8/3 Extra bases
* The Cubs hit six home runs in the first four innings Tuesday against the Pirates. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it’s only the second time in Cubs history that they hit that many home runs in the first four innings of a game. The other time was May 31, 1954, against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The Cubs who connected that day were Ernie Banks, Hank Sauer (2), Paul Minner, Randy Jackson and Bill Serena.
The six homers tied for the most the Cubs have hit on the road in one game, now accomplished six times, most recently Aug. 20, 2004, at Houston. Six homers were the most in a game, home or road, since Sept. 17, 2006, against the Reds at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs’ all-time record for most homers in a game is seven, done three times, most recently May 17, 1977, against the Padres.
* Matt Garza will face the Pirates Wednesday night for the second time in his career and this season. He also faced them in his season opener April 3 at Wrigley Field, and struck out 12 in that game. The dozen Ks set a franchise record for most strikeouts in a team debut. All 12 hits off Garza were singles. He was the first Cubs pitcher to strike out 12 and not walk a batter since Carlos Zambrano did so July 22, 2005, in St. Louis.
* Starlin Castro is on pace for 205 hits. He had three Tuesday night, and now has 139 for the season. That’s second most in the National League. The shortstop leads the NL with three-hit games (now 17).
* Cubs pitchers have 12 quality starts in their last 18 games and a 2.07 ERA in the quality starts while the team is 8-4. The pitchers have a 10.31 ERA in the six non-quality starts.
* Looking ahead to the Cubs’ weekend series against the Reds, here’s the pitching probables:
Friday: Mike Leake (9-6, 3.89 ERA) vs.Ryan Dempster (-8, 4.96 ERA)
Saturday: Johnny Cueto (7-4, 1.72 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 4.46 ERA)
Sunday: Bronson Arroyo (7-9, 5.45 ERA) vs. Randy Wells (3-4, 4.89 ERA)
– Carrie Muskat