Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant reaches base five times in win over Arizona
By Jake Misener
In the first game since losing Willson Contreras, the Chicago Cubs put together a solid team win, thanks to a three-hit game from Kris Bryant.
After dropping a series to the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs headed into this weekend’s matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks looking to hit the ‘reset’ button.
And they did just that.
John Lackey gave his club 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball, striking out seven and Kris Bryant reached base five times. The reigning NL MVP raised his average on the year to .284, helping set the table for his teammates all night long.
Chicago (60-54) opened the scoring early against Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker. Alex Avila drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the first run of the night. A passed ball charged to Chris Hermann allowed Ben Zobrist to score, giving the Cubs an early 2-0 edge.
A Bryant single scored leadoff man Jon Jay in the top of the second and the score remained 3-0 till the bottom of the fifth. Outfielder David Peralta took Lackey deep for a two-run shot to pull Arizona within a run.
But, again, another Cub stepped up. Kyle Schwarber, who lost his entire 2016 season with an injury that took place at Chase Field, took Walker deep for his 19th homer of the year. In his previous at-bat, he lunged and golfed a pitch onto the track in center, but this time, he squared it up for a solo homer.
The next batter, Avila, who entered the game as one of two Cubs with previous at-bats against Walker, followed with a solo shot of his own – giving Chicago some breathing room at 5-2.
Lackey’s night drew to a close after Paul Goldschmidt took him deep for an opposite-field solo shot. The Arizona first baseman struck out and hit into a double play earlier in the game, but he continues to have the Cubs’ number this season.
In the top of the eighth, a trio of run-scoring singles capped the scoring for the Cubs. Javier Baez, Ian Happ and Jon Jay all made it happen at the dish, making it an 8-3 ballgame heading to the ninth.
After Lackey left in the sixth, the combination of Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Wilson, Brian Duensing and Pedro Strop did not allow a single run – combining to allow just one hit and two walks.
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Chicago and Arizona continue their three-game set Saturday at Chase Field.
Jon Lester (8-6, 3.97) battles Patrick Corbin (8-11, 4.76). First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. CT.