The Cubs continued their unbeaten streak with two convincing wins over the Cardinals and Diamondbacks and another win against the Pirates in Minor League play this past week.
The three wins put the Cubs atop the division with a 7-0 record, holding a one and a half-game lead over the second-place Cardinals, 6-2.
In the Cubs first win of the week, they jumped out early and scored five runs in the first inning and then watched pitchers Luke Gardner and Micah Ivens hold the Pirates in check for the 7-2 victory.
In the Cubs second win of the week, they made the most of three timely hits against the Cardinals and ended the game Friday in the fourth inning, 11-1. The Cubs’ Jackson Kahl and Sammy Bono both hit two-run doubles with the bases loaded. Michah Ivens followed Bono’s double with a two-run single when the bases were loaded for a second time in the third inning.
Kahl settled down after giving up a triple to the Cardinals’ Damon Parisi on the game’s opening pitch. He then only allowed a double to the Cardinals’ Colton Conklin in the third inning before recording a total of nine strikeouts in his complete game from the mound.
Pitching success continued later in the week for the Cubs when the pitching duo of Tyler Lamperti and Bennett Swigard combined for a no-hitter against the Diamondbacks in their 13-3 win Saturday.
The Cardinals went 2-1 in the past week to secure second place by a game over the third-place Red Sox, 5-3.
The Cardinals rebounded from their Wednesday loss to the Cubs and defeated the Diamondbacks 6-1 on Friday and followed with a 14-8 victory over the A’s on Saturday.
The Cardinals victory over the Diamondbacks was largely courtesy of the pitching duo of Dillon Kane and Sawyer Burley who only allowed one hit, a bloop single to left field in the last inning.
The Cardinals bats were led by Diego Rodriguez, Matt Tanner and Tavin Hamilton. Rodriguez and Tanner both went 2-for-3 at the plate and Hamilton led the Cardinals with 2 RBIs off of a triple that short hopped into the bottom of the center field fence.
In the Cardinals victory over the A’s, they found themselves down 5-3 in the second inning primarily due to the A’s Kate Kelly’s two-RBI double that rolled into the right center field fence. However, the Cardinals Sam Marr smacked a two-RBI double of his own in the fifth and final inning of the game to seal the 14-8 victory for his team.
The third-place Red Sox made good on both their games this past week.
The Red Sox were down 9-6 going into the fifth and final inning against the A’s before they secured their third come from behind win this season. Nathan Hurst started the Red Sox rally with a single and Tait Nicholas finished things off five batters later with the game-winning, two-RBI double Thursday.
Two days later the Red Sox decided to leave the dramatics out and led the entire game courtesy of five-runs scored in four of the six innings they played in their 21-8 win over the Pirates.
The fourth-place Diamondbacks went 1-2 in the past week to put their record at 3-5. The Diamondbacks’ lone victory was 11-2 in their favor over the Pirates in the first game of the week last Monday. The two losses were Friday and Saturday to the Cardinals and Cubs.
Diamondback pitchers Demetrius Vaille went one batter shy of a complete game against the Pirates before he maxed out on pitch count. He gave up three hits and struck out eight.
The Diamondbacks’ Alex Roberts came in to strike out the last batter in that game with six pitches. He also led his team offensively by going 2-for-2 at the plate with a two-RBI double.
The Pirates, 2-6, fell below the Diamondbacks into fifth place in the standings when they lost all four of their games this week.
The Pirates were beaten by the Diamondbacks last Monday 11-2, the Cubs on Tuesday, 7-2, the A’s on Thursday, 12-6, and the Red Sox on Saturday, 21-8.
Despite the losses, the Pirates had some shining moments during the week. Christian McCabe hit a RBI double and a two-RBI triple in back to back innings against the Red Sox. Griffin Roberts struck out eight Diamondbacks from the mound and drove in the Pirates only two runs of the game with two singles.
The past week brought the A’s, 1-8, their first win of the year. The lone victory started Saturday, May 10 but was suspended due to weather. The last half inning of the game then culminated in a 12-6 victory Thursday when A’s pitcher Cody Zachariasen kept the Pirates at bay and did not allow any base runner across the plate.
The A’s led in both their other two games during last week, but both games ended in losses.
The A’s pitcher Noah Rodarte set his team up for the win before the Red Sox rallied back Thursday from a 9-6 deficit in the final inning. He found a rhythm in the second and third inning and faced only seven batters during that stretch. He recorded four strikeouts in four innings of work.
The A’s offense put themselves in the lead against the Cardinals with a five-run second inning in Saturday’s game before the Cardinals regained the lead for good with a five-run response in the bottom of the same inning.
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