Barney, Olt break out in sweep of Red Sox

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
12:35
AM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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BOSTON -- It all came together in one evening for the Chicago Cubs on offense, especially for a couple of struggling players.

Darwin Barney nearly hit for the cycle and Mike Olt had a rare two-hit game as the Cubs swept the defending world champs with a 16-9 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

[+] EnlargeDarwin Barney
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsDarwin Barney exploded for four hits Wednesday in Boston and came up a home run shy of completing the cycle.
“It’s always an amazing atmosphere here,” Barney said afterward. “It’s fun to take the series the way we did.”

Barney went 4-for-4 with a triple, single and double in his first three at-bats. He came up in the top of the ninth facing Junichi Tazawa needing a home run for the cycle, but instead singled to drive in a run.

“Everyone on our side kind of knew what was going on,” Barney said. “I was happy to get a knock there. It’s a tough guy to [take out] when you’re thinking you want to elevate something.”

For Barney and Olt, playing time and offensive success have been sparse. Going 2-for-5 without a strikeout is a victory these days for Cubs third baseman Olt.

“When I wasn’t playing, I was working hard,” he said. “We started to figure things out and get back to basics again.”

It’s hard to say whether a night when he homered over the Green Monster will jump-start a season during which he has already had several starts and stops.

[+] EnlargeMike Olt
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsIn his first start since May 12, Mike Olt enjoyed a 2-for-5 outing, with a dinger over the Green Monster and nary a strikeout.
But the same can be said of the Cubs, who pulled off the unthinkable sweep.

“They feel good about it,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.

There haven’t been many happy days for the Cubs this season, but these three in Boston is a highlight for the team and individuals.

Barney, in particular, is getting more playing time and feeling better about his game.

“It’s nice to get back into that routine,” he said. “You know what you’re up against. That’s baseball. Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty good.”

And so are the Cubs.

Barney said he’ll savor the night, as did Olt. Great outings may be difficult to come by, but they’re easy to remember.

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

WINS LEADER
Jake Arrieta
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.65 157 149
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .292
HRA. Rizzo 31
RBIA. Rizzo 74
RA. Rizzo 85
OPSA. Rizzo .900
ERAT. Wood 4.86
SOJ. Arrieta 157