By Jordan Bastian and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- The Cubs launched four home runs and rookie Kyle Schwarber collected four hits in his first Major League start, backing a solid outing from lefty Tsuyoshi Wada in a 17-0 rout over the Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
Chicago's romp reached the point where the Indians used a pair of position players -- outfielders Ryan Raburn and David Murphy -- as pitchers to finish the game. It was also the most lopsided shutout in the history of Interleague Play, surpassing Oakland's 16-0 win over the Giants on June 26, 2005.
"That's an anomaly night," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "That doesn't happen. Look what happened to Washington tonight after they had just beaten Tampa Bay by a large number the day before. It happens, it's how this game is played. You've got to come ready to play tomorrow night, because I know the Indians will be."
Anthony Rizzo (12 home runs this season), Addison Russell (five homers), Chris Denorfia (one) and Kris Bryant (eight) each belted a long ball for Chicago, which has won eight of its last 12 games. The Cubs' 10-run outburst between the second and third innings was more than ample for supporting a strong seven-inning effort from Wada (no runs allowed on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks).
For the Indians, right-hander Shaun Marcum absorbed the loss after being charged with six runs on six hits in only two innings. Marcum gave up a pair of two-run homers -- one each to Russell and Rizzo in a six-run second for the Cubs. Marcum's abbreviated effort forced Indians manager Terry Francona to cycle through eight relievers, including Raburn and Murphy in the ninth inning, the rest of the way.
Murphy surrendered a grand slam to Bryant to cap off Chicago's seven-run ninth.
"It doesn't feel good," Indians manager Terry Francona said of using Raburn and Murphy as pitchers. "We wanted to try to stay away from [reliever Zach McAllister], because he pitched [on Tuesday]. Hopefully, regardless of what the score was today, we start tomorrow fresh. It's still not a lot of fun to do that."
The 22-year-old Schwarber -- promoted from Double-A on Tuesday -- finished 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs as the designated hitter on Wednesday night. Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor went 0-for-4 with an error in his first home game since being called up from Triple-A by the Tribe on Sunday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The rook delivers: In his second Major League at-bat, and first start in the big leagues, Schwarber sent a pitch from Marcum down the first-base line and into the right-field corner for an RBI triple in the second inning. The hit helped ignite Chicago's six-run outburst in the frame. The young catcher then added an RBI single in the Cubs' four-run third, a leadoff single in the seventh and another single in the ninth. More >
"He had good swings," Maddon said. "I really like the hard base hit to the second baseman's right, towards the middle. This is a kid that's a good hitter that knows he's a good hitter and does it in the right way."
Santana slips up: Schwarber's hard-hit triple in the second was within reach for Indians first baseman Carlos Santana, but he did not get a glove on the ball. While it did not go down as an error, Santana's inability to at least knock down the ball opened the door for the Cubs. The Indians could have had one (or potentially two) outs on the play. Instead, Schwarber got his first hit and the Cubs soon had a 6-0 advantage.
"It's easy to say he should have had it," Francona said of the play, "because he makes that play a lot of times. But, that's just the way the game is. Sometimes plays don't get made."
Changing horses: After giving up three straight singles to begin the third inning, Indians lefty Nick Hagadone slipped into a 2-0 count against Denorfia. Francona had seen enough, pulling the reliever from the game in the middle of the at-bat. Tribe reliever Ryan Webb didn't fare much better, yielding a three-run homer to Denorfia to give Chicago a 10-0 lead.
"I just didn't want to rush Webb," Francona said. "It looked like Hags was having a tough time but it wasn't wanting to rush to all of the sudden go to our third pitcher that early. It wasn't adding up then that we'll be able to finish this game."
Raburn, Murphy pitch: Marcum's early exit threw Cleveland's bullpen into unusual circumstances, forcing Francona to turn to Raburn and Murphy for the ninth inning. Both Raburn (Aug. 8, 2013, for Cleveland) and Murphy (June 4, 2013, for Texas) had previous pitching appearances, and they combined to allow seven unearned runs on Wednesday. Raburn logged two-thirds of an inning and exited with a "cranky" arm, according to Francona. Murphy hit a batter with the bases loaded prior to Bryant's slam. More >
"You make the most of it," Murphy said. "You never want to be in a position where a position player has to come in the game. If it does happen, you try to enjoy it and make the most of it. You play this game long enough, things like this will happen. You get a smile about something like that."
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According to baseball-reference.com, the Indians became the first Major League team since at least 1914 to use at least nine pitchers in a nine-inning, non-September game. This is the second day in a row that a big league team used a pair of position players as pitchers. On Tuesday, Tampa Bay used utility man Jake Elmore and infielder Nick Franklin as pitchers in a lopsided loss to the Nationals.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs: Right-hander Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.81 ERA) takes the mound for the Cubs, coming off his shortest outing of the season (five innings). He'll look to start strong after throwing 37 pitches in the first inning his last time out.
Indians: Cleveland wraps up its home-and-home Interleague series with the Cubs on Thursday with a 7:10 p.m. ET tilt at Progressive Field. Right-hander Danny Salazar (6-2, 3.54 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Indians, looking to build upon the 2.90 ERA he's turned in over his past five outings.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.