Breakthrough effort for Cubs, Stewart

May, 28, 2012
5/28/12
6:08
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Chicago Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart's slump and that of the Cubs’ offense really mirrored each other over the past two weeks of losing baseball. Stewart, who broke out of a 3-for-22 skid with a home run and three RBIs on Monday, believes this could be the start of a solid offensive output for the Cubs.

“It’s hard to describe what a losing streak like that feels like,” Stewart said after the Cubs’ 11-7 win over the San Diego Padres. “To an extent you just feel like you are going to lose and it is tough. Today was a big day for us and a lot of guys broke out. Hopefully that continues.”

[+] EnlargeIan Stewart
AP Photo/Brian KerseyIan Stewart follows through on his two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Stewart was benched for portions of the previous road trip due to a lack of making hard contact at the plate.

“You just continue to put the work in and hope the results will come out on the field,” he said. “[Cubs hitting coach] Rudy [Jaramillo] and [manager] Dale [Sveum] have been great with me and patient and that is all you can ask for from them.”

During an injury-plagued 2011 season Stewart never got going, hitting just .156 and spending 48 games in the minor leagues. All of that preceded him coming to the Cubs in a deal that sent former No.1 pick Tyler Colvin and D.J. LaMahieu to Colorado during the winter.

“I was talking with [Bryan] LaHair after the game and if this is any indication of how Wrigley Field plays during the summer, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Cubs hit four home runs in their 14-hit explosion on Monday, the most they have hit in one game since August 29, 2011 versus San Francisco (also 4.) Stewart’s home run came on the 10th pitch of his fourth-inning at-bat against Jeff Suppan.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .283
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 58
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .912
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104