CHICAGO (AP) — Ryan Sweeney had a career-high six RBIs, including a three-run homer, and the Chicago Cubs routed the Houston Astros 14-6 on Sunday.
The center fielder drove in runs in each of his first four at-bats, capping the stretch with his longball to right-center field. He also had two doubles and a run-scoring grounder in the second inning.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo added a two-run home run and finished 3 for 3 with four runs scored and four RBIs.
Chicago scored its runs and had its most hits (16) this season. All nine starters reached base for the Cubs. The Cubs’ outburst helped erase a pair of errors from shortstop Starlin Castro, who now leads the majors with 14 errors this season.
Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (5-7) won his second straight, with five strikeouts and no walks. It was his first start without yielding a walk this season. Houston pitcher Jordan Lyles (4-2) lost for the first time since May 12.
Houston first baseman Chris Carter finished with a career-high three doubles among his four hits. He drove in two runs and scored twice.
Chicago pulled away in the fifth inning with consecutive hits by Alfonso Soriano, Rizzo and Sweeney. Each scored to give Chicago an 8-3 lead. Soriano hit his first triple of the season and Rizzo then hit a looping single to shallow center field. Sweeney’s double sent Houston center fielder Justin Maxwell sprinting toward the warning track and the ball bounced off his glove. Rizzo beat the relay throw to home plate. Second baseman Darwin Barney added a two-out RBI single to score Sweeney.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve tried sparking a rally for the second straight day, this time leading off the fourth with a single. Jason Castro followed with a double and Altuve scored on J.D. Martinez’s groundout.
Carter had a run-scoring double to center field and Castro scored on Castro’s first error, a wild throw on a routine grounder by Matt Dominguez.
Chicago jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Samardzija started the inning with a single and the cubs loaded the bases on an error by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez and a walk. Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run single to get the scoring started. Rizzo followed with a sacrifice fly to right field and Sweeney doubled in two more runs.
NOTES: The Cubs are expected to make a roster move, possibly adding a position player, before Tuesday’s game against the Brewers. The Cubs currently have 13 pitchers. . Cubs manager Dale Sveum watched the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night. He said if he could live another life he would be a hockey player. “It’s such a true sport,” Sveum said. “You can’t do anything but play hard the whole game. It’s OK to be physical. It’s OK to fight.” . Houston center fielder Maxwell hit in the leadoff position for the first time this season.
(© 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)