How it happened: The Cubs got to Tanaka as the rains fell in the third and fourth innings. Emilio Bonifacio singled home John Baker -- who had singled to open the third -- for the game’s first run. One inning later, Mike Olt singled home Luis Valbuena for a 2-0 lead. The Yankees cut that in half when Mark Teixeira brought home Brett Gardner with a base hit in the sixth. But the Cubs responded in the bottom of the inning, when Olt plated Valbuena with a sacrifice fly after Valbuena opened the inning with a base hit. Baker followed with a sac fly, as well. Starlin Castro added an RBI single in the seventh, then Olt walked with the bases loaded for his third run driven in on the night. Meanwhile, Cubs starter Jason Hammel was mowing down the Yankees. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up just four hits and one run while striking out six and collecting the win. The Cubs bullpen finished the deal as five relievers shut down New York. Valbuena was 3-for-3 off Tanaka, while Baker had two hits and that sacrifice fly.
What it means: It was nothing less than stunning to see the Cubs hit Tanaka as hard as they did. Maybe the rain had something to do with it, maybe not. But there is no other way to analyze the game than to say the Cubs had one of their best hitting nights off one of the best pitchers in the game. And players that had struggled against Tanaka last month in New York -- Valbuena, Olt and Baker -- led the way. Hammel outpitched Tanaka and the Cubs gained a lot of confidence at the plate. It might be their best win of the season, considering the opponent on the mound.
Tanaka’s night: He lost in the regular season for the first time in 43 starts, going a season-low six innings. The Cubs tied a season high for any opponent against Tanaka this year, notching eight hits and three earned runs off of him. Valbuena, Olt and Baker were a combined 0-for-9 with six strikeouts when they faced Tanaka in April. On Tuesday against Tanaka, they were 6-for-7 with one strikeout and three RBIs.
Injury update: Justin Ruggiano continues his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa as he recovers from a hamstring injury. ... Cubs manager Rick Renteria said pitcher Pedro Strop is progressing from his groin issue.