On Fire: Rizzo hammers Reds in series finale
|Sunday, April 24, 2016, 4:40 PM- -|
Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs remain on fire offensively.
The Cubs (14-5) dominated the Reds in a 9-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds (8-10) at Great American Ball Park on Sunday afternoon. This is the third time in Cubs history that the team will start 14-5 or better in a season (1907 and 1969).
The Cubs are still the only team in the majors not to lose two games in a row this season.
Rizzo hit a two-run homer to right center field in the 1st inning and another two-run blast to center field in the third inning in his second at-bat. It was his 10th multi-homer game of his career, and he is now tied for the major league lead in homers after a sluggish beginning to the season.
He is the first Cubs player to hit 8 homers through 1st 19 games since Cubs great Billy Williams in 1970. His is now fifth all-time in homers for a lefty as he only trails Billy Williams, Bill Nicholson, Mark Grace and Leon Durham.
Rizzo has been dynamic in the last five games with five homers and is interestingly 6 for 9 with five homers on first pitches this season.
Tommy La Stella was a table setter batting in the leadoff position scoring three runs as he hit two doubles and had a solo homer to right field in the sixth inning. Normal leadoff man Dexter Fowler was given the day off to rest.
Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings giving up only three hits and striking out seven to earn his third win of the season. Hammel leads the Cubs with a sparkling 0.75 ERA on the season which is second-best in the National League.
"We don't really pay attention to what's going on outside the lines," Hammel said following Sunday's win. "Whether it's Yankee Stadium or Wrigley or Great American Ball Park, it doesn't matter to us, we're just going out there and playing the game. When you're winning, it's fun."
Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon has a 35.14 ERA in two starts against the Cubs this season. In seven games against the Reds this season, The Cubs have outscored the Red by a +40 margin (60-20).
The Cubs will have an off-day on Monday before beginning a six-game series on Tuesday with the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.