Back-to-back homers from Russell, Schwarber lift Cubs past Rockies 7-5

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell, right, celebrates with third base coach Gary Jones after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell, right, celebrates with third base coach Gary Jones after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist (18) celebrates with Kris Bryant, left, and Anthony Rizzo after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist (18) celebrates with Kris Bryant, left, and Anthony Rizzo after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
By Russell Dorsey
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 6/11/2017 10:55 PM

The Chicago Cubs have needed a jolt to get them out of the latest offensive funk they've been in the past week -- a big inning, a hit barrage, a big home run, anything.

They got all of that and more Sunday in their 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.

 

Things didn't look good for the Cubs after the team gave up their early 4-0 lead and wasted a golden opportunity, failing to score with runners at the corners and no outs in the fourth inning. They started to resemble the same team that came in losers of four straight.

After the Cubs wasted that opportunity, Colorado took advantage of starting pitcher Jake Arrieta's control issues in the fifth inning.

Arrieta's command was fine through his first 4 innings as he pounded the strike zone and limited baserunners, but a lack of command soon cost Arrieta in the fifth.

After allowing a leadoff double, he walked two and hit a batter, loading the bases twice. Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds laced an RBI single to left, making it 4-2 and ending Arrieta's day.

"Zobrist with the big homer, obviously feeling good about the lead at that point, cruising to the fifth. I've had this lingering cut, that's almost closed, it just got to a point where it was really sensitive out there in the fifth," Arrieta said. "The friction between my finger and the ball every pitch got to a point where I wasn't able to execute the way I would like."

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The Rockies' Ian Desmond promptly welcomed reliever Carl Edwards with a 2-run single up the middle to tie it at 4-4. Arrieta's final numbers were 4 runs in 4⅓ innings, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and a no-decision.

"When you have a lead like that, you don't want to relinquish the lead. That's always in my mind, even though it was early in the game. The best guy to get a strikeout there was CJ. Period," Cubs manager Joe Maddon of going to Edwards. "He pitched well. Groundball basehit, there's not a thing you can do about that. He just got the ball in as opposed to away, but he did great."

The Cubs needed someone to step up, and shortstop Addison Russell did just that, coming up with what likely was his biggest swing of the season. Russell lined a solo home run into the basket in left to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.

Pinch hitter Kyle Schwarber followed, crushing a mammoth solo homer to the bleachers in right that eventually would be the game-winner.

"As a hitter you're just trying to get a good pitch to hit and like you saw in the first inning, the guy left some pitches over the plate and we put good swings on them," Schwarber said. "Same thing with me and Addi. He got the hanging breaking ball, and I was able to get a heater down and in. We're going to take this as a positive."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Catcher Miguel Montero added his fourth home run of the season in the eighth to make it 7-4.

The Cubs' offense, which had been quiet, showed signs of life Sunday, including their 4-run first inning in which they sent eight men to the plate.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo's RBI double put the Cubs in front 1-0. Left fielder Ben Zobrist capped the inning with a 3-run shot to the patio in right field.

The Rockies wouldn't have another baserunner after their 4-run fifth until the ninth as they added a run off closer Wade Davis before Davis completed his 13th save in as many opportunities.

The Cubs also snapped a four-game losing streak and moved back to .500 at 31-31. They are 26-10 when scoring 4 or more runs.

The victory also ended the Rockies' seven-game winning streak.

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