Roots of Cubs’ winning streak are pre-White Sox, Dale Sveum says
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org May 31, 2013 9:56PM
Scott Hairston, David DeJesus, Alfonso Soriano, Anthony Rizzo
DIAMONDBACKS AT CUBS
The facts: 6:15 p.m., Fox-32,
The starters: Jeff Samardzija
(3-6, 2.85 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.70).
Updated: July 2, 2013 8:08AM
The Cubs taking three games from the White Sox in decisive fashion started Monday with Jeff Samardzija’s dominating outing in the first crosstown series game.
But manager Dale Sveum credits the Cubs’ extra-inning comeback victory in Cincinnati the day before with starting their win streak, which was extended Friday with a 7-2 drubbing of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
‘‘Whenever you get Game 1 of a series under your belt, it’s huge. It builds momentum,’’ he said. ‘‘But more important was winning that game in Cincinnati. That springboards you more to that streak we’re on now.’’
The Cubs have won five straight for the first time this season, their longest streak since winning seven straight in early August 2011.
The long ball
Every Cubs position player and two of their five starting pitchers have at least one home run. With three more homers Friday, they are on pace to hit 170, far beyond last season’s total of 137.
The Cubs also lead the majors in extra-base hits with 116.
‘‘The doubles and slugging percentage is where it comes in handy — but you can’t replace one swing of the bat to score a run,’’ Sveum said.
With two grand slams in as many days, the Cubs have out-homered their opponents 11-1 during their winning streak.
Scott Hairston’s slam in the fourth inning Friday came a day after Travis Wood hit one. The last time the Cubs did that was July 27-28, 1998, when Sammy Sosa hit grand slams on consecutive days against the host Diamondbacks. The last time it was done at Wrigley Field was Sept. 15-16, 1972, by Jim Hickman and pitcher Burt Hooton against the New York Mets.
No rest for umps
Friday’s umpiring crew headed by Joe West had little rest after arriving from St. Louis, where it had worked a rain-delayed marathon game between the Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals that didn’t end until after 3 a.m. Friday. The Royals won 4-2.
Bob Brenly will get to sit in his familiar Wrigley Field broadcast booth Saturday as part of the Fox-TV crew covering the game against the Diamondbacks.
Brenly left after last season when Ch. 9 and Comcast SportsNet offered only a two-year contract. He quickly took a five-year deal with the Diamondbacks, for whom he had been a broadcaster and then manager for three seasons, including the D-backs’ 2001 World Series championship season.