CHICAGO (AP) — Jason Hammel is certain the Chicago Cubs are better than their record so far.
Hammel pitched seven strong innings, Mike Olt hit a three-run home run and Nate Schierholtz drove in a pair of early runs to lead the Cubs to a 9-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “We’ve played a lot of close ballgames where we could have come out on the other end. We’re a young team, and we’ll figure out how to win those ballgames pretty soon.”
Hammel (3-1) allowed just one run and four hits without walking a batter in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.60.
Olt still is hitting below .200 for the season (.195) but has four homers and nine runs batted in despite not playing every day.
The Cubs, who’ve won three of four to improve to 7-12, have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. They last won consecutive games on Sept. 9 and 10 of last season against the Cincinnati Reds. Their last consecutive home wins came on Sept. 4 and 6 against Miami and Milwaukee.