Levine: Cubs Hitters Break Out Of Slump, Salvage Last Game Of Series

By Bruce Levine-

(CBS) The Chicago Cubs found Scott Carroll the remedy for their offensive woes on Thursday evening at U.S. Cellular Field, as the Sox journeyman starter ran into a buzzsaw.

The top of the Cubs order chipped in with five runs. The early onslaught included home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Rizzo gave the Cubs a two-run lead in their four-run second inning, and Castro went deep with a two-run homer in the fourth of an eventual 12-5 win.

Carroll was torched for five runs and five RBIs from the top five hitters in the Cubs lineup.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta had a tough time holding on to the lead, surrendering two runs in the second and two more in the fourth inning. The two teams combined for 10 runs and 18 hits in the first four frames.

“We had some good at bats in general in this game,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “Hopefully we take that approach again.”

Carroll was gone in the fifth, after giving up 11 hits in four-plus innings. Making his second start of the season, Arieta couldn’t stay around long enough to get the win, leaving after four innings and 81 pitches.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer was asked about the team’s slump and outfielder Nate Schierholtz in particular. Schierholtz was hitting .188 entering Thursday’s game.

“He will bounce back,” Hoyer said. “He never played like this in his career, and guys usually find their levels.”

Schierholtz made Hoyer look good, getting two hits, including a triple, and scoring a run in his first three at-bats.

Mike Olt put the exclamation point on the win with his first career grand slam in the eighth off of Maikel Cleto. Olt has six home runs and 16 RBIs but only 13 hits total this season.

“I still have a lot to work on,” Olt said. “I am still trying to understand myself as a hitter. It was a long month. I take a lot out of it that is positive and go from there.”

The Cubs had lost four straight games and had fallen to an NL-worst 11-21 record before Thursday’s victory.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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