Chicago Cubs: Offensive onslaught downs Pirates, sets franchise records
Another day, more records, another win: The Chicago Cubs complete banner series with a sweep over the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-3 Wednesday evening.
Another game, another night in the history books for the Chicago Cubs.
And another win.
Ian Happ homered (20) and drove in four, Kyle Schwarber had two home runs (24), and Anthony Rizzo homered (31) as the Cubs set new records and defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday evening, completing the sweep at Wrigley Field 17-3.
Happ’s third-inning blast was one for the Cubs’ record books.
The club became the first team in ML history to have five players, 25-years-old and younger, hit 20 or more home runs in a season. They also set another franchise-record as Happ’s 20th home run gave the club six players with 20 or more homers.
It was all part of a banner night for the Cubs as Jose Quintana pitched well, and the offense broke out once again as the team scored in every inning but the fourth, and used a 7-run fifth-inning to all but put the game out of reach.
Javier Baez can hit, field, and steal home.
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Just as he completed the most exciting play in baseball last October in the NLCS, he accomplished the feat once again Wednesday night in the second inning to tie the score at two.
Baez also had two hits, knocked in two, and scored three times. Kris Bryant had three hits and scored twice.
Every starter including Quintana had a hit, and Quintana also drove in a run, his second-career RBI. Kyle Schwarber homered twice for his 23rd and 24th of the season while knocking in four.
Seven Cubs had multi-hits, and four had multi-RBI. Chicago’s 20 hits is a season-high.
Quintana pitched six solid innings, which looked in doubt from the start after a rocky opening frame in which he gave up two in the first. For the night he allowed three runs on four hits, struck out nine, and didn’t walk anyone.
At one point he retired 14 consecutive batters.
From Pittsburgh’s perspective, Ivan Nova struggled through three innings, his shortest outing of the season, as he allowed four earned runs, five total. He struck out five and walked one.
The Pirates bullpen allowed 12 additional runs.
For the Cubs, Hector Rondon, Justin Wilson, and Felix Pena kept things rather uneventful as the trio did not allow a run in relief of Quintana.
The game was not short on defensive highlights as Jon Jay made two huge catches in the third inning.
First, he took potential extra bases away from Andrew McCutchen, stretching out to make the grab while falling forward on the center field warning track.
On the very next pitch, he covered a lot of ground again to take a hit away from Josh Bell in the right-center gap.
Next: New record underscores dependable Wade Davis
Chicago and Atlanta open a four-game weekend series Thursday evening at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.45) starts for the Cubs in the opener against Sean Newcomb (2-7, 4.36 ERA).
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. CT.