"We come in positive every day," he said.
This time, there was reason to feel that way.
Lake knocked in a career-high six runs and Chicago set season highs
for hits and runs in a 17-5 pounding of the St. Louis Cardinals at
sold-out Busch Stadium.
Center fielder Emilio Bonifacio became the first Cub since Jody
Davis in 1987 to score five runs in a game, and he banged out four
of the team's 20 hits. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop
Starlin Castro tacked on three RBIs apiece.
Even second baseman Darwin Barney, who entered the evening hitting a
measly .153, joined the fun with three hits, two runs and an RBI.
All this from an Chicago team that managed only four runs while
getting swept over the weekend at Atlanta. The Cubs began play
Monday night averaging 3.7 runs per game.
"We started early and kept chipping away," Chicago manager Rick
Renteria said. "We worked our at-bats and got pitches we could
handle. Our situational hitting today took a step up. We did a nice
job of capitalizing on opportunities."
The Cubs hit for the cycle in the game's first five batters while
grabbing a 4-0 advantage, capping it with a two-run homer from third
baseman Mike Olt, his eighth of the season.
Lake rifled a three-run shot to left in the second for a 7-0 lead,
and Chicago added two more runs in the fourth off starter Tyler
Lyons (0-3). After pitching to a respectable 3.43 ERA in his first
five outings, including three starts, Lyons was torched for nine
hits and nine runs in four long innings.
"I felt really good the first two innings, better than I felt the
last two," he said. "I put some balls on the corners, but I got some
up a bit and they made me pay for them. The results just weren't
St. Louis (19-20), which finished a grueling stretch of 26 road
games in its first 38 contests with a 6-5 win late Sunday night in
Pittsburgh, started a 10-game homestand with an emphatic thud.
Catcher Yadier Molina supplied a couple of hits and an RBI, plus a
surprise steal of third when Chicago starter Travis Wood was caught
unaware. However, the Cardinals' only other highlight might have
come when utility man Daniel Descalso relieved Randy Choate at the
end of a six-run ninth inning and retired Olt on a second-pitch fly
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"It was an interesting thing," Olt said of facing a position player.
"You never know what's going to happen. It's what makes baseball
Wood (3-4) picked up his second win of the month over the Cardinals
despite allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits over six
innings. He walked three, whiffed four and hit two batters.
However, with an offense inflicting the team's biggest pounding of
St. Louis pitching since a 19-4 shellacking 40 years ago, Wood had
plenty of room for error.
"It's what we needed," Lake said. "Everyone made adjustments."
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Joe Kelly played long toss in the outfield
Monday, but he is still behind schedule in his rehab of a hamstring
injury that occurred in mid-April. It is not known when Kelly will
be able to start a rehab assignment. ... Chicago starting pitchers
have notched 21 quality starts (six innings, three earned runs or
fewer) in 37 games, but the team is only 7-14 in those contests. ...
Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) made a rehab start for
Triple-A Memphis on Monday night against Round Rock. Garcia threw 74
pitches over five innings, allowing three hits and two runs while
walking two and fanning five.
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