Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/23/24): Cubs 7, Astros 2 – Tauch Taters Twice in Win

The Cubs welcomed the Astros to Wrigley Field for the first of a three game series Tuesday night. Chicago put on a power display in the opening inning and built a lead that was never really challenged, eventually winning comfortably.

The Cubs went ahead three hitters into the game when Cody Bellinger hit a majestic two-run home run to right field off of J.P. France. Then a walk and a single put a pair on base for Mike Tauchman, who went the opposite way for a three-run dinger into the basket in left.

Jordan Wicks took full advantage of the early 5-0 cushion with his best start of the season, going three scoreless frames to begin his outing. The Astros got on the board in the 4th when Bellinger misplayed two catchable fly balls that both went for doubles. The center fielder bobbled Yainer Diaz‘s RBI double and banged into the wall, forcing him to leave the game with a rib contusion in the 6th inning.

Jake Meyers hit a solo home run in the top of the 5th to cut Houston’s deficit to 5-2, but Wicks pitched well after that to complete six strong frames. Nico Hoerner brought home a run on an RBI groundout in the 6th and Tauchman added a solo home run in the 8th to make it 7-2.

Ben Brown, Mark Leiter Jr., and Yency Almonte kept the Astros off the board in relief and the home team secured the 7-2 victory. (Box score)

Key Moment

The explosive opening inning set the tone for the rest of the game Tuesday. Houston has been struggling big time to open up the season, so it was good to keep those bad vibes going immediately.

Why the Cubs Won

The early offense was nice, but the quality pitching performance is what decided this game. Getting no drama from the bullpen was also refreshing.

Stats That Matter

  • Wicks was much more efficient Tuesday to get deeper in the game: 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 4 K, and 0 BB.
  • Tauchman drew a walk in addition to the homers and is having a very nice April.
  • Bellinger told reporters he wasn’t feeling that bad, so we hope he’s right and it’s just a light bruise.
  • Matt Mervis was the designated hitter in his season debut and went hitless, but did reach base on a catcher’s interference call.

Bottom Line

Once again, the Cubs recovered nicely from a loss and got a very encouraging start from Wicks. It goes without saying that losing Bellinger for any significant amount of time would not be good. Injuries are the one thing that have been concerning with an otherwise promising start to 2024 for Craig Counsell’s squad.

On Deck

The second game of the series is Wednesday night at 6:40pm CT. Jameson Taillon makes appearance number two of the season against young Spencer Arrighetti in a contest available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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