CI Recap (6/30/18) – Cubs 14, Twins 9: Cubs Hit All the Singles en Route to Rout

The Cubs were going for the series win against the Minnesota Twins Saturday at an unbearably hot Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon. Runs came in bunches with the wind howling out, with the teams combining for 23 tallies. The Cubs had almost that many hits (20), and they ended up on top when the smoke cleared from their perpetual loop around the bases.

Given all the offense in this one, some rallies in this recap have been formatted to fit your screen. Tyler Chatwood, who was making his first start back from paternity leave, loaded the bases with two down in the 2nd. Joe Mauer stayed hot, doubling home all three runners to give the Twins a 3-0 lead for the second day in a row.

The Cubs rallied back with small ball in the 3rd inning, as bases-loaded singles from Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist scored three to tie it. Albert Almora Jr. had a triple robbed by center fielder Jake Cave in the 4th, but got a sac fly to drive in David Bote and give Chicago the 4-3 lead.

Chatwood had a two-out meltdown in the 5th inning that began, as usual, with a walk. Eddie Rosario blasted a long two-run homer to right to give the Twins a 5-4 lead. Ehire Adrianza singled home two more to make it a 7-4 Twins advantage. The Cubs roared back on Addison Reed in the bottom half of the frame, scoring five times. Bote, Ian Happ, Almora, and Jason Heyward all singled home runs to make it 9-7 Chicago.

But guess what, the Cubs couldn’t hold the lead in the 6th inning. Brian Duensing struggled again, allowing two runs that including Willians Astudillo’s first career hit, and RBI single. The Northsiders finally went ahead for good in the bottom of the 7th against sidearmer Trevor Hildenberger. Heyward singled home a run, Javy Baez doubled home two, Willson Contreras hit a sac fly, and Addison Russell singled home one more to give the Cubs a 14-9 lead.

Pedro Strop was able to end the madness, retiring the final five Twins batters to give Chicago the high-scoring 14-9 victory. Of the Cubs’ 20 hits, 17 were singles and none of the other three went for more than 10 bases. It really was a site to see. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

The Cubs went 11-of-22 with runners in scoring position, which comes out to a .500 average for the math impaired among you. The Chicago bullpen again outperformed Minnesota’s unit after both starters left early.

Key Moment

Heyward’s game-winning hit was a thing of beauty. He went with an outside slider, lining it over the shortstop’s head. It’s the kind of pitch he would have pulled and rolled to first base last season. Instead he stuck his butt out and served it the other way to put his team ahead.

Stats That Matter

  • Chatwood actually kept the walks down, but the rest was a disaster: 5 IP, 7 R, 7 H, 6 K, and 3 BB. It seems as if he either walks a lot of batters or he gets hit hard. He just doesn’t seem to know where the ball is going and when he’s not missing out of the zone, he’s missing in it.
  • Heyward had four more hits on Saturday and is now hitting .291. This is the offense the Cubs were hoping for when they signed him.
  • Almora had three more hits and a sacrifice fly before cramping up in the blistering heat and coming out in the 5th. He is leading the league with a .332 batting average.
  • David Bote singled and walked twice, scoring three runs on Saturday. He also made a couple of nice plays at third base.

Bottom Line

The Cubs have scored 10 or more runs in three consecutive games for the first time since April of 2003. So far they are taking advantage of the eight games at home against teams with losing records.

On Deck

The Cubs go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:20pm CT. Jon Lester faces off with former Cardinal Lance Lynn in a game televised on WGN.

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