Chicago Cubs: Mike Montgomery leads way in sixth-straight win

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: Mike Montgomery
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: Mike Montgomery /

Mike Montgomery allowed just two hits and homered, as the Chicago Cubs completed a perfect road trip, sweeping the Atlanta Braves 8-2.

In an undoubtedly successful road trip to begin the second half, the Chicago Cubs looked to end things in style with a sweep of the Atlanta Braves.

They did that as they got home runs from Tommy La Stella, starter Mike Montgomery and a three-run blast by Javier Baez in an 8-2 win. It was Montgomery’s first career home run.

Chicago earned their first sweep in Atlanta since 2008.

Starters’ delight

Montgomery was superb on the mound. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and struck out five. It was his first outing of at least six innings since June 30.

Addison Russell started the Cubs’ scoring with a RBI double in the second inning. He was 4-for-4 to raise his batting average to .240. The former Braves’ prospect Víctor Caratini just missed his first career home run in the early innings.

Cause for concern?

If there’s one sour note, it’s Kris Bryant leaving the game after an awkward slide into third base.

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Bryant was 1-for-1 with a double in the first inning but suffered a sprained pinky as he slid head first into third base on runner’s fielder’s choice.

Recent thumb injuries to Mike Trout and Carlos Correa raised panic for Cubs fans, though Bryant is listed as day-to-day with a sprained little finger.

Ender Inciarte and Tyler Flowers homered for the Braves and R.A. Dickey notched his 2,000th career inning pitched. He pitched seven innings and allowed four runs, the most he’s allowed in a game since June 13. Freddie Freeman left the game ill.

Happy days

Relievers Justin Grimm, Koji UeharaPedro Strop and Héctor Rondon pitched out of the bullpen. Strop came into a dirty 8th inning attempting to strand the bases loaded and did that, as he induced the inning-ending double play.

Ian Happ knocked home the final Cubs run. Chicago is now 2.0 games back of division leader Milwaukee and on a season-high 6-game win streak.

Next: Ian Happ is quietly settling in nicely in the big leagues

What’s next

The Chicago Cubs are off Thursday and will begin a homestand starting with the St. Louis Cardinals Friday from Wrigley Field.

Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) gets the ball for Chicago against Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA) for the Cardinals. First pitch from Wrigley Field will be at 1:20 p.m. CT.