The Chicago Cubs slaughtered the Arizona Diamondbacks in the series opener, with the final score 16-4. Jon Lester got the ball rolling by striking out the side in the first inning.
The offense got off to a nice start as well, with lead off man Ben Zobrist hitting a single. Not to be out done, Kris Bryant immediately followed suit with a single of his own, leaving runners on the corners with Anthony Rizzo up next. After Rizzo struck out, Willson Contreras walked, with Albert Almora Jr. at bat with the bases loaded, and only one out. Almora didn’t disappoint, batting in two runs with a line drive single. Contreras was thrown out at third, Addison Russell doubled, and Javier Baez grounded out, ending the inning with a two run lead.
The second inning got off to a shaky start, with Lester walking two, leaving the bases loaded with only one out, but somehow, he got out of the jam, allowing no runs.
Ian Happ quickly made it a 3-0 ball game, with a lead off home run in the bottom of the second. Lester added to the cause, hitting a single, and bringing up Zobrist who singled, but reached second on an error. Lester was able to score on a Bryant sac fly. Rizzo hits his 25th home run of the season, a two run homer that makes it 6-0 in the second.
Lester had a record setting outing, he hit his first major league career home run, making it 8-1 in the third, but also got his 2,000th career strike out. Three words for Lester. Pitchers who rake.
After allowing an RBI single by Adam Rosales in the 5th, Lester is finished for the night. It’s all in the bullpen’s hands now.
Hector Rondon allowed one more run to score before ending the inning 8-3, but is soon replaced by Brian Duensing in the 6th.
If you thought the 2nd inning was exciting, fans were in for a surprise when the Cubbies showed just exactly why they’re reigning World Series champs, by scoring a jaw-dropping 7 runs in the 6th inning, including a three run homer by Baez, making it 15-3.
Rizzo leads off the 7th with a home run, his second of the night, and 26th of the season making it 16-3.
The D-Backs did try to stage a comeback in the 9th, scoring one unearned run off of Mike Montgomery, making it 16-4, but it was too little, too late.
With the “W” tonight, the Cubs are now 57-48, and 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Justin Wilson and Alex Avila have got to be feeling good about being traded to the Cubs right about now.