Prior to the Cubs’ offensive explosion, the Cubs were on a four-game losing streak and only scored 12 runs in that stretch.

On Saturday alone, the Cubs scored 21 runs in a rout against the Pirates.

The losing streak began on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Following an impressive win against the Rays Monday, the Cubs fell 6-5 at Wrigley Field. Justin Steele started for the Cubs, pitching 2.2 innings, allowing three hits, four earned runs, and three walks. It was a bullpen game for the final six innings, and the bullpen pitched well. Of the four relief pitchers who entered the game, only one allowed a run. Chris Martin pitched the seventh inning, allowing three hits and two earned runs.

The Cubs lost 8-2 against the Rays Wednesday and lost the first two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both losses came at Wrigley Field, as the Cubs are amidst a seven-game homestand.

The Cubs’ offense exploded for 21 runs Saturday afternoon, winning 21-0, the second shutout of the season for the Cubs.

Kyle Hendricks dominated in the game, pitching seven excellent innings, while only allowing two hits, and totaling two strikeouts. The defense was phenomenal for the Cubs, as 19 of Hendricks’ 21 outs came in the field.

The offensive explosion started in the second inning, where the Cubs scored eight runs. With one out and two runners on, Seiya Suzuki singled to right field, scoring Nico Hoerner. Suzuki advanced to second on the play. Contreras added a single of his own, scoring Ortega and Suzuki. Kevin Newman struggled, committing two errors in the inning. The offensive player of the game, first baseman Alfonso Rivas, capped the inning off with a three-run shot to right field.

Photo: via Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesHead coach David Ross explains the importance of Rivas’ three-run home run.

“Big home run there,” Ross said. “We hadn’t one of those kinda break-open homers yet, or doubles with the bases loaded, or anything like that. And he came up with a big knock there.”

The Cubs led 9-0 through two innings.

Rivas continued his dominance in the fourth, driving in his fourth run of the game.

Suzuki, Contreras, and Ian Happ led the fifth inning off with back-to-back-to-back doubles. Heyward joined the double party, adding his first hit of the game, driving in Ian Happ. Rivas added his final RBI, his fifth of the game, on a single to center field. Capping off the five-run inning was Nico Hoerner, who drove in Heyward.

Through five innings, the Cubs led 16-0. 

In the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs’ offense was relentless. The first three batters reached, and Patrick Wisdom singled in the 18th run of the game. Each baserunner moved up 90 feet. Jonathan Villar drove in Contreras and Happ, the Cubs’ 19th and 20th runs of the game. To cap off the inning, Heyward grounded into a double play, which scored Patrick Wisdom.

 The Cubs set a few records during the historic blowout victory on Saturday.

The Cubs joined the Tigers to make it the first day in MLB history where there was a 20+ run shoutout and a 10+ run shutout on the same day. In addition, both teams totaled 20+ hits, making it the first time in the modern era that two teams had 20+ hits while shutting out their opponents.

The 21-0 shutout was the largest in Cubs’ history and the third largest shutout since 1900.

Only Rivas homered today, making the 21 runs the most by a team while only hitting one home run since the Royals in 2004.

The last time the Cubs scored 21 runs was Aug. 18, 1995, where they scored 26 against the Rockies.

A few Cubs’ players had career days. Nico Hoerner notched his four-hit game of his young career. R

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