How it happened: The Cubs hit a season-high five home runs led by Alfonso Soriano's two blasts. He and Anthony Rizzo went back-to-back in the first inning then Starlin Castro hit a solo shot in the third followed by a Darwin Barney three-run blast in the sixth chasing starter Joe Blanton. Finally, Soriano went deep again in the seventh. All-Star Travis Wood was great, throwing another quality start. He tired in the seventh when he gave up a two-run home run to Albert Pujols.
What it means: The game was a reminder of what the Cubs envisioned out of its core players when they broke spring training. Their middle of the lineup produced as did .220 hitter Barney. Soriano is as hot as anyone in the league right now, going 18 for his last 45, including eight home runs, which means the phones might start ringing more in the front office from other teams looking for his services. The Cubs couldn’t have planned his hot streak any better. Wood showed no signs of slowing down in his first start since being named an All-Star for the first time in his young career.
Outside the box: First-round pick of 2012, Albert Almora, took in the game with his parents as his Kane County Cougars had the day off. ... Catcher Welington Castillo was given a second straight night off as he recovers from some dehydration issues. Outfielder Brian Bogusevic should be available to start by Thursday’s game against St. Louis. He’s been suffering from a hamstring injury.