Cubs reel in Marlins with dominant victory
|Tuesday, June 6, 2017 11:19 PM- -|
CHICAGO -- Despite not scoring a single run prior to the halfway point of the game, the Chicago Cubs garnered one of their most dominant victories of the season on Tuesday. Crushing the Miami Marlins 10-2, the Cubs rode a solid outing by starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and a top-notch 11-hit performance from the team's batting order en route to claiming the win.
The Cubs fell down 1-0 when Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto scored Giancarlo Stanton on a groundout in the first. Stanton hit a one-out single to get on base and was moved to third after two consecutive walks by Arrieta. That first-inning success for Miami proved to be anomalous, though, as Stanton's hit was one of only three on the night for the Marlins.
Chicago was fairly listless in the first half of the matchup, but their Tuesday night performance proved to be a tale of two games, as they dominated at the plate in the latter half of the game. A two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth incited the Cubs' offensive prosperity. Left fielder Jon Jay, who batted leadoff on the night, was walked and then took second on a wild pitch by Marlins starting pitcher Jeff Locke. Locke next walked a batter to put runners on first and second, giving Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo a golden opportunity to give the Cubs the lead, which he capitalized on in glorious fashion. Hitting his 13th home run of the season, Rizzo took a Locke changeup deep with a home run to right, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Locke did not last much longer on the mound, and his ill-fated outing was essentially brought to a close thanks to an error by his teammate, as Miami shortstop J.T. Riddle misplayed a ground ball that enabled Cubs catcher Willson Contreras to reach first safely in the at-bat following Rizzo's home run. Contreras was then scored on the next at-bat, with Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward crushing a line-drive double toward the wall in right-center. Heyward had an excellent evening at the dish, going 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored. Through 57 games, Heyward already has 25 RBI on the year, over half of the 49 RBI that he accrued all of last season.
With the Cubs leading 4-1 at the start of the seventh, Arrieta found himself in a bit of trouble during the top half of the inning, with Realmuto, the only Marlins hitter to experience legitimate success with the bat in the game, smacking a triple to deep right-center. The triple came on Arrieta's 100th pitch of the night, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to end the hurler's start before the Marlins could cut any further into the Cubs' lead. The Marlins did in fact cut into the lead, though, but it was not the fault of Cubs reliever Brian Duensing. Chicago shortstop Addison Russell botched a grounder in the first at-bat after Arrieta's departure that enabled Realmuto to cross the plate and make the score 4-2. Russell now has six errors to his name this season.
Russell's error proved meaningless, however, as the Cubs opened the floodgates and washed the Marlins out to sea with a six-run bottom of the seventh. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant paved the way for the scoring barrage with a leadoff double double to deep left-center. Rizzo came through yet again in the ensuing at-bat on an RBI single, and he was brought in to score two at-bats later on Heyward's second double of the game. A single by Chicago center fielder Albert Almora ensued, and Cubs second baseman Javier Baez then decided to get in on the offensive onslaught with a two-run double to left, placing the Cubs up 8-2.
Through all of this, Marlins reliever Brian Ellington remained on the mound, enduring perhaps the worst inning of his baseball career before finally being pulled after giving up five hits and collecting only one out. Before exiting, Ellingon walked a batter following the Baez double, and two at-bats later, Jay doubled to left-center off of Marlins pitcher Dustin McGowan to add two more earned runs to Ellington's atrocious six-run stat line. Extra-base hits played a prominent role for the Cubs in their victory, with four different players hitting doubles.
The Cubs' 10-2 lead stood pat for the remainder of the game, moving the Cubs to 30-27 and the Marlins to 24-33. With 11 hits, five of which were of the extra-base variety, Chicago laid waste to the Miami pitching staff on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to five games. In addition to Heyward's impressive performance, Rizzo's 2-5, four-RBI output and Bryant's 2-3, two-walk showing played major roles in the Cubs' blowout win.
Arrieta accrued the win to become 6-4 overall, as his two-hit, five-strikeout performance in six innings pitched was exactly what he and the Cubs needed as they looked to keep their much-needed winning streak alive. Locke earned the loss to fall to 4-2, but Ellington, who now has a 5.91 ERA, was the true loser of the game. The Cubs will look to follow up with the momentum of tonight's dominant win as they aim for a sweep of the Marlins tomorrow evening at Wrigley Field, which would mark their second straight three-game series sweep at home and would firmly place their preceding six-game road losing streak in the rearview mirror.