Coghlan, Montero homer as Cubs pound Tigers, 12-3
DETROIT (AP) Chris Coghlan, Miguel Montero and the Chicago Cubs slugged their way to an easy win over Detroit - and an impressive finish to a challenging road trip.
Coghlan and Montero each hit a three-run homer, and the Cubs routed the Tigers 12-3 on Wednesday night. Chicago went 5-4 on its trip, which also included a four-game series at Washington. The Cubs have played 11 of their past 14 games against teams that made the playoffs last year - Chicago went 6-5 in those matchups.
''I think it was a successful road trip overall,'' said right-hander Jake Arrieta, the beneficiary of all that run support Wednesday. ''Regardless of struggle, or end on a high note with a victory, we're able to put it behind us and come out ready to play the next day, focused on the task at hand. That's why we're able to win against good teams.''
Arrieta (6-4) shut out the Tigers until Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run shot of his own in the sixth. The Cubs led 6-0 before that, and Chicago added six more runs in the seventh.
Shane Greene (4-6) allowed five runs and seven hits in three innings, another poor outing for the right-hander who looked so sharp at the beginning of the season. Greene gave up one earned run over his first three starts for the Tigers. Since then, he's posted an 8.60 ERA.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus would not discuss whether Greene will take his next turn in the rotation.
''I wouldn't talk about any decisions if there were a decision to be made,'' Ausmus said. ''I think he's struggling.''
Arrieta gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
The Cubs wasted a leadoff triple by Dexter Fowler in the first. But Addison Russell opened the scoring with an RBI single in the second, and Chicago added four runs in the third. Coghlan's eighth homer of the season made it 4-0, and Chris Denorfia added a run-scoring single.
Detroit center fielder Anthony Gose made an error on Denorfia's single in the fifth, allowing Mike Baxter to score from first to make it 6-0.
The Tigers missed a chance to cut into the lead after they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. James McCann fouled out to shallow right field, and Jose Iglesias struck out.
Cespedes connected for his ninth homer an inning later.
McCann, Detroit's catcher, made a terrific diving catch near his team's dugout when Denorfia popped up a bunt in foul territory in the seventh - but that was the only highlight of that inning for the Tigers. Fowler drew a bases-loaded walk from Tom Gorzelanny, and Anthony Rizzo followed with a two-run single.
Montero's three-run homer off Al Alburquerque made it 12-3.
Detroit ace David Price can become a free agent after this season, and he played for Cubs manager Joe Maddon when the two were with Tampa Bay. Will their relationship matter when the star left-hander is considering potential destinations?
''I don't know,'' Maddon said. ''David and I are friends. I've often said in the past he's probably one of the best teammates I've ever been around. This is something that there's a process that has to be worked out. I just wish him the best with it.''
Cubs: Maddon said the Cubs haven't discussed a date for a possible rehab assignment for OF Jorge Soler, who is on the DL with a left ankle sprain.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander spoke before Wednesday's game. The Tigers plan to give Verlander his first start of the season Saturday against Cleveland. He's been out with a triceps strain.
''I've worked as hard as I can and gotten back about as soon as I can,'' he said. ''I'm just excited to get back out there.''
Cubs: Host Cincinnati on Thursday night. Chicago LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1) faces Michael Lorenzen (1-1).
Tigers: After an off day Thursday, Detroit hosts Cleveland. Price (5-2) faces Danny Salazar (6-1) on Friday night.