Cubs batters went wild against Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard, and Justin Germano picked up a victory in a spot start Tuesday night.
On a night when players hugged each other in the dugout to say good-bye, there were still some celebratory hugs and handshakes on a big offensive night as the Cubs crushed the Pirates 14-4 at Wrigley Field.
Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer in as many games, giving him 8 for the year. Starlin Castro equaled his career high with his 10th homer. And second baseman Darwin Barney was a double shy of the cycle. He crushed a 3-run homer in the fourth inning.
The Cubs sent 12 men to the plate in the fifth as they scored 9 runs.
Germano, starting in place of the injured Matt Garza, evened his record at 1-1 as he worked 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs.
"I felt pretty good," Germano said. "(I) hadn't really thrown in a month or so. To be able to get out there and make another start and throw 5 innings was nice ... I'll take that run support any day. "
Starlin Castro also fell a hit shy of the cycle, with a double, single and a homer.
The Cubs improved to 43-58, and they're 19-10 since June 25.
Garza throws in pen:
Matt Garza threw a bullpen session Monday as he recovers from right-triceps cramping. He has not pitched since July 21.
"It went extremely well, better than I imagined," said manager Dale Sveum. "It was just a normal bullpen. He threw all his pitches. Velocity, extended (himself) to the slider, curveball, changeup. It went extremely, extremely well."
The Cubs hope to have Garza pitch this coming weekend at Los Angeles.
"Not a certain game, but we'll see how he feels in the morning or tomorrow afternoon at the same time and hopefully we can schedule him in three, four, five days," Sveum said.
Getting LaHair going:
Right fielder Bryan LaHair was not in the lineup because the Pirates started a left-handed pitcher. However, LaHair has been slumping against just about everybody lately.
He has not homered since July 4, and he is 0-for-15 in his last five games.
"He's obviously in a tough period right now," said Dale Sveum. "Two months of some struggles here. We've got to get him going. We've got to get that bat going somehow whether it's the confidence but obviously we've got to get some production out of that position."