What’s Next

Chicago will continue the third game of a 4-game series versus San Francisco Wednesday night from Wrigley Field.

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 3.35 ERA) will take the ball for Chicago and left-hander Matt Moore (2-4, 5.37 ERA) gets the ball for the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.

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