"I think we were kind of due as a team, offensively," Bryant said. "We haven't really been doing much early on here, so I think it was just a matter of time for us."
On Sunday afternoon, Chicago delivered. Bryant hit two home runs and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, and the Cubs cruised to a 13-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
"Up and down, I thought we worked good at-bats," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's nice to see that happen. I believe firmly that we're going to hit -- not at a 13-run level, but we're going to hit."
Dance like no one is watching. pic.twitter.com/9UZD8yut1L— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 21, 2017Advertisement
Jonathan Villar went 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base to lead the Brewers. The defeat snapped a four-game winning streak for Milwaukee (25-19).
"It got away from us a little today," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But that happens. They've got a good team, and the wind's blowing out, so it was a tough day."
Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (5-3) limited the Brewers to one unearned run on five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six to earn his first victory in two weeks.
Arrieta allowed zero earned runs for the first time since April 4 at St. Louis.
"I felt good," Arrieta said. "I kept the ball on the ground quite a bit today, which was nice. That's obviously an indicator of a step in the right direction."
Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (2-1) surrendered six runs on seven hits in four-plus innings. Anderson said he fell behind in too many counts, which led to his shortest outing of the season.
"There's something in my delivery I need to work on as I go through it," Anderson said. "I'll just try to figure out what it really is, if I'm trying too hard and tensing up too much and not relaxing, or if it's something more than that. But I think it's just something minor."
The Cubs opened the scoring with three runs in the first inning. Zobrist smacked Anderson's third pitch into the right field bleachers for his fourth career leadoff home run.
Bryant homered to lead off the third inning and homered again to lead off the fifth inning. The performance marked Bryant's second multiple-homer game of the season and the ninth of his career.
Milwaukee loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth but scored only once to trim the deficit to 5-1. Eric Thames drove in Orlando Arcia on a groundout.
"We got traffic and just didn't get the hit to put a lot of stress on (Arrieta)," Counsell said.
Thames exited the game because of leg cramping after his at-bat in the fifth. Counsell described the move as precautionary and said he expected Thames to be in the lineup Tuesday night.
In the sixth, sloppy defense by the Brewers allowed the Cubs to score twice. Willson Contreras scored from third base on a wild pitch, and Jon Jay scored moments later when Villar threw wide of first base, with Kyle Schwarber credited with an RBI single on the latter play.
Contreras hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh and singled home a run in the eighth. He finished 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs.
Rizzo added a two-run blast in the eighth inning for his eighth home run.
The Brewers picked up five runs in the ninth on an RBI double by Jesus Aguilar, a run-scoring groundout by Ryan Braun, a two-run homer by Travis Shaw, and an RBI opposite-field double from Keon Broxton.
NOTES: Brewers OF Ryan Braun was activated from the 10-day disabled list after recovering from injuries to his left calf and right elbow. Milwaukee optioned RHP Tyler Cravy to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Cubs OF Jason Heyward (sprained right finger) was activated from the 10-day disabled list. The team optioned INF Tommy La Stella to Triple-A Iowa... Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (strained right calf) threw 91 pitches during a minor league rehabilitation assignment Saturday, and he could be activated by week's end. ... The Cubs recalled RHP Dylan Floro from Iowa and optioned RHP Pierce Johnson. ... Brewers manager Craig Counsell did not hide his sarcasm when asked about Saturday's rainout. After the Cubs postponed the game, rain exited the area and the rest of the day was sunny. "It's the first time for us that we've had players treated for sunburn after a rainout," Counsell said.