Thunderous bats lead Cubs' rainy win vs. M's

Thunderous bats lead Cubs' rainy win vs. M's

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester got plenty of offensive support and didn't need Aroldis Chapman's 100-mph help on Friday. Jason Heyward smacked a much-needed two-run homer, David Ross added a solo shot and Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run double to power a 14-hit onslaught and lead the Cubs to a 12-1 Interleague victory over the Mariners at Wrigley Field.

The game was stopped in the middle of the seventh inning because of rain and was delayed for 1 hour and 14 minutes before play resumed.

Lester struck out seven over six innings for his second win in his past seven games. Chapman, acquired from the Yankees on Monday, picked up his first save with the Cubs on Thursday, and he was able to sit back and watch, along with the 40,951 fans at Wrigley Field.

Lester's scoreless outing

"I tell them, '12 runs and an airtight defense, that usually makes a pitcher's job a lot easier,'" Lester said. "They delivered on that."

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma served up a two-run single to Chris Coghlan in the second and Heyward's homer in the third, which was the outfielder's first since June 11. Iwakuma lasted three innings, his shortest start of the season, while allowing eight hits and five runs.

Manager Scott Servais said Iwakuma dealt with some tightness in his shoulder warming up and didn't have his normal command.

"Overall, it was tight from the beginning," Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. "I'm OK though. I just couldn't keep the ball down. Everything I missed was up in the zone, which kind of cost me."

The Cubs, now 11-13 in July, need to sweep the series to finish the month at .500. This is Seattle's second trip to Wrigley Field in franchise history and first since 2007.

Welcome back:
Coghlan was activated from the disabled list prior to the game, and Tommy La Stella, who was batting .295, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Coghlan came through in the Cubs' second. With one out, Javier Baez and Ross both singled and advanced on Lester's sacrifice. Coghlan then smacked a two-run single to center, and he scored on Kris Bryant's single to open a 3-0 lead.

Coghlan's two-run single

Welcome back II: Heyward batted .293 last season with the Cardinals, so his struggles at the plate this season were unexpected. He began the day batting .213 in July, and that's not what fans hoped for after he signed a huge contract. Heyward has been working with hitting coach John Mallee on getting the ball up in the air more, and did just that in the third, launching his fifth home run and second at Wrigley Field. Heyward also made a nice running catch of Robinson Cano's fly ball to end the fifth and strand a runner.

Heyward's two-run home run

"He's had so much bad luck this year, hitting balls hard and right at people and people making great plays on him," Zobrist said of Heyward. "When you see him hit a ball like that into the wind and it goes out, you're so happy that finally one went over the fence. He had to really hit it hard to get it through there and cut through the wind. He's going to come through. We know he's one of the most talented guys in this clubhouse, and that's saying a lot. All the work he's putting in is going to pay off here." More >

Walking into trouble: Nathan Karns replaced Iwakuma in the fourth, and the former starter got through a pair of innings before running into trouble in the sixth. After a leadoff homer by Ross, Karns walked the bases full and then gave up a three-run double as Rizzo hugged a line drive down the third-base line. Karns wound up allowing five runs on three hits and three walks and now has an 8.78 ERA in 13 1/3 innings over seven outings since being moved to the 'pen.

Rizzo's bases-clearing double

"It got away from him a little bit," Servais said. "Stuff-wise, he was just OK. We haven't seen the tick up in his stuff that we thought we might get out of the bullpen, so we kind of need to evaluate where he's at."

This is easy: With his team trailing, 12-0, Servais went to utility infielder Luis Sardinas to pitch the eighth inning to save his bullpen, and he promptly retired the Cubs in order while featuring a 79-82-mph fastball and a 66-mph curve. Sardinas got Addison Russell on a hard grounder to third, induced a dribbler back to the mound from Heyward and retired Javier Baez on a deep fly to left in his eight-pitch inning. The effort came two years to the day after Cubs catcher John Baker was the winning pitcher in a 16-inning game when he tossed a scoreless frame and then scored the winning run himself in a victory over the Rockies.

Sardinas takes the mound

"I didn't try to do too much," Sardinas said. "I just tried to throw the ball right to the middle." More >

"That's a bad day. It's unfortunate. We've got to get better playing in these day games. We come out slow, it seems, for whatever reason. Against a good club, you've got to come out ready to play from the first inning on." -- Servais

Iwakuma's three-inning start was tied for the second shortest of his five-year MLB career. His only shorter start was a 2 1/3-inning outing on Aug. 24, 2014, at Fenway Park, when he allowed six hits and five runs in a game Seattle came back to win, 8-6.

Heyward's homer was his fifth of the season and No. 102 of his career, while Ross' solo shot in the sixth was his seventh this year and No. 103 of his career. Ross, 39, is retiring at the end of the season; Heyward, 26, is in the first year of an eight-year deal with the Cubs.

Ross' solo homer

The Mariners challenged the first play of the game. Shawn O'Malley was called out at first after hitting the ball to third baseman Kris Bryant. After a review, the call was overturned, and O'Malley credited with an infield single.

O'Malley safe after challenge

Mariners: Left-hander Wade Miley takes the mound in Saturday's 11:20 a.m. PT game at Wrigley. The 29-year-old is 0-6 with a 5.13 ERA over his past six starts, but he is 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA in five career outings against the Cubs.

Cubs: Jake Arrieta will make his 21st start on Saturday in the second game of this Interleague series. Arrieta has not faced Seattle since 2012. He's 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA in three outings (two starts) against the Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.