Cubs

Observations: Cubs rout Braves in best showing of season

Cubs

The Cubs beat the Braves 13-4 on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field in their best offensive performance this season to improve to 6-8.

Here’s 10 observations from the game.

1. Entering Saturday, the Cubs had yet to score more than five runs in any of their 13 games. It took them three innings to score six times on Saturday.

2. Willson Contreras got things started with a first-inning solo home run. With home runs Wednesday and Friday, he’s now gone deep in three straight games for the first time in his career.

3. But Contreras wasn’t finished. He hit his second home run of the day and fifth of the season in the third inning. It marks his ninth career multi-homer game and first since Sept. 25, 2020 against the White Sox.

"He's one of the best players in the game, for me, as far as the catching side," manager David Ross said of Contreras.

"Willson's a stud," Ross added.

4. Kris Bryant also hit two home runs on the afternoon, giving him five on the season. He only hit four in 34 games in 2020. 

The Cubs finished with six home runs total, with Javy Báez and David Bote each adding one.

"That's what we feel like this lineup is capable of any given night," Ross said.

5. Entering the game, the Cubs had scored in back-to-back innings just twice this season — both on April 3 against Pittsburgh. 

 

They scored in three straight innings Saturday (Nos. 1-3), the first time they’ve done that this season. They later scored in both the fifth and sixth.

6. Bote snapped the Cubs’ 0-for-17 slump with runners in scoring position, dating back to Monday, with a double to drive in Jason Heyward in the second inning.

7. The Cubs offense overall finally broke through with runners in scoring position. They entered the day with the worst average in baseball in those situations (.084 — 7-for-83) and went 5-for-11 on Saturday.

8. It took the Cubs 14 games to score at least six runs. The last time it took that long was 1981, when they didn’t score six until their 15th game, a 6-1 win that bumped their record to 2-13.

"It's just a collective sigh of relief," Bryant said of the offense's showing. "We can feel good about this one for 24 hours until the next one. But, hopefully, we are able to use the success from today and carry that confidence and that comfort forward."

9. Saturday wasn’t all about the offense. Trevor Williams bounced back from a 10-hit, five-run outing last Sunday by tossing 5+ innings of five-hit, one-run ball. 

Williams started laboring in the sixth, loading the bases on two walks and a single, but Ryan Tepera bailed him out with a double play and fly out, limiting the damage.

10. Shelby Miller had another down relief appearance, his second in as many outings since joining the club Wednesday. The veteran allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in the seventh. He needed 37 pitches to get through the frame.

Next up: The Cubs and Braves wrap up their three-game series on Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch is 6:08 p.m. CT. Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00 ERA) is the Cubs’ probable starter, and Atlanta’s is TBD.

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