Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Jason Heyward and Omar Infante both finished with four hits, including two homers, scored four times and each drove in four runs as Atlanta dominated Chicago, 16-5, in the finale of a three-game set from Wrigley Field which was also the terminal contest in the storied managerial career of Lou Piniella.
Although the 66-year-old had announced last month that he would retire effective the end of the season, he abruptly moved up the date to Sunday. Mike Quade will take the reins for remainder of the season, beginning Monday in Washington.
Derrek Lee had three RBI and Alex Gonzalez knocked in a pair for the Braves, who took two of three in the series and have won six of eight overall.
Mike Minor (2-0) allowed seven hits and three runs over six innings for the win. The 22-year-old left-hander fanned a career-best 12 batters, after fanning 10 in his first two career starts.
Aramis Ramirez finished 3-for-4 with a two-run home run for the Cubs, losers in six of their last seven. Marlon Byrd added three hits and an RBI while Blake DeWitt and Xavier Nady also drove in a run each.
Randy Wells (5-12) was charged in defeat for seven hits and seven runs — five earned — with five strikeouts and four walks in six-plus frames.
Already ahead by two, the Braves broke the game wide open with a four-run seventh. Infante and Heyward singled, leaving Wells to exit and Diamond Thomas to enter the game before a fielding error on a Martin Prado grounder loaded the bases.
Lee flew out and James Russell got the nod, only to allow a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Brian McCann. Melky Cabrera walked and Justin Berg was called on but surrendered a three-run hit from Gonzalez which made it 9-3.
Atlanta piled on in the eighth with five runs as Heyward scored one with a single, Lee slugged a bases-clearing double and Cabrera grounded into a fielder’s choice for a 14-3 game.
Chicago cut its deficit to nine in the home half on a DeWitt pinch-hit RBI single and a fielder’s choice grounder from Nady.
Heyward rocketed a two-run homer to right in the ninth for a 16-5 contest, then Cristhian Martinez turned in a scoreless bottom of the frame.
Each side picked up a run in the first as Infante launched his first homer of the game, then Byrd countered with an RBI single.
Heyward’s one-out solo shot put the Braves ahead in the third, but Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the home half to give the Cubs a one-run edge.
Infante reached the bleachers again in the fourth with a three-run blast for a 5-3 Atlanta edge.
Infante’s last multi-homer game came on September 17, 2003 with Detroit against the White Sox…Heyward recorded his first career multi-homer contest…Piniella exits the game with a record of 1835-1713 with the Yankees (1986-88), Reds (1990-92), Mariners (1993-2002), Rays (2003-05) and Cubs (2007-10)…He won a World Series with Cincinnati in 1990, and was a three- time manager of the year (1995 AL, 2001, 2008 NL)…Cubs leftfielder Alfonso Soriano’s eighth-inning double was his 700th career extra-base hit…The Braves won four of six in the season series.