Cubs crush Indians 17-0 as Bryant, Schwarber lead offensive explosion
Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber provided a major boost to the Chicago Cubs' offense on Wednesday night.
Bryant had a grand slam and Schwarber was 4 for 5, including his first major league hit and RBI, and the Cubs hit four home runs to rout the Cleveland Indians 17-0.
The Cubs scored seven times in the ninth inning, which ended with Indians position players Ryan Raburn and David Murphy pitching.
The offensive outburst was the most runs scored in a shutout win by the Cubs since they blanked San Diego 19-0 on May 13, 1969.
The Indians suffered their most lopsided defeat since losing 23-2 at Minnesota on June 4, 2002.
Chicago's rising young stars stole the show on the offense's big night.
"They're going to keep getting better," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm telling you, man, that was a nice night. You get a glimpse of what it looks like when everybody's here."
Schwarber, the fourth pick in last year's draft who was called up Tuesday, tripled in the second to key a six-run inning and added an RBI single in the third when the Cubs scored four times.
Schwarber hit into a double play in the fourth and singled in the seventh. He added an infield hit in the ninth.
Schwarber's stay in the majors is expected to be brief. The plan is for him to DH in interleague games at Cleveland and Minnesota this week and send him to Triple-A Iowa where he will continue to be used as a catcher.
Asked if a four-hit night is making a case to stay in the majors, Schwarber said, "I'm just doing my job. I'm trying to take advantage of the opportunity I have. I'm trying to do my best and have good at-bats every day."
"He had good swings," Maddon said. "He's a kid who's a good hitter who knows he's a good hitter. He's a wise young man with an exceptional work ethic."
Bryant, who was called up from Iowa on April 17, leads National League rookies in hits, RBIs, runs scored and on-base percentage.
Indians starter Shaun Marcum lasted only two innings, forcing manager Terry Francona to use six relievers to get through the eighth.
"Getting in that situation doesn't feel good," Francona said. "Early on, we started asking ourselves, `Can we not ruin our bullpen tonight?' It turns out we had to. It's still not a lot of fun."
Raburn was given a loud ovation by the crowd of 15,572 while warming up.
In the ninth, Chris Coghlan drew a four-pitch walk before Starlin Castro flied out to deep center. After Schwarber squibbed a hit to the left side of the infield, Chris Denorfia lined out to third.
With a 2-0 count on David Ross, Murphy replaced Raburn. It appeared Murphy would get out of the inning when Ross hit a popup to shallow center. Rookie Francisco Lindor settled under the ball, but it fell behind him and he was charged with an error.
Murphy allowed a hit, walked one and hit a batter before Bryant's grand slam.
Addison Russell, another of the Cubs' highly regarded rookies, and Anthony Rizzo each hit two-run homers in the second and Denorfia, who had four RBIs, added a three-run homer in the third. Chicago sent nine men to the plate in the second and third innings.
Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) pitched seven scoreless innings for his first win since Aug. 24, 2014.
Schwarber, 23, hit .320 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs in 58 games at Double-A Tennessee. He caught the top of the ninth and struck out in his first at-bat Tuesday.
Marcum (3-2) allowed six runs and six hits.
Coghlan led off the second with a single. With one out, Schwarber hit a hard ground ball to the right side. First baseman Carlos Santana appeared to be in position to make the play, but the ball went under his glove and rolled into the right-field corner. The play was ruled a triple and Coghlan scored.
Russell homered into the bleachers for a 4-0 lead and Rizzo, breaking an 0-for-18 slump, homered to right.
Schwarber singled for another run in the third before Denorfia hit his first homer of the season.
Cubs: C Miguel Montero (back stiffness) was a late scratch from the lineup, but Maddon expects him to play Thursday. Ross replaced Montero.
Indians: Manager Terry Francona says there's no timetable for the return of OF Nick Swisher (sore left knee), who was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday.
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel makes his first start against Cleveland since June 26, 2013. He is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in eight appearances, including four starts, against the Indians.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar seeks his career-high seventh victory of the season. He has won three straight decisions at Progressive Field, posting a 3.16 ERA over 25 2-3 innings.