Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (3/10/24): Cubs 5, Rangers 1 – Lefties Loom Large in Win

The Cubs traveled to Surprise to face the reigning world champion Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Chicago got excellent performances from two pitchers competing for the final spot in the starting rotation as they took home the win.

Alexander Canario tripled thanks to a misplay in the top of the 1st inning and came home to score on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Christopher Morel. Drew Smyly got the start and pitched around some traffic on the bases to keep Texas off the board through 3.1 frames.

First baseman Michael Busch doubled the Cubs’ lead with a solo blast in the top of the 6th inning. Jordan Wicks took over in the 5th and was great, striking out seven batters while only allowing an unearned run in his outing.

Chase Strumpf homered in the 7th inning, then RBI singles from Matt Mervis and Canario brought Chicago’s advantage to 5-1 in the 8th. Wicks made it all the way to the final frame before coming out as the Cubs sealed the victory. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

The pitching kept a very talented Rangers lineup in check and some extra-base power provided the offense needed to win.

Stats That Matter

  • Busch had a double in addition to his home run and has been swinging the bat well so far.
  • Canario picked up three total hits and should be very fun to watch in the minors this year.
  • Wicks was very sharp in 4.1 total innings Sunday and was showing more confidence in his fastball.

Bottom Line

Jameson Taillon‘s back issues make it more likely that both Smyly and Wicks could start the year in the rotation, so these performances are a good sign. Busch being this kind of power threat in the regular season would be a massive help.

On Deck

The Cubs are off Monday before welcoming the Brewers to Sloan Park Tuesday night at 8:05pm CT. Opening-day starter Justin Steele takes the mound in a game televised on Marquee.

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