MINNEAPOLIS — After trailing early against the Twins and MLB ERA leader Sonny Gray Friday night, Drew Smillie threw another good start to keep the Cubs within striking distance as they began their nine-game, three-town road trip.
The offense made Gray work, taking him out of the game and he took advantage against the Minnesota team. Matt Mirvis and Yann Gomez delivered RBI hits, and Christopher Morrell served his second teammate exclamation point in three games since being called up from Triple-A Iowa in the Cubs’ 6-2 win at Target Field.
“It was just a great win for the team,” said Smillie. “I’m really excited about this win. We’re up against Sonny Gray, who’s the ERA leader, and he got called early in the game, and he couldn’t get any going. But we kept having good ABCs and we stayed at it, and after that [at] End of the game, we opened it up.”
Smyly (4-1) allowed two runs in six innings, giving up only four hits and one walk along the way. Adbert Zoulay made two scoreless innings of relief and Mark Leiter Jr. finished the game with a perfect nine.
On a day when Nico Horner was placed on the 10-day injured list, Morrell took his place at second base and at the top of the batting order. Morel got two hits and capped off his day with an impressive homer to Deck Two in right center field.
The ninth blast went off with a Statcast drop of 429 feet and left the bat at 109.2 mph.
“Nico is a huge part of this team and everyone wants him back and to see him in the squad and on the field,” said Smellie. “But, I mean, Mo’s just an electrician. Everybody knows that. He can play any position. He wants him there too, just as badly, honestly, because he can change the game at a moment’s notice.”
Smyly gave the crime time to find its stride.
He allowed two runs in the second inning, but limited the damage from there and scored Chicago’s 20th quality start of the season, tying for an MLB lead.
“I think he continues to play his part,” said Cubs manager David Ross. “The smash ball came up later. A couple hits here and there, but not a lot of hard contact. I thought we could have done a few things better defensively early on giving up the two runs. I don’t think it ever looked like he had a problem.” Big problems.”
Minnesota tried to attack Smellie early, as the veteran threw only 75 pitches—53 for strikeouts—in six innings. He’s only given up one hit over the last three innings.
Smyly got his rebound after hitting a season-high three walks, resulting in his shortest outing of the year in his final start, when he struck out only 3 1/2 innings.
“Pitching 70 pitches in six innings, it swings,” said Smillie. “So, I’m always trying to stimulate the fast overers. I don’t want them to be in the box for too long. So, just work with Yan. He seems to have this sense of keeping hitters in the middle and guessing. I just want to fill that in and try to get a weak connection, let them hit him.” in someone.”
With Gray out of the game after 5 1/3 innings and 94 pitched, the Chicago offense took advantage against the Twins’ Bulls.
Patrick Wisdom, Murvis, Trey Mancini, and Gomez scored four straight hits in the seventh inning, with Mirvis hitting an RBI double off Wisdom Plate, while Gomez put Chicago ahead with a single to right.
Morrell then followed him with his big blast to a part of the stadium that right-handed hitters rarely visit.
“Same game… the pitchers here, they’ve got more experience,” Morell said. “As I get more experience I need to make my offer. If I see the pitch in the area I need to make the adjustment and make good contact. If it’s not in the area I need to take it. So, it’s the same patience, different pitches.”
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”
The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals
Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon Available for Game 7, per Source: What his return means for Boston
Angels No. 9 Double-A detective Ben Joyce was called