MIAMI - A pair of 23-year-old sluggers seemed to find answers to their early-season questions at the plate this weekend in Miami.
One kept the Cubs from sweeping the Marlins in a four-game series - Miami's Giancarlo Stanton hitting a pair of home runs Sunday, with a game-tying single in between, for all three of his homers this season in his last six at-bats against the Cubs.
The other kept the Cubs optimistic their lagging offense might find new life during the 10-game homestand that opens Monday against San Diego - Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reaching base eight times in the past three games, including three walks, a double and a pair of homers.
After his two-homer game Friday, he said it was the single in his final at-bat that was especially encouraging.
"I know it sounds dumb," he said.
Rizzo was hitting .173 until that game, with almost twice as many strikeouts (26) as hits (14), despite good power numbers.
"Especially after looking at the videos after the game, the swing was where I want it to be and now it's just being consistent with it," he said.
Manager Dale Sveum, who had said all he was looking for from the second-year player was for "Rizzo to be Rizzo," said he's starting to see that.
"It's a confidence thing," Sveum said. "He's still swinging the bat good off left-handers, and had the big RBI double in the first [off right-hander Ricky Nolasco]. We just need that confidence to come back more than anything."