Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Rizzo Homer's Cubs to Victory

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So far, so good for Anthony Rizzo's Cubs debut week.
With his first home run as a Cub on Saturday, the touted rookie got his second game-winning hit of the week for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros.
``It just feels good to get that win and get that monkey off my back to get that [first] homer,'' he said.
It was his second career homer--his first was last season in his short stay with the San Diego Padres--and was the big blow in a three-run fifth inning off J. A. Happ (6-8) that assured Matt Garza (4-6) a victory.
``He's doing his thing, so let him enjoy it,'' Garza said of Rizzo. ``But this was a great team effort.''
It featured sparkling defense with three double plays--including one turned by second baseman Darwin Barney to end a Houston threat in the fifth--and 3 2/3 innings of scoreless work from five relievers, the last Carlos Marmol (7th save.)
The Cubs have a chance today to win three straight, something they've only done once this season from May 28-30 against San Diego.
``Let's take this little attitude we've got going on to tomorrow,'' Garza said.
Garza and the Cubs trailed 2-0 until the fifth when Luis Valbuena walked and later scored on Starlin Castro's single. Castro was on base when Rizzo hammered a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall.
``The only other one I had was off a lefty, too,'' said Rizzo, a left-handed hitter. ``That's another thing I worked on [to hit lefties.]''
Rizzo was center stage again in the seventh when the Astros intentionally walked Castro with first base open and Reed Johnson (double) at third with one out. But Rizzo struck out against Fernando Arad.
``Castro's a proven All Star and I'm just a rookie,'' Rizzo said. ``I like the situation. I got a little too aggressive there, but we got the win.''
Garza again had a high pitch count because of foul balls more than walks (three), reaching 104 in only 5 1/3 innings.
``It was more a day you day had to battle your own elements,'' Garza said. ``I felt in the second inning like I was wearing a suit of water. I didn't have my best location, but the guys picked me up. A lot of double plays--and Barney had a great one himself. Not only did it end an inning but it ended a threat. And the guys in the bullpen did a great job. Hats off to the defense and the offense.''

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on June 30, 2012 6:56 PM.

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