Rapid Reaction: Cubs 17, Cardinals 5

May, 12, 2014
May 12
10:30
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 17-5 on Monday night to take the first game of the four-game series. Here’s a quick look:

How it happened: The Cubs jumped all over Cardinals starter Tyler Lyons, putting up four runs in the first inning and three in the second. The two big blows were home runs by Mike Olt and Junior Lake. Starlin Castro added an RBI triple in the first, when the Cubs recorded a single, a double, a triple and a homer within their first five batters. St. Louis scored two in the second as Lake saw a ball get under his glove and roll to the wall to bring in an unearned run. But he added an RBI double in the fourth as the Cubs extended their lead to 9-2. The Cardinals came back with three runs after Travis Wood hit two batters in the bottom of the fifth. An Anthony Rizzo sacrifice fly in the sixth and Castro double extended the lead once again. Chicago added six more in the ninth on RBIs by Nate Schierholtz, Darwin Barney, Rizzo, Castro and Lake, who doubled home two more.

Infielder Daniel Descalso finished the game on the mound for St. Louis, getting Olt to fly out to end the Cubs' ninth.

Season highs: The Cubs hit the high-water mark for hits (20) and runs this season, with every starter in the lineup getting at least one hit. Emilio Bonifacio was on base five times with four hits; Barney and Castro contributed three hits each. Lake’s three hits produced six RBIs, a career high.

What it means: In one of the stranger statistics you’ll see, Olt leads the team in home runs (eight) and is two RBIs behind Rizzo for the lead in that category despite a .187 batting average. He continues to impress with massive power, as his home run was hit down the line into the right-field stands. And his average is creeping in the right direction after another multihit game, something that’s eluded him most of the season.

Lake can look brutal at the plate at times, but Monday wasn’t one of them. He got a runner over to third with a ground ball in the first inning, hit a home run in the second, doubled home another run in the fourth and blooped one down the right-field line in the ninth. His fielding is still an issue, but his night at the plate made up for it.

Four of the Cubs' 13 wins have come against the Cardinals.

Injury updates: Pitcher Jose Veras continues his rehab stint at Double-A Tennessee as he recovers from an oblique strain. ... Outfielder Justin Ruggiano is “getting close” to a rehab assignment. He has a strained hamstring. ... Manager Rick Renteria says Ryan Sweeney is also progressing with his hamstring ailment but there’s no timetable for his return.

What’s next: Game 2 takes place Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. when Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.89) faces Adam Wainwright (6-2, 2.02).

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167