Jon Lester and the Cubs wore a big loss Tuesday night as the A’s blasted them for 11 runs. Chicago turned the tables on Wednesday, breaking the game wide open in the middle innings to win the game and the series.
It was at that point that Bailey returned to his old form against the Cubs. Kris Bryant singled with one out and moved to second when Anthony Rizzo got hit by a pitch. Javy Báez singled home Bryant to tie it and Kyle Schwarber walked to load the bases. Ian Happ promptly unloaded the bases with a grand-slam to give his team a 5-1 lead.
The North Sider’s put the game out of reach in the 5th inning. Nicholas Castellanos doubled and Rizzo singled to put men on the corners with two outs. Javy roped another single to increase the lead to five. Schwarber applied the death blow with an opposite-field three-run homer into the left field basket.
That 9-1 advantage was plenty for Quintana who pitched seven strong innings. Victor Caratini added a long solo shot of his own in the 8th inning. David Phelps handled the 8th, and Pedro Strop entered in the 9th to end the game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The offense took advantage of a shaky Homer Bailey and came through with two big home runs. Quintana was excellent early on allowing time for his offense to get rolling.
Happ did not wait around when he came to the plate with the sacks packed. Bailey through him a first-pitch fastball on the outside corner and he rode it to left to give the Cubs a lead they never gave up.
Stats That Matter
- Ian Happ hit the ball hard every time up. He had a single and two line outs in addition to his slam.
- Jose Quintana was lights out Wednesday: 7 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 7 K, 0 BB. It was another outing for a Cubs starter with no walks allowed.
- Kyle Schwarber had a huge homestand and looks very comfortable hitting lower in the order.
Chicago continued their quality play at home with a 5-1 stretch over their latest homestand. If they really want to take control of the division they need to play better on the road. A ten-game trip will be another big test, it’s honestly hard to say just what will happen. Let’s hope for the best.
The Cubs start their road swing with four in Cincinnati against the Reds. Cole Hamels takes on fellow lefty Alex Wood Thursday at 6:10 CT. NBC Sports Chicago provides TV coverage and 670 The Score has radio coverage.