Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (7/7/24): Cubs 5, Angels 0 – Wesneski Blanks Halos For Rare Series Win

The Cubs accomplished a rare feat on Sunday, winning just their second series of more than two games since the middle of May. The victory was made possible by starter Hayden Wesneski, who completely shut down the Angels from the beginning as Chicago dominated the game 5-0.

An unlikely portion of the Cubs lineup rallied against Los Angeles starter José Soriano in the 3rd inning. Dansby Swanson got his first hit in six games and Miles Mastrobuoni reached base when the Angels’ middle infielders miscommunicated on a ground ball up the middle. Catcher Miguel Amaya chopped an RBI single over third base and Nico Hoerner added a sacrifice fly to put the home team ahead 2-0.

That was all the offense Wesneski would need as he had his best performance of the season Sunday, allowing just one hit as he pitched into the 7th inning. Amaya doubled in the 5th and came in to score when Michael Busch hit into a double play. Busch later brought home two additional runs in a much more enjoyable way when he hit a two-run homer off of left-hander Matt Moore in the bottom of the 7th to give the North Siders a 5-0 edge.

There was a little bit of tension in the top of the 9th when two infield hits and a walk loaded the bases with two outs and Luke Little on the mound. Manager Craig Counsell brought in Héctor Neris to close things out and, for a change, Neris immediately struck out Zach Neto to save the victory with no additional drama. (Box score)

Key Moment

Getting production from the bottom of the order has been very difficult for the Cubs this season so the 3rd inning output was refreshing. Swanson and Amaya, in particular, have been issues so hits from them are crucial going forward.

Why the Cubs Won

The theme in both wins of this series was an outstanding starting pitching performance, but it was nice for the hitters to provide some extra cushion.

Stats That Matter

  • Wesneski can be a very effective pitcher when he keeps the ball in the park, so it helped that the wind shifted to blow in: 6.1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
  • Amaya got two days off to work on some swing adjustments and maybe it did the trick because he had two hits including a double on Sunday.
  • Swanson broke an 0-for-24 skid at the plate with a single and a walk. It’s been a real struggle for him in 2024.

Bottom Line

It shows you how difficult of a year it’s been for the Cubs that winning a series feels like a real accomplishment. That’s where things are at right now but it is at least something to try and build on. The odds of successfully building off of it probably aren’t great, still, I’m looking for optimism here.

On Deck

The Cubs take Monday off and then head to Baltimore for three games starting Tuesday at 5:35pm CT. Newly-minted All-Star Shōta Imanaga is up against Dean Kremer in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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