Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Phillies 3

April, 6, 2014
Apr 6
4:57
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs avoided being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday with an 8-3 win at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: After getting shut out for the second time in their first five games on Saturday, the Cubs wasted no time getting on the board Sunday. The Cubs drew three walks in the first, Ryan Kalish drove in a run on a triple off the wall in right-center and Starlin Castro drove in another with a double over the head of Dominic Brown. Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney each added run-scoring sacrifice flies to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead after one. Kalish reached base four times on the day with two walks, and in addition to his first-inning triple, added a two-RBI double in a four-run sixth. Carlos Villanueva allowed just one run in five innings and the bullpen backed him up the rest of the way.

What it means: The Cubs' early-season trend of getting solid starting pitching continued with Villanueva's performance dropping the Cubs starters' ERA to 1.93. The bullpen has had some shaky moments early, particularly closer Jose Veras, who walked four in 2/3 of an inning Sunday. But the trio of setup men, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon, haven't allowed a run yet in 11 innings this year, with Rondon working two scoreless innings on Sunday and Strop working 1/3 after Veras failed to finish the ninth..

Outside the box: While hitting with runners in scoring position is certainly a plus (they went 4-for-7 on the day), the Cubs showed that patience and power can go a long way as well, drawing seven walks and clubbing three extra-base hits a day after having only one of each.

Up next: After a day off in Chicago on Monday, the Cubs start a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. Edwin Jackson and Charlie Morton face off for the second time early in the season as the Cubs try to put together their first win streak of the year.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jake Arrieta
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.53 167 156
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .292
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167