Cubs outfield makes home run history in romp over Reds
The Cubs' offense has been sputtering for most of the season.
But when that power switch gets flipped, the results can still light up a stadium.
The Cubs made history on Sunday in Cincinnati. According to multiple stat services, this was the first time a team had all three outfielders hit multiple home runs in the same game. Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward all went yard twice as the Cubs closed out the four-game series with a 10-1 victory.
"This game's been going on for a while so it's pretty rare to have a first," Happ said. "And to be able to do that as a group with two other guys you care about a lot, who you've played with a long time, that was really special for all of us."
There was some bad news Sunday. Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood left the game in the third inning with right elbow discomfort. Manager David Ross said Chatwood will be checked out on Monday.
On the other hand, the Cubs do have left-hander Jose Quintana ready to step into the rotation if Chatwood goes back on the injured list. Quintana struck out six in 3 innings on Sunday and gave up a home run to Joey Votto for the Reds' only run.
The game was scoreless headed into the fourth inning. At that point, Reds starter Luis Castillo had allowed just 1 home run in 35 innings on the season.
Then Schwarber and Heyward launched solo home runs in a span of seven pitches. Happ touched Castillo for a 2-run homer in the fifth, Heyward went deep again in the sixth off reliever Robert Stephenson, then Happ led off the seventh with his second homer.
After Cincinnati pitcher Jose DeLeon walked the bases loaded in the ninth, Schwarber capped it off with a grand slam. It was the longest (444 feet) and highest exit velocity (113.3) of any of his 9 home runs this season.
"To be a part of history, that's awesome," Heyward said. "The fact that Happer went to school at Cincinnati, Schwarby being from here, there's also a lot of cool irony in that. We've been grinding it out, so it's nice to get some results."
Happ, who shares the team home run lead with Schwarber at 9, is a Pittsburgh native who played at the University of Cincinnati. Schwarber grew up north of the city in Middletown, Ohio.
Happ (. 294) and Heyward (. 286) rank 1-2 on the team in batting average and have been the two consistent hitters in a sea of slumps.
"Those two guys right now, they're consistent staples in the lineup, putting up great at bats," Schwarber said. "JayHey having professional at bat after professional at bat. They're setting an example for all of us to follow."
When the score was 6-1 in the seventh, second baseman Nico Hoerner made a diving catch in the grass of a line drive hit by Nick Castellanos.
With no game on Monday, Ross will get a better idea of Chatwood's status and the state of the pitching rotation.
"It was so nice to have Q back there on the back end of that and that we could stretch him out a little bit more," Ross said.
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