Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/25/24): Cubs 3, Astros 1 – PCA Powers Cubs to Sweep

The Cubs went into this one with a chance to complete a three-game sweep of the Astros at a sunny and breezy Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon. Chicago received another outstanding starting pitching effort and one big swing from top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong turned out to be the deciding factor in a low-scoring victory.

Javier Assad had his only issue right out of the gate with the first three batters of the game as José Altuve and Alex Bregman hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no one out. Yordan Álvarez then hit a sacrifice fly to give Houston a 1-0 lead, but Assad got the next two outs and did not allow another baserunner until the 5th inning.

The Cubs had multiple men on base three separate times against Justin Verlander but could not get a run home before he came out in the 5th. Assad got two outs in the 6th and was then relieved by Hayden Wesneski, who pitched brilliantly through the 8th inning.

Chicago did their only scoring in the bottom of the 6th inning. Dansby Swanson and Nick Madrigal hit a pair of singles off of Rafael Montero to put men on the corners with nobody out for Miguel Amaya. The Cubs catcher appeared to have an RBI single when his blooper dropped in front of right fielder Kyle Tucker, but Madrigal broke back towards first base initially and was forced out at second. Luckily, the tying run still scored.

Montero was then lifted for Bryan Abreu, who immediately threw a very wild pitch over the head of his catcher that moved Amaya into scoring position with Crow-Armstrong batting. The young center fielder then got a fastball right down the middle that he absolutely crushed for a long go-ahead home run to right. If you’ve been keeping track, it also happened to be his first career MLB hit.

Héctor Neris entered in the 9th with the 3-1 advantage trying to earn his second save in as many games. It was not a promising start with back-to-back walks to Álvarez and Tucker, but he was once again able to wiggle out of the jam with three straight groundouts to finish off the sweep. (Box score)

Key Moment

PCA had been 0-for-16 in his major league career going into his 6th inning at-bat Thursday, but he picked a good time and a good way to break that streak. After being behind on Verlander’s fastball earlier in the game, he timed up Abreu’s heater and sent it a long way.

Why the Cubs Won

The pitching staff did a tremendous job, probably the best performance of the series on Thursday. The offense had several missed chances before finally coming through and doing just enough to get the win.

Stats That Matter

  • Assad has been Chicago’s most consistent starter since he entered the rotation early last season: 5.2 IP, 1 R, 4H, 5K, and 1 BB.
  • Nico Hoerner had three more hits, including a double, to complete a scalding hot homestand.
  • Mike Tauchman was perfect Thursday with three walks and a single.
  • Wesneski has pitched multiple scoreless innings in both of his outings so far in 2024.

Bottom Line

The Cubs bounced back very impressively from a disappointing series against the Marlins. It might not seem like it right now but the Astros are still a very talented team and sweeping them was not easy. Assad has been massive with the injuries and struggles of several other members of Chicago’s pitching staff.

On Deck

The Cubs head east for three games with the Red Sox starting Friday at 6:10pm CT. Shōta Imanaga takes on Kutter Crawford in a contest broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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