CHICAGO -- It's only three games, but Daniel Murphy (Murph) is definitely making an impact.Murphy smacked a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning on Friday, but the Cubs needed a walk-off blast by rookie David Bote (Boat) in the 10th to beat the Reds, 3-2, at Wrigley Field and open
CHICAGO -- It's only three games, but Daniel Murphy (Murph) is definitely making an impact.
Murphy smacked a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning on Friday, but the Cubs needed a walk-off blast by rookie David Bote (Boat) in the 10th to beat the Reds, 3-2, at Wrigley Field and open Players' Weekend.
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"A professional hitter right there -- he did not miss his pitch when he saw it," Cubs manager Joe Maddon (Pino) said of Murphy.
In three games since the Cubs acquired the veteran infielder from the Nationals, Murphy is 6-for-14 with three runs. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games.
"It's three games, but we know the kind of hitter he is," teammate Benjamin Zobrist (Zorilla) said. "What he did today, hitting a home run off Jared Hughes (Robot) in a key situation to get us the lead in the eighth, he's a difference-maker in the lineup. I think he's going to make a huge difference down the stretch."
With the game tied at 1 in the Cubs' eighth, Murphy launched the first pitch he saw from Hughes -- a fastball -- into the right-field bleachers for his first homer with the team.
With the win, the Cubs are 3-0 with Murphy at the top of the lineup. Chicago had scored five runs in five games before his debut. In three games since, the club has totaled 18 runs.
"We have all the pieces that we need," Zobrist said. "We just have to keep grinding and keep playing together. It could be any different guy on any different night."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.