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Cubs defeat Braves behind 13-hit attack

Jun 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) and center fielder Christopher Morel (5) celebrate after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Willson Contreras had three of Chicago’s 13 hits and an RBI, and Justin Steele delivered five solid innings as the host Cubs kept the recently-surging Atlanta Braves down for a second straight game, winning 6-3 on Saturday.

Rafael Ortega homered and Jonathan Villar had two RBIs for Chicago, which has won back-to-back games for the first time since June 1-2. It came a day after the Cubs snapped their 10-game slide, and Atlanta’s 14-game winning streak, with a 1-0 victory.

Steele (2-5) didn’t allow his two runs until the fifth inning. He also yielded five hits and three walks, but that was good enough to help Chicago win its first series since May 16-18.

Adam Duvall homered and doubled for Atlanta, which averaged 7.2 runs during that 14-game run, but didn’t score its first of this series until Saturday. Kyle Wright (7-4) had won three straight starts, but yielded five runs with a season-high 11 hits while striking out eight as the Braves dropped consecutive games for the first time since May 30-31.

Chicago got to Wright in the first on Villar’s two-out run-scoring single. Contreras delivered his own two-out RBI single for a 3-0 Chicago lead in the second. The Cubs made it 4-0 in the third, again with two outs. Jason Heyward dropped a ball into short left field, which got by Duvall, and allowed Ian Happ to score from first base.

Meanwhile, Steele’s first real jam came in the fifth when Duvall homered into the right-center field bleachers to make it 4-1. He loaded the bases later in the inning, but Atlanta managed only one more run, on Austin Riley’s sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added to their total with a run off Christopher Morel’s double play in the sixth. Then Ortega drove Atlanta reliever Collin McHugh’s first pitch of the seventh inning into the right-field seats.

Atlanta’s Michael Harris II (two hits) delivered an RBI single in the ninth. Willson’s brother William Contreras also had two hits for the Braves.

Before the game, Chicago first baseman Frank Schwindel was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower-back strain.

–Field Level Media