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Schwarber: Win a 'positive step' for Cubs

Slugger pinch hits, launches homer in 6th inning
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber's Sunday workday consistent of one at-bat. It was all he needed to put his stamp on the Cubs' 7-5 win.

The slugger came in to pinch-hit after Addison Russell gave the team a one-run lead with a solo shot of his own in the sixth. Schwarber worked the count full while fouling off five pitches in the at-bat before hammering the eventual game-winning run to the back of the bleachers in right.

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CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber's Sunday workday consistent of one at-bat. It was all he needed to put his stamp on the Cubs' 7-5 win.

The slugger came in to pinch-hit after Addison Russell gave the team a one-run lead with a solo shot of his own in the sixth. Schwarber worked the count full while fouling off five pitches in the at-bat before hammering the eventual game-winning run to the back of the bleachers in right.

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"We were just trying to get a good pitch to hit," Schwarber said. "[Russell] got the hanging breaking ball, and I was able to get a heater down and in. So good at-bats, pretty much the whole day, I thought."

Video: COL@CHC: Russell cranks a solo home run in the 6th

By the time Schwarber's bat made contact, it was all over. The blast left the bat with an exit velocity of 103.9 mph, according to Statcast™, and it traveled an estimated 434 feet on its way into the stands.

The homer earned Schwarber a large cheer from the crowd and a curtain call as the Cubs went up, 6-4. They wouldn't need another run from that point on, though Miguel Montero homered in the bottom of the eighth to give the Cubs their seventh of the day.

Video: COL@CHC: Montero launches a solo shot in the 8th

"It was good. A homer's always going to be a homer," Schwarber said of the response. "[To be] in a situation like that, where you can add another insurance run on, you know it's good."

Perhaps the most promising sign, though, was for the team.

Both Russell and Schwarber entered the game with their own hitting woes, as did the Cubs' offense. During the preceding four-game losing streak, the Cubs had averaged just 2.5 runs per game. Dating back to May 26, a stretch that's seen the team go 6-10, the Cubs have been held to two or fewer runs seven times -- all losses -- while scoring more than five runs just three times.

Video: COL@CHC: Maddon on contributions from lineup, bullpen

"Our confidence has been nicked a little bit. It happens to everybody," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "But then you rebuild it by maintaining the process."

And that's exactly what the Cubs did on Sunday.

With the win, the team avoided a four-game sweep at the hand of the Rockies and picked up its pitcher, Jake Arrieta, who was dealing with a small cut on his right hand and lasted only 4 1/3 innings. And if the Cubs have their way, it'll do one more thing -- create a spark that will carry over into the upcoming road trip.

"It was a really good win," Schwarber said. "It was definitely a positive step today."

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs, Kyle Schwarber