PHOENIX (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have come out slugging this season and the hits kept coming Thursday night. Only a scary outfield collision marred the show.
Anthony Rizzo matched his career high with six RBIs and the Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 14-6.READ MORE: Woman Critical, 1 of 6 People Wounded In Lawndale Mass Shooting
Kyle Schwarber injured his left leg in the second inning when he collided with Dexter Fowler, a play that resulted in an inside-the-park home run for Arizona’s Jean Segura.
Segura also started the game with a homer. He is the eighth player in major league history to lead off with a home run and hit an inside-the-park homer in the same game.
John Lackey (1-0) gave up six runs on eight hits over six innings in his Cubs debut, but got the win thanks to a five-run Chicago fourth inning. The Cubs opened the season with three straight road wins for the first time since 1988 and have scored 29 runs in the process.
“We played really well again tonight,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “We worked great at-bats. You look at the numbers and the hits but it’s because the at-bats are being worked so well. We’re not chasing out of the zone. We’re making pitchers come over the plate, up and down the lineup and that’s the beauty of the whole group right now.”
Rizzo had a three-run homer, two-run triple and RBI single. He had six RBIs in a game twice before, the last time on the same field on May 23, 2015.
The Diamondbacks were up 3-0, 4-2 and 6-4 but starter Rubby De La Rosa (0-1) couldn’t hold the leads. The right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs and six hits.
With two outs in the second, Segura hit one to deep left-center, Schwarber converging on it on the run from left field and Fowler from center.
“It had bad things written all over it,” Maddon said. “The guy hits the ball in the one spot that we can’t cover. … I’d just rather see the ball go over the fence right there. We’d have been fine.”
The outfielders came together on the warning track, in front of the 413-foot sign, their legs tangled as the ball rolled away. Schwarber, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft and Chicago’s backup catcher, stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped to his feet and taken from the field in a cart.
The Cubs said X-rays were negative for any fracture but an MRI was scheduled for Friday. Schwarber said his knee and ankle were “tight and sore.”
“Can’t get mad about playing hard and getting hurt,” he said. “Rather play hard and get hurt than play not hard and not get hurt.”
Segura raced around the bases for the 11th inside-the-park homer in franchise history. It was the first inside-the-park home run in Segura’s career and his second two-homer game.READ MORE: Young Woman, 18, Dies After Being Shot In West Elsdon
Lackey, who signed a two-year, $32 million contract in the offseason, threw three scoreless innings after Arizona took a 6-4 lead in the third.
“I kept giving the lead back the first couple of innings, so it wasn’t ideal,” he said, “but then finally started mixing some things up and started to get a groove later on in the game. You definitely know with our offense you don’t have to be perfect, but I’d like to be better than that.”
Arizona pitchers walked 10 batters, one shy of the club record.
“For me as manager and our coaching staff it was embarrassing. That is the easiest way to put it,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “We made some gaffes on defense that we worked so hard in spring training and we are close enough to spring training were we shouldn’t make those mistakes.”
The last player to hit a leadoff home run and later in the game an inside-the-park homer was Hanley Ramirez for the Florida Marlins against Cincinnati on Sept. 27, 2006.
Among the eight players who have done it was Casey Stengel for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves on May 1, 1913.
In the first four games of the season, Arizona starters have some shaky numbers.
Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Patrick Corbin and De La Rosa combined to allow 24 runs — 23 earned — on 31 hits, including nine home runs, in 20 1-3 innings. That’s a 10.18 ERA.
The Cubs send right-hander Jason Hammel to the mound Friday night against Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray in the first start of the season for both.MORE NEWS: Chicago Fire Paramedic's Cap Grazed At Stroger Hospital; Man Killed In Shooting Nearby
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