Chicago at Arizona

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Cubs swing big bats, bury Diamondbacks

SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- The Chicago Cubs' offense looked just fine without Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou.

COMMENTARY
Cubs well-suited to join opening hit parade
by Scott Miller
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Aramis Ramirez celebrated a new contract by going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBI, and the Cubs amassed 23 hits Monday in a 16-6 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It's a great day for Aramis," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He got a lot richer and he got a lot of hits."

Sosa is in Baltimore and Alou in San Francisco, but the retooled Cubs set a team record for runs in an opener, topping by one their total in 1899 and 2003.

"We didn't hit that many home runs today, but we scored a lot of runs," Ramirez said. "That's the kind of ballclub we're going to be. Last year we hit a lot of home runs but we didn't make the playoffs. This year we're going to play a little small ball -- a steal here, a hit-and-run there, and I think we're going to get it done."

Derrek Lee had four hits and five RBI, including a three-run homer and two doubles. Todd Walker, Jeromy Burnitz and Corey Patterson also had three hits apiece for the Cubs.

"We've got a great offense," Walker said. "You look at the career numbers of these guys one through nine and if you're underestimating us, you don't know much about baseball."

Ramirez, who agreed to a $42 million, four-year deal before the game, hit a two-run double in the second and a two-run homer in the seventh.

"That's why they kept me here," he said, "to help the team as much as I can, and that's what I did today."

Winning pitcher Glendon Rusch allowed two runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Javier Vazquez, acquired from the New York Yankees in the Randy Johnson deal, lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs and 10 hits.

"It certainly wasn't the way we wanted to start, but we have to deal with it," new Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "It felt like three losses, but it's only one, so that's the bright side of it."

For the first time since their 1998 expansion season, the Diamondbacks didn't open with Johnson, who beat Boston in Sunday's major league opener. Vazquez, who pitched poorly in the second half last season, was booed as he walked off the mound.

"He wasn't his normal self," Lee said. "I think it was probably a little too much adrenaline. He was leaving the ball up. His breaking ball wasn't as sharp as normal."

The Cubs were so effective that Melvin thought Vazquez might be tipping his pitches.

"It occurred to me, or at least it crossed my mind, that certainly at times they looked like they knew what was coming," Melvin said, "so that's something we'll certainly take a look at on video."

Vazquez wondered the same thing.

"I threw some good pitches, man, and they were on everything that I threw today," he said. "It's a little weird. Tomorrow I'll look at some tapes and figure out what I was doing."

The Cubs got two runs in the first and five in the second.

Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano doubled leading off the second and scored on Patterson's single. Nomar Garciaparra doubled in another, Ramirez doubled off the center-field wall, then Lee made it 7-0 with an RBI double that finished Vazquez.

Jose Cruz Jr., one of six starters not with Arizona during its 111-loss season last year, hit a solo homer in the second. Arizona cut the lead to 7-2 when Luis Gonzalez surprised the Cubs with a bunt single down the third-base line to score Quinton McCracken from third.

Zambrano fell one out shy of earning the victory, then made a less-than-graceful exit. After walking Cruz with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, Zambrano was lifted and then ejected by plate umpire Dale Scott following an exchange of words.

"I just said he needed glasses," Zambrano said.

He gave up three runs and seven hits, throwing 106 pitches in 4 2/3 innings.

Notes

  • Every Chicago starter got a hit.
  • New Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg threw out the first ball, throwing it from his old position at second base to former Cubs teammate Mark Grace at first.
  • Muhammad Ali attended the game and received a standing ovation.
  • Vazquez has started three season openers, the other two with Montreal.
  • The crowd of 45,539 was about 4,000 shy of a sellout.
  • Arizona opens the season with a nine-game homestand.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Derrek Lee gets dugout love from Cubs manager Dusty Baker and bench coach Gene Clines.
 
