CHICAGO -- Before Monday's game, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked about the team's struggle to score runs."It's been an offensive hangover," Maddon said. "We're just not hitting. I don't think it's anymore complicated than that."Kristopher Bryant, Javier Baez and Ian Happ fixed that for one game and helped end
CHICAGO -- Before Monday's game, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked about the team's struggle to score runs.
"It's been an offensive hangover," Maddon said. "We're just not hitting. I don't think it's anymore complicated than that."
Kristopher Bryant, Javier Baez and Ian Happ fixed that for one game and helped end the Cubs' skid at five in a 14-2 victory over the Marlins at Wrigley Field.
Bryant belted a two-run homer in the first, Baez followed with a three-run shot to straightaway center in the third and Happ added a pair of blasts -- a two-run homer in the fourth and a three-run shot in the seventh. Happ, who finished with a career-high five RBIs, was feeling pretty good about hitting home runs from both sides of the plate until hitting coach Chili Davis pointed out that he'd done it 11 times in his career.
"I've got a little bit of a ways to go," Happ said.
Marlins starter Jarlin Garcia, who began the day leading the National League in ERA, served up three of the four homers. The lefty had given up four runs over 33 innings entering the game, and he was charged with seven over four frames on Monday.
"He's very talented," Maddon said of Garcia. "We got him on the right day. I like his fastball, his changeup is spectacular. I thought his changeup was up today, and I think that's where we got him."
Kyle Hendricks was just what the Cubs' bullpen needed after back-to-back extra-innings games in St. Louis. The right-hander scattered six hits over eight innings, striking out three. He knew the Cubs desperately needed innings from him.
"You have it in the back of your head, for sure, but the only way to do that is make good pitches, pitch to contact, get quick outs, which I try to do," Hendricks said. "You take the same mindset, make good pitches. If you do that, like today, I got some contact and guys made plays and I got deep in the game."
Monday's game does not mean the Cubs' offensive woes are over. Chicago had scored 27 total runs in its last 11 games, batting .203. Maybe the Cubs do better on little sleep. The team arrived in Chicago around 5 a.m. on Monday after playing a 14-inning night game in St. Louis.
"It's just been a tough skid," Hendricks said. "Guys are putting together the [at-bats], swinging at good pitches, taking the bad ones. On the mound, we're making the right pitches. We just haven't had plays go our ways. Things weren't going well for us. We've been sticking with our plan, come in here every day, get our work in and we know it will turn around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Century mark: The Cubs began the day last in the National League in walks, but with one out in the first, Benjamin Zobrist drew a free pass and Bryant drove him in with his fifth home run of the season, second in as many games, and No. 99 of his career. Bryant launched a 1-2 fastball from Garcia into the left-field bleachers. Bryant finished with three hits and a triple shy of the cycle and now has an extra-base hit in five straight games.
Firepower:Albert Almora Jr. and Zobrist both singled to start the third, and one out later, both scored on Baez's 10th home run. Baez didn't reach 10 homers last season until June 13. The ball traveled 411 feet to straightaway center, according to Statcast™. Baez now has a National League-leading 32 RBIs.
Happ is the first Cubs switch-hitter to homer from both sides of the plate since Dioner Navarro did so on May 29, 2013, against the White Sox.
Bryant's homer was the first with a runner on base since April 20, ending a string of 13 consecutive solo home runs.
Baez had to leave the game in the top of the seventh because of tightness in his right groin. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
"When I went out there, he didn't say specifically where [he was hurt], he just said it was tight," Maddon said. "There was no sense to leave him in the game right there." More >
HE SAID IT
"Happ's got all kinds of tools. He's dripping with ability. He's one of the best throwing arms we have. If you had a contest from center field and put a gun out there, he might win it. Speed wise, he might clock as the fastest guy on the team. If you did a little home run derby before the game, he'd probably hit the ball farther than anyone else. His exit velocity might be as good as anybody else's. He can play the infield and the outfield and he's a switch-hitter and he's very bright. He's really a great conversation and he loves wine. There's really nothing to not like about this guy." -- Maddon on Happ
Yu Darvish was scheduled to start on Tuesday, but he was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday, with a flu-like virus. The Cubs may call up right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng from Triple-A Iowa or they could go with a bullpen day. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field. Opening Day starter Jose Urena gets the nod for the Marlins.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.