Chicago Cubs: Jon Lester returns, Rene Rivera hits GS, Cubs win 14-12
Jon Lester returned to the mound, and the Chicago Cubs rode a crooked inning to another robust offensive output to defeat the Atlanta Braves Saturday.
Offense ruled the day at Wrigley Field Saturday between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves.
As part of a three home run day, including a grand slam, Chicago won their sixth in a row, and ninth in a row at home over the Atlanta Braves 14-12.
Jon Lester showed rust in his first start off the DL for the Cubs. The first two hitters reached to start the game, but Lester was able to get out of bases-loaded trouble, and subsequently retired six straight.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Entering Saturday, Freeman was slashing just .167/.281/.333 versus lefties in the second-half.
Lester struck him out in the first, but Freeman tagged him in the third with a two-run home run, and Matt Kemp followed suit as the duo went back-to-back.
Rio Ruiz hit the third Braves homer of the day off Lester.
For Lester, he went five innings, allowed four runs on eight hits, and struck out four. He had a nice day at the plate with a hit, walk, and run scored.
He earned the win.
That grand Rivera
Rene Rivera was brought in as catching depth two weeks ago. He’s contributed more than just defense.
In the second inning, the Cubs returned the favor against Atlanta by loading the bases, and Rivera unloaded his first-career grand slam. It was Chicago’s sixth grand slam this year.
Rivera had two hits on the day and is 6-for-12 over his last three games. Javier Baez also homered, continuing to contribute in a different way each day. Albert Almora Jr. picked up two RBI in the seventh, and Jason Heyward added his ninth home run in the eighth.
For the Braves, Lucas Sims went three innings, allowing seven earned runs on six hits. He walked and struck out four.
Things didn’t come easy for either bullpen.
Cubs’ reliever Justin Wilson was trending up in recent outings but struggled on this day. He walked two, allowed a hit, and gave up three runs. Felix Pena and Brian Duensing each gave up two runs. Wade Davis also allowed one run.
The Braves had seven runs charged to four relievers.
Anthony Rizzo picked up his 100th RBI with a bases-clearing triple in the fourth. Chicago sent nine batters to the plate in the second and fourth inning. The Cubs are 6-0 against Atlanta.
Next: Alex Avila proving he’s a key for World Series repeat
Sunday features the season finale for the clubs. Mike Montgomery (5-6, 3.29 ERA) makes the start for Chicago against another Braves rookie, Max Fried (0-0, 5.40) who has made four appearances. Sunday will be his first career start.
First pitch is 1:20 pm C.T. from Wrigley Field.