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Cubs’ offense bounces back after rough season opener

The Cubs found different ways to create offense in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Pirates. Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward added a pair of solo homers.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Things couldn’t have gotten much worse offensively for the Cubs than they did on Opening Day and with a picture-perfect day at Wrigley Field, the offense made sure to back Jake Arrieta in Saturday’s 5-1 win

The Cubs aren’t usually expected to manufacture runs with the sluggers in their lineup, but manager David Ross wasn’t afraid to push the issue and get aggressive.

Javy Baez is known around MLB as a game-changer and his skills were on display in Saturday’s victory. After ripping a 109-mph single to lead off the second inning, Baez swiped second and third base before scoring on a Jake Marisnick RBI-single. Marisnick would then go first to third on a single by Anthony Rizzo and score on an RBI-single by Jason Heyward to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead..

“Javy’s chaos, man. When he gets out there, he’s fun to watch,” Ross said. “He’s an exciting player and feeds off the crowd. They feed off him, we feed off him. He’s a spark plug when he gets going, man. He’s fun.”

But even while they showed they can create runs, the Cubs showed they can still beat teams with the long ball. Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward launched a pair of solo homers in the third and sixth innings, respectively to extend the Cubs lead.

“I thought we had really good at-bats up into the lineup,” Ross said. “It was nice. Quality at-bats throughout. When you were talking about Javy, the home run from KB, [Rizzo] and nice baserunning by Marisnick. He got that runner in and went first to third. All the way down the line. [Jason Heyward’s] home run was loud. ... I thought we did a really good job.”

“That’s kind of who we are, right there,” Bryant said. “Pitchers are out there throwing strikes, a lot less walks. Guys having better at-bats. I think we’ll see more of that as we kind of get into the flow of things with the season ramping up and getting back into our routines. Just going out there and competing.”

Cubs set 27-man alternate-site roster

The Cubs announced their 27-man roster who will be training at the team’s alternate site in South Bend on Saturday. Some of the players taking part at the alternate site include Nico Hoerner, Shelby Miller, Cameron Maybin, Pedro Strop, Brad Wieck and prospect Miguel Amaya. The minor league season isn’t scheduled to begin until May.

He said it

“I think it’s a pretty strong statement that MLB’s making and why they’re making it: to support equal voting rights for everyone. I think I would definitely agree with that. It’s a pretty big step for Major League Baseball to move the All-Star game, so kudos to them. –David Ross on MLB’s decision to move All-Star Game.