Cubs look to produce more offense vs. Orioles (Jul 15, 2017)

BY AP • July 15, 2017

BALTIMORE -- Before Friday's game, manager Joe Maddon talked about how his offense really needed to get going if the Chicago Cubs wanted to make a second-half move after batting just .239 in the first half.

The Cubs showed plenty of punch and power Friday, hitting five homers in a 9-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The Cubs hit four of those homers and scored eight runs in the first three innings.

Now, Chicago will try for more offense when the defending World Series champions continue a three-game series with Baltimore.

"I think the real surge in the second half really is going to lie within some offense here where we're using the whole field, getting better situationally," Maddon said. "The first half was difficult on a lot of different levels, also encouraging because there's a lot left in the tank for a lot of our guys."

The Cubs (44-45) got homers from Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber in the first inning for a quick 4-0 lead on Friday. Later came round-trippers from Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and the game-winning solo shot from Addison Russell off Brad Brach in the ninth.

Former Oriole Jake Arrieta (8-7) faces Baltimore Saturday for the Cubs (1-0, 1.29 versus Baltimore), and Wade Miley (4-7, 4.97) opposes him.

Maddon knows it can be tough to pitch against your old team, so he just wants Arrieta to get locked in pretty quickly.

"Might be a little bit overamped possibly, early on, maybe a good crowd on a Saturday night, all that kind of stuff," Maddon said. "I just want to see him settle in and see him pitch the game he's capable of pitching."

The Orioles (42-47) would like to see the same thing from Miley, who has often battled command issues that quickly pushed up his pitch count in several starts.

The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.46 career ERA versus the Cubs.

Both the Orioles and Cubs are trying to bounce back after sluggish first halves that left both teams with losing records, so each is trying to shake things up.

The Cubs made a big move by acquiring left-hander Jose Quintana in a blockbuster deal with the cross-town White Sox Thursday. Quintana will start the series finale Sunday.

"I'm so excited to be here with this team," Quintana said. "I just want to help this team and do my job. I'm really happy."

Maddon said he was not aware that deal had been in the works but certainly liked the news because Chicago needed pitching help.

Baltimore did not make any trades, but got back power-hitting first baseman Chris Davis from the disabled list, where he'd been for about a month (right oblique strain. Davis was 1-for-5 with an RBI double.

Also, manager Buck Showalter moved Adam Jones back to the leadoff spot, where he'd been much of 2016 and for part of this year.

Jones went 0-for-4 and got hit by a pitch Friday.

"It's just something Adam and I talked about last week," Showalter said. "We'll see where it takes us as we go forward. It just kind of fit us a lot better, and we'll see how it goes."

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