CHICAGO -- Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo entered Wednesday struggling at the plate. Kristopher Bryant started the day one home run short of a milestone.It didn't take long for everything to flip on a day when Albert Almora Jr. predicted big things would happen.Russell, Rizzo and Bryant all homered --
CHICAGO -- Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo entered Wednesday struggling at the plate. Kristopher Bryant started the day one home run short of a milestone.
It didn't take long for everything to flip on a day when Albert Almora Jr. predicted big things would happen.
Russell, Rizzo and Bryant all homered -- including the 100th of Bryant's career -- as the Cubs completed the sweep of the Marlins with a 13-4 win at Wrigley Field. Rizzo sparked the hits parade, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
"We had a great day. We had a lot of fun out there," said Almora, one of four Cubs players who finished with three hits. "Hitting is contagious, and once guys start rolling, you see hits falling. It might not be pretty, but they fall."
Bryant homered off of Wei-Yin Chen in his first at-bat and became the fastest player in Cubs history to reach the century mark. The homer also came on the third anniversary of Bryant's first Major League homer, which he hit against the Brewers on May 9, 2015, in Milwaukee.
"Tough to put into words," Bryant said of reaching the milestone. "It's obviously pretty cool. ... It feels really good. Any time you accomplish something -- I don't even know how many people have done it before -- I just feel really dang happy I got there."
The Cubs broke the game open in the third inning, when they scored eight times and batted around. After Russell led off the inning with a double, Bryant followed with an RBI double before Javier Baez delivered an RBI single and Rizzo drove a three-run homer into the right-field bleachers.
Willson Contreras tripled and then scored on a sacrifice fly by David Bote before Russell homered in his second at-bat of the inning to finish off the scoring barrage.
Rizzo drove in his fourth run of the day in the fourth inning with an RBI double before he delivered another in the sixth inning and then scored on Contreras' double off the center-field wall. Contreras added his second triple of the day in the eighth inning and scored on Bote's infield single.
But as much as the Cubs scored on Wednesday, manager Joe Maddon is still looking for a more consistent offensive effort.
"We need to get going on the offensive side," Maddon said. "[It was] nice to find the barrel. We need to start finding the barrel a little bit more. ... That's what you're looking for."
That was more than enough for Cubs starter Jose Quintana, who pitched six innings of one-run ball while striking out five and walking two. Quintana allowed his lone run on a Justin Bour groundout that scored Brian Anderson, who led off the fourth inning with a triple.
Justin Hancock made his Major League debut in the seventh inning after the Cubs purchased his contract from Triple-A Iowa. Hancock promptly struck out the first hitter he faced before allowing a two-out, two-run homer to Miguel Rojas.
Mark Zagunis also reached a career milestone, recording his first MLB hit in the seventh inning in his 2018 debut.
With his two triples Wednesday, Contreras became the first catcher to triple multiple times in a game since the Padres' Nick Hundley did so on Aug. 16, 2011, against the Mets. The last Cubs catcher to accomplish the feat was Steve Swisher, who did it against the Reds on Aug. 11, 1976.
HE SAID IT
"Our fans are riding the roller coaster with us. The highs seem to be much more exaggerated and the lows, the same thing. But just as baseball players, we're always taught to level those things out as much as possible." -- Bryant, on staying even-keeled after following up a five-game losing streak with three straight victories
Following an off-day on Thursday, right-hander Tyler Chatwood takes the mound against the crosstown-rival White Sox in the first game of a three-game weekend set at Wrigley Field on Friday. First pitch is set for 1:20 CT. Chatwood, who won two straight games before a no-decision in his last start, will face Carson Fulmer.
Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.