Before Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cubs manager Dale Sveum noted that "3-run homers win games."
Grand slams aren't so bad, either.
The Cubs hit them in all shapes and sizes in their 7-2 victory over the D'Backs at Wrigley Field before a season-low crowd of 24,645.
The grand slam came from right fielder Scott Hairston, highlighting a 5-run third inning. Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-run homer in the first, and Cody Ransom added a solo shot in the third.
The power surge gave starting pitcher Matt Garza his first victory of the season. It was the Cubs' fifth win in a row, and they've outscored their opponents 36-12 in the five games.
"Like I said, that's how you score -- all the runs were on homers," said Sveum, whose team improved to 23-30.
For the season, the Cubs have a plus-11 run differential, having outscored their opponents 221-210.
"We're playing catch-up to everyone else, but the fact of the matter is, it's still a long season," Sveum said. "You've seen it before, when teams can win 15 in a row, 14 out of 16, and all of a sudden, before you know it, you're right back in and starting to have a lot of fun."
Things hadn't been much fun for Hairston, who has a hitting line of .162/.189/.368. But the grand slam helped the Cubs bust open the game against D'Backs lefty Wade Miley, giving Hairston 4 homers and 12 RBI.
The homer was the second grand slam in two days for the Cubs -- pitcher Travis Wood hit one Thursday -- and it was Hairston's first grand slam since he hit one at Wrigley Field last June 27 as a member of the Mets.
"You try not to get too excited in that situation," he said. "But the wind was blowing out. I told myself not to get cheated. I might have had a different swing if there were two outs. But there was one out, so knew I had a little room. If I just missed it, maybe get a sac fly, but I'm glad I was able to hit that one out."
Hairston helped Garza with a nice catch in the vines in the first inning as he tracked down Paul Goldschmidt's flyball. Center fielder David DeJesus and second baseman Darwin Barney also threw some leather.
For Garza, he won in his 2013 Wrigley Field debut, and it was his first victory since he beat the Diamondbacks on July 15 at Wrigley. Elbow problems ended his 2012 season, and a lat-muscle strain delayed the start of Garza's 2013.
"I was more pumped about going deep," said Garza, who went 7 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. "I wanted to keep going, but Skip (Sveum) had another plan and it worked in our favor. But I'm pumped to get it out of the way. I'm just glad I kept this thing rolling."
Garza is a big part of the spirit of the ballclub. He may or may not last the season if the Cubs decide to trade him. He's seen more losing than winning, but the attitude usually has been pretty good inside the clubhouse.
"You got to keep it loose," he said. "You can't play tight. Shoot, I've been here for three years. Last year was the toughest one with the injury and not doing well at all. Let the guys play and let them play without the added pressure of, 'We got to do this.' No, you just go out there and play, and at the end of nine, we'll find out how it's working. If it's not working, find a way to fix it.
"We're playing well right now. Like I said last year, guys are going to grow. You're seeing growth before your eyes when you watch us. It's fun to watch and fun to just enjoy it when I'm not throwing."
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