Slugging Cubs bash D-backs but lose Schwarber
PHOENIX -- The power-packed Cubs have 29 runs and 34 hits in their first three games, and the way the stats are coming pleases manager Joe Maddon the most.
“You look at the numbers and the hits, but it is because the at-bats are being worked so well,” Maddon said. “We’re not chasing out of the zone. We’re making pitchers come over the plate up and down the lineup. It’s been a combination of really well thought out at-bats.”
Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including a homer, and tied a career high with six RBIs in the Cubs’ 14-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday at Chase Field.
Dexter Fowler and Addison Russell added two hits and two RBIs apiece for Chicago (3-0).
Rizzo’s two-run triple broke a 6-6 tie in a five-run fourth inning as the Cubs overcame a three-run deficit to help free agent signee right-hander John Lackey earn the victory.
Rizzo, who hit a three-run homer in a four-run ninth inning, reached base five times. He finished a double short of the cycle, and he walked and was hit by a pitch.
“He’s really focused,” Maddon said. “They all are. Really businesslike approach to the game. We’re normally pretty fun. They were just really focused. I could see it in their faces. Love it. They are coming ready to play now.”
The Cubs might have lost a piece of their offense, however, when left fielder Kyle Schwarber was forced to leave the game with a sprained left ankle after colliding with center fielder Fowler while going after an inside-the-park homer by Jean Segura.
Schwarber was down on the warning track for several minutes before being carted off. X-rays on the ankle were negative, the Cubs said, but an MRI exam is scheduled for Friday.
“It’s really not a good thing to see your guys lying on the floor like that,” Maddon said. “It had bad things written all over it. (Segura) hits the ball in the one spot we can’t cover. You’d rather see the ball go over the fence there.”
Schwarber said he was concerned about both his ankle and left knee.
“I’m not going to be down in sprits,” he said. “I’m going to wait ‘til tomorrow and see what happens. It is tight and sore. What are you going to do?”
Segura became the eighth player in major league history to hit a leadoff homer in the first inning and have an inside-the-park homer later in the same game.
David Peralta had three extra-base hits and an RBI, and Jake Lamb added two hits and three RBIs for Arizona (1-3). Segura has three homers in four game.
Kris Bryant had three hits, and Rizzo, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist each scored three times as the Cubs took advantage of two Arizona errors and 10 walks.
“For me as manager and our coaching staff, it was embarrassing,” Arizona’s Chip Hale said. “That is the easiest way to put it.”
Lackey (1-0) gave up eight hits and six runs in six innings while striking out four and walking one.
Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa (0-1) gave up seven runs, six earned, in 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered leads of 3-0, 4-2 and 6-4 as the D-backs scored in each of the first three innings against Lackey.
Diamondbacks starters have given up 23 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings this season (10.02 ERA).
“Maybe there is too much stress, too much anxiety on them,” Hale said. “Their minds aren’t free enough to work. It was a tough game to watch for everybody.”
NOTES: Cubs RHP John Lackey hit ninth in the batting order Thursday, the first game the Cubs played without a DH this season. Manager Joe Maddon batted his pitchers eighth 145 times in 162 games last season. ... Arizona INF/CF Chris Owings, a right-handed hitter, made his third start in four games in center field, two against righties. OF Socrates Brito, a left-handed hitter, made his only start against a righty. “It is not a platoon,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. ... The 1-2 finishers in the NL Cy Young race last year are not scheduled to meet in this four-game series because of the Cubs’ off day Wednesday. Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke will start Saturday, and Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta is set to start Sunday.