Russell’s 2 HRs, Rizzo’s slam power Cubs past D-Backs
CHICAGO — A steady breeze blowing in off Lake Michigan kept Wrigley Field comfortable Friday. It didn’t contain or cool off the Chicago Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam in Chicago’s eight-run fifth inning, and rookie Addison Russell homered twice to power the Cubs and Jon Lester to a 14-5 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Javier Baez added a two-run shot, his first homer this season, and went 3 for 4 in his third game since his recall from the minors as the Cubs rolled to their third win in five games following a four-game losing streak.
”We punctured the wind today,” manager Joe Maddon said. ”Some of the youngsters … Addison’s two and Javy’s was absolutely pounded.
”And eventually Rizz did break the wind,” Maddon joked. ”No, use it please. He broke the wind with a grand slam to right field. The at-bats were spectacular.”
Rizzo’s 28th homer was his second career grand slam. Russell has three homers in his last four games and 12 this season.
”I saw the ball great and got some good sleep last night,” Russell said. ”Hitting’s contagious. Everyone wants to get a knock. You just want to get the next one.”
Lester (9-10) was staked to an early lead and rebounded after being hit hard in two of three previous starts. The left-hander’s command wasn’t razor sharp, but good enough as he allowed two runs and five hits in five innings before four relievers finished.
”A grind,” Lester said. ”A lot of foul balls. A lot of long counts. I didn’t do a good job — even though these guys did a good job of picking me up — of getting them back into the dugout.”
Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who have lost nine of 12.
Arizona rookie starter Zack Godley (4-1), recalled from Double-A Mobile before the game, lost for the first time after solid performances in three previous major league starts – including two six-inning outings when he didn’t allow a run.
”He was probably just a little amped,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. ”He’s pitching against his old team so he’s trying obviously to do a little too much.
”He’s facing good hitters — Rizzo and (Kris) Bryant — and maybe trying to be too perfect. It got him in trouble.”
The former Cubs propect struggled with control in this one, walking six while allowing six runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings. Godley walked in two runs as Chicago went ahead 3-0 in the first with just one bloop single.
”I felt fine,” Godley said. ”I just couldn’t locate pitches and they took advantage of it.”
Diamondbacks reliever A.J. Schugel also walked in a run while being tagged with seven in Chicago’s big inning.
Lester gave up five runs, including four in the seventh, last Saturday in a loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles. On Aug. 19, he lasted just 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs in a loss to Detroit.
Between those outings, the lefty came within one out of pitching his first complete game and shutout as a Cub in a 2-1 win over Cleveland on Aug. 24.
Russell led off the second inning with his first homer, a solo drive, to make it 4-0.
After Arizona cut it to 4-1 in the fourth, Russell’s two-run shot in the bottom half made it 6-1.
Rizzo and Baez connected in the fifth as the Cubs sent 11 men to the plate and pulled away.
Diamondbacks: 1B Paul Goldschmidt missed Friday’s game after he and his wife, Amy, welcomed their first child on Wednesday. Goldschmidt was expected to arrive in Chicago Friday night and should be in the lineup on Saturday. … 2B Aaron Hill was available off the bench after leaving Tuesday’s game with a hamstring pull. Hale hopes Hill will start Saturday.
Cubs: Rookie OF/C Kyle Schwarber is expected to miss three to five days because of a mild rib cage strain. He hurt himself on a checked swing during batting practice before Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati. The left-handed hitter hopes to be in the lineup Monday when Chicago opens a three-game series at St. Louis.
Chicago’s Jake Arrieta (17-6, 2.11 ERA) returns to the mound after tossing a no-hitter, the sixth in the majors this season, against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last Sunday. The Cubs ace righty leads the majors in victories, and has won six straight starts and 11 of his past 12 decisions. LHP Robbie Ray (3-10, 3.72 ERA) throws for Arizona. He has lost his past six decisions and hasn’t won since July 7.