Cubs 14 – Astros 5

CHICAGO- If there was ever a time for the Cubs to start scoring runs at a high rate, that time was this past weekend. The Cubs took two out of three from the Houston Astros, concluding the series with a 14-6 victory on Sunday.

They scored a total of 20 runs during the three game set and boosted an offense that has been dismal for the last several weeks. Ryan Sweeney led the way on Sunday as he went 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBI’s and scored twice.

Those six RBI’s are a career high for Sweeney who doesn’t see a whole lot of playing time. Even after David DeJesus went to the disabled list, Sweeney still bides his time waiting to play on most days.

He definitely made the most of his opportunity on Sunday. Anthony Rizzo also performed well as he went 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and four runs batted in. Overall he went 4-for-7 during the series as he tries to get out of his recent slump.

Nate Schierholtz also pitched in as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s. The Cubs couldn’t have gotten a better effort from their offense as they played their final home game for the month of June.

It was especially gratifying for their pitching staff who has been sore need of run support in recent weeks. Jeff Samardzija pitched seven innings in Sunday’s big win to go with five strikeouts and no walks.

After the game the former Notre Dame football player said “Anytime I have a game with no walks, the outcome is usually pretty good. And that was the case today.”

Both Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro continue to struggle at the plate. During the Houston series, the two players hit for a combined 6-for-23 with four of those hits coming from Soriano.

After the game Dale Sveum said he didn’t plan to bench either player and he continues to hold out hope that they will get better as the season progresses. Let’s hope so because it’s almost July.

After an off day on Monday, the Cubs will embark on a nine-game road trip which will take them to Milwaukee {who is ahead of the Cubs in the National League Central standings by one game} then Seattle and Oakland for another round with the American League West.

Dale Sveum after the game commented on the upcoming road trip by saying “In Milwaukee were gonna get their three best starting pitchers. Then we get to play in ballparks where the ball really flies if you swing the bat well.”

If the Cubs are going to have any success for the rest of the season, they need to keep this momentum going. Their pitchers need to continue to give good outings but most importantly, they need their hitters to be productive.

The Cubs won’t return home until July 5th.

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