The long-ball has been a major component of the Cubs’ winning streak. Alfonso Soriano has knocked in two home runs in the win streak, adding a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning of today’s contest. The other home run was a game-tying two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning in Sunday’s triumph over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park to ignite the streak.
Soriano is expected to club homers for the Cubs, but the other long-balls that were smacked by Cubs players this week have been from the most unlikely of sources.
On Wednesday, backup catcher Dioner Navarro bashed three home runs in the Cubs’ victory over the Chicago White Sox. Yesterday, Cubs’ pitcher Travis Wood hit a grand slam against their crosstown rivals. Today’s contest featured reserve Scott Hairston hitting a grand slam in the third inning while backup third baseman Cody Ransom added a solo shot of his own in the fourth.
Hairston’s homer gave the Cubs grand slams in consecutive days for the first time since 1998. Who would have thought that a starting pitcher and a backup left fielder would help the Cubs accomplish this feat that had eluded the franchise for 15 years?
The starting pitching has been brilliant throughout the win-streak. Cubs’ right-hander Matt Garza picked up his first win of the season in just his second start. Garza held the D-backs to two runs on six hits, four of which were singles, in seven innings. He was handed a seven-run lead early that he never was in danger of relinquishing.
The Cubs have now scored seven runs or more in four straight games. That’s pretty impressive for one of the worst hitting teams in MLB. If they continue to hit the ball this well, their winning ways will likely continue because of their solid starting pitching. There is no telling how long the current winning streak will last if the Cubs continue to get power surges from the likes of Navarro, Wood, Hairston and Ransom.