CHICAGO -- The Cubs won their fifth in a row on Tuesday night, romping, 10-2, over the Marlins, and it's finally starting to feel like 2016 again. Anthony Rizzo drove in four runs, including three on his 13th homer, and Jason Heyward hit a pair of RBI doubles to back
CHICAGO -- The Cubs won their fifth in a row on Tuesday night, romping, 10-2, over the Marlins, and it's finally starting to feel like 2016 again. Anthony Rizzo drove in four runs, including three on his 13th homer, and Jason Heyward hit a pair of RBI doubles to back Jacob Arrieta and power the Cubs to victory and keep pace atop the National League Central.
"We kept the line moving, drove the ball all over the place," Rizzo said of the Cubs, who outhit the Marlins, 11-3. "Like we've said, [hitting is] contagious, and once you get going, there's no slowing us down."
Arrieta survived a 34-pitch first and retired 16 in a row before he walked Christian Yelich in the sixth. The Cubs' right-hander gave up two hits over six-plus innings, departing after J.T. Realmuto's leadoff triple in the seventh.
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Marlins starter Jeff Locke did not give up a hit to a left-handed batter last week in his first start of the season. It was a different story in his second outing as Rizzo smacked his home run and Heyward hit an RBI double, both with two outs in the fifth, off the lefty. Locke, slowed at the beginning of the season because of left biceps tendinitis, took the loss, the Marlins' third in their last 10 games.
"Riz's home run was a little bit of a staggering blow," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I loved our approach."
Rizzo entered the game 10-for-26 against Locke with four home runs. He picked up No. 5 after Jonathan Jay and Kristopher Bryant walked with two outs in the fifth. Willson Contreras then reached on a fielding error by shortstop J.T. Riddle and scored on Heyward's double to right.
"[Locke] works on his location and his fastball plays harder than 89-91 [mph]," Rizzo said. "You have to stay with it. He left that changeup over the plate, and I didn't try to do too much with it."
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"I won't even get into that stuff. No excuses," Locke said of a questionable call during the walk to Jay. "You've just got to do a better job of making pitches when you have to make them. That's the bottom line really. It always falls back on the starter in my eyes. You've always got to do a better job handing the ball off to the 'pen."
The Cubs scored a season-high six runs in the seventh inning, which included an RBI single by Rizzo. His four RBIs matched his season high; he also drove in four on April 26 against the Pirates. Rizzo then tallied on Heyward's second double of the game for a 6-2 lead. Javier Baez and Jay each added two-run doubles in the inning.
The Cubs' winning streak is a positive sign after they went 0-6 on a West Coast trip.
"The feeling is a little different in the dugout," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Since we've been back home, the guys are starting to feel it more and it's more reminiscent of the last two years and it's a good thing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
First things first: Arrieta struck out Dee Gordon to start the game, but then Giancarlo Stanton singled and Yelich and Marcell Ozuna walked to load the bases. Stanton scored when Realmuto hit a potential double-play ball, but the Cubs only got the force at second base. Arrieta now has a 8.25 ERA in the first inning, giving up 11 earned runs over 12 games.
"Guys had good at-bats, laid off some tough pitches and then he kind of settled in," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It's that first inning with a lot of pitchers, right? You got a chance to get at 'em, get to 'em and we're able to nick him for one."
After the first inning, Arrieta adjusted his approach.
"I was relying pretty much exclusively on the sinker, and I was pitching to the conditions to force some contact and let the guys play behind me," Arrieta said. More >>
Seventh-inning stretch: Realmuto tripled off Arrieta's 100th pitch of the game, launching the ball into the gap in right-center. That chased the Cubs' starter, and Realmuto then scored on a fielding error by shortstop Addison Russell, who couldn't handle Riddle's grounder. Pedro Strop got Tyler Moore to hit a comebacker, and the Cubs' reliever started a 1-4-3 double play. Pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich then doubled but was stranded when pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki struck out.
"You look at the final score and see it's a lopsided victory, but not when Strop was in that game," Maddon said. "What he did was outstanding."
The three hits allowed in the game by the Cubs was a season low.
"There's tons of pitches that are close. They're all close. They're all to the catcher. Yeah, you know you've got to bear down, make better pitches. That's the name of the game. Even when we did put Jay on right there, we've got a chance to come back and get the next guy. We didn't do that, so then we've got a chance to get the next guy. All of that with two outs. That's unacceptable of course on my part." -- Locke, on the Cubs' two-out rally in the fifth
Marlins: Right-hander Jose Urena (3-2, 3.80 ERA) will get the ball Wednesday to close out the series at 8:05 p.m. ET. Urena has struggled in his last three starts, giving up 13 runs and five home runs in 14 1/3 innings. However, in his first three starts this year, he held a 1.53 ERA and lasted into the sixth inning in all three outings.
Cubs:John Lackey will close the three-game series against the Marlins on Wednesday. In his last outing against the Cardinals, the right-hander gave up four hits, but none over his final five innings. The key? He threw less strikes and hoped the Cardinals would swing at pitches outside the zone. They did. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field.
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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Marlins on Tuesday.