Derrek Lee gets dugout love from Cubs manager Dusty Baker and bench coach Gene Clines. (AP)
 

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Chicago Cubs
Corey Patterson, CF5232110 .600
Todd Walker, 2B4231001 .750
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH-2B2000001 .000
Nomar Garciaparra, SS5222012 .400
    Neifi Perez, SS1000000 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4434100 .750
    Cliff Bartosh, P10100001.000
    Todd Wellemeyer, P0000000 .000
Jeromy Burnitz, RF6130032 .500
Derrek Lee, 1B6245012 .667
Todd Hollandsworth, LF4110013 .250
    Jason Dubois, LF11100001.000
Michael Barrett, C5011001 .200
Carlos Zambrano, P3110010 .333
    Glendon Rusch, P1000000 .000
   b- Jose Macias, PH-3B1000001 .000
Totals491623152813 
a-flied out for Walker in the 7th
b-grounded into a double play for Rusch in the 8th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (1, Vazquez), Derrek Lee 2 (2, Vazquez, Halsey), Carlos Zambrano (1, Vazquez)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (1, Halsey), Derrek Lee (1, Aquino)
RBI - Corey Patterson 2 (2), Todd Walker (1), Nomar Garciaparra 2 (2), Aramis Ramirez 4 (4), Derrek Lee 5 (5), Michael Barrett (1)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Patterson (1), Todd Walker (1), Aramis Ramirez 2 (2), Derrek Lee 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Walker-Garciaparra-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano 4.2733481 5.79
Glendon Rusch (W,1-0) 2.1222310 7.71
Cliff Bartosh 1000010 0.00
Todd Wellemeyer 1311010 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 106-57, Glendon Rusch 48-26, Cliff Bartosh 14-9, Todd Wellemeyer 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 3-2, Glendon Rusch 1-5, Cliff Bartosh 1-1, Todd Wellemeyer 1-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 24, Glendon Rusch 12, Cliff Bartosh 3, Todd Wellemeyer 6
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, 2B3110200 .333
Royce Clayton, SS5010022 .200
Luis Gonzalez, LF4011023 .250
    Alex Cintron, 3B1000000 .000
Troy Glaus, 3B3110111 .333
    Luis Terrero, LF1000000 .000
Shawn Green, RF3220210 .667
Jose Jr. Cruz, CF3112212 .333
Chad Tracy, 1B4031003 .750
Koyie Hill, C4012013 .250
Javier Vazquez, P0000000 .000
    Brian Bruney, P0000000 .000
   a- Quinton McCracken, PH11100001.000
    Mike Gosling, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Clark, PH1000012 .000
    Greg Aquino, P0000000 .000
    Brad Halsey, P2000011 .000
   c- Matt Kata, PH1000012 .000
Totals36612671119 
a-singled for Bruney in the 3rd
b-struck out for Gosling in the 4th
c-struck out for Halsey in the 9th
Batting
2B - Troy Glaus (1, Zambrano)
HR - Jose Jr. Cruz (1, Zambrano)
SF - Chad Tracy (1), Koyie Hill (1)
RBI - Luis Gonzalez (1), Jose Jr. Cruz 2 (2), Chad Tracy (1), Koyie Hill 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Gonzalez (1), Jose Jr. Cruz 2 (2), Koyie Hill (1)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Clayton-Counsell-Tracy, Clayton-Counsell-Tracy
E - Brad Halsey (1, throwing error)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Javier Vazquez (L,0-1) 1.21077020 37.80
Brian Bruney 1.1000020 0.00
Mike Gosling 1311010 9.00
Greg Aquino 1444211 36.00
Brad Halsey 4642021 4.50
WP - Javier Vazquez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 42-30, Brian Bruney 16-11, Mike Gosling 19-11, Greg Aquino 29-14, Brad Halsey 52-40
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 1-2, Brian Bruney 2-0, Mike Gosling 1-0, Greg Aquino 1-1, Brad Halsey 5-5
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 15, Brian Bruney 4, Mike Gosling 5, Greg Aquino 9, Brad Halsey 18
Game Information
Attendance - 45539
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna