Bryant, Rizzo, Russell go deep, Cubs pound Marlins 13-4
Bryant hit his 100th career homer, Rizzo and Russell connected in an eight-run third inning, and the Cubs pounded the Miami Marlins 13-4 on Wednesday.
Rizzo also had a pair of doubles and finished with five RBIs as the Cubs outscored the Marlins 31-9 in a three-game sweep after dropping a season-high five in a row. It was quite a turnaround for a team that finished with three runs or less in 10 of 11 games prior to this series. And manager Joe Maddon wants to see more consistency at the plate.
”We need to get going on the offensive side,” he said. ”It’s nice to find the barrel. We need to find the barrel a little bit more.”
On the third anniversary of his first career home run, Bryant hit a drive about halfway up the bleachers in left in the first inning. He followed his third homer in four games with an RBI double to deep center in the third.
Chicago poured it on from there, scoring seven more runs in the inning against Wei-Yin Chen to go up 9-0 while sending 11 batters to the plate.
”You couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Bryant said. ”First home run three years ago and 100, I guess it made it even more special. It was pretty cool.”
Rizzo, Russell, Albert Almora and Willson Contreras each had three of Chicago’s 17 hits.
Jose Quintana (4-2) returned the favor after getting hit hard in a loss at Miami on April 1. The left-hander allowed one run and five hits in six innings.
Rizzo hit a three-run homer to right in the third and added RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth. Russell led off the third with a double and scored, then capped the inning with a two-run shot .
Chen (1-2) got tagged for nine runs and seven hits over three innings in his third start back from a strained left elbow. His ERA leaped from 4.82 to 10.22.
”He didn’t miss any bats,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”It’s a good-hitting club and Wei-Yin basically is a flyball pitcher. Not the best circumstances for him, but obviously I expect him to be better than that.”
Bryant, making his second start in right, had two neat catches.
He made a sliding grab on Cameron Maybin in the fourth and reached near the wall to snag Starlin Carlin Castro’s foul leading off the sixth.
The Cubs optioned RHP Jen-Ho Tseng and LHP Rob Zastryzny to Triple-A Iowa one day after recalling them. Chicago also selected RHP Justin Hancock’s contract from the minor league club and recalled OF Mark Zagunis.
Marlins: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (strained right forearm) – sidelined since April 20 – will throw a simulated game at the Marlins’ spring training facility in Jupiter, Florida., on Friday. Mattingly said he will likely go on a rehab assignment before returning from the disabled list. … The Marlins have no timetable on LHP Chris O’Grady’s return from a strained left shoulder. He has been out since April 16. … Maybin tweaked his hip running out a grounder in the sixth and was replaced in left field as part of a double switch in the bottom half that Mattingly was planning to make, anyway. ”He’ll be OK,” Mattingly said.
Cubs: 2B Javier Baez was back in the lineup after coming off the bench on Monday because of a tight right groin.
Marlins: LHP Caleb Smith (2-3, 3.67 ERA) looks to win his third straight start as the Marlins open a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves. Smith is coming off back-to-back scoreless outings against Colorado and Cincinnati in which he allowed just five hits over 122/3 innings. RHP Mike Foltynewicz (2-2, 3.65) starts for Atlanta.
Cubs: The Cubs open a three-game series Friday against the crosstown White Sox, with RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-3, 3.31) going against RHP Carson Fulmer (2-2, 5.02).
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