The Chicago Cubs hung an eight spot on the board in the third as they completed a lopsided three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins Wednesday afternoon.
On a warm, windy day at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs offense put up double-digit runs for the second time in three days, blowing out the visiting Miami Marlins and completing a series sweep ahead of Thursday’s off-day.
Chicago (19-15) immediately opened the scoring in their half of the first. 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant connected on a solo shot into the seats in left to make it 1-0 Cubs. The blast marked Bryant’s 100th of his career – making him the fastest Cubs player ever to the milestone and just the third North Side third baseman to eclipse the century mark.
Then, the floodgates opened.
An early knockout punch
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As a team, Chicago hit for the cycle in the bottom of the third inning against Miami starter Wei-Yin Chen. Addison Russell got it started with a double off the wall. After advancing to third on a Jose Quintana bunt, Russell came around to score on an RBI double from Bryant.
Javier Baez then beat out an infield single for his MLB-leading 33rd RBI of the year. Anthony Rizzo decided to get in on the fun, as well, connecting for a three-run shot to make it 6-0. The sad (or funny, depending on which side you were) thing? The Cubs were just getting started.
Willson Contreras followed Rizzo’s homer with a wind-aided triple. He then scored on a David Bote sac fly. Ian Happ drew a two-out walk and then Russell, the man who led off the frame, stepped in and connected on his first home run of 2018, capping the eight-run frame.
After Miami (13-23) got one back in the fourth, Rizzo turned on an inside pitch, driving a double into the right field corner, scoring Albert Almora to push the Cubs’ advantage to 10-1. He doubled again in the sixth and Contreras plated him with a two-bagger. Simply put, Chicago never let up – pounding the Marlins into submission.
Pitching on-point once again
And on the mound, Quintana was dealing. After the bullpen had to eat seven innings Tuesday night, he did exactly what he needed to do. The southpaw turned in six innings of one-run, five-hit ball. He struck out five and walked just two batters. Keep in mind, though, this was an incredibly hitter-friendly afternoon at the Confines.
What Stood Out
We all know the Cubs’ offense hasn’t exactly dominated – at least not consistently – this year. It’s very much been a feast or famine type start to the season for the bats. They do lead the league with seven games of at least 10 runs this season – but have also gone through ice-cold stretches.
A big part of that? The struggles of Russell and Rizzo. Seeing both guys come through not just once but repeatedly in Wednesday’s finale is more than promising. It could be a tell tale sign of what’s to come for this Chicago ball club.
Chicago enjoys a well-deserved off-day on Thursday before welcoming the White Sox to Wrigley on Friday afternoon.