It wasn’t quite the offensive explosion that Chicago Cubs fans are used to, but the team was still able to generate eight runs of offense in a blowout win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
The win puts the games just a half-game behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the top wild card spot in the National League, but they remain two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in Central Division.
Kyle Schwarber continued his torrid stretch of play, blasting his 37th home run of the season in the game. Nicholas Castellanos hit his 55th double of the season, driving in a pair of runs, and Ben Zobrist collected a pair of hits as he continues to thrive in the lead-off spot.
The win ensures the Cubs will have their fifth straight winning season as they collected their 82nd win of the season.
The Cubs got off to a quick start in the game as Schwarber lofted a home run over the center field wall, putting Chicago in front by a 3-0 margin.
Cole Hamels struggled in his outing, and the Reds were able to climb back within one run as he was chased from the game in the fourth inning.
The Cubs’ bats came roaring back to life in the sixth inning, as Jason Heyward smacked an RBI double to center field, scoring Willson Contreras and making it a 4-2 game. Zobrist followed that with an RBI single to left, giving the Cubs a 5-2 cushion.
The Cubs added to that lead in the eighth inning after Heyward scored on a Reds error, and then Castellanos drove in two runs with a double into the left-center field gap to extend Chicago’s lead to six runs.
Kyle Ryan had an eventful ninth inning, allowing a pair of base hits and walking Eugenio Suarez to load the bases. David Phelps was brought into the game, inducing a fielder's choice to finish off the contest.
The Cubs will go for their sixth straight win on Tuesday night when they take on the Reds