Velázquez hits Grand Slam as Cubs Rally Past Mariners 14-9
CHICAGO (AP) — Nelson Velázquez hit his first career grand slam in Chicago's eight-run third inning, and the Cubs rallied for a 14-9 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Dansby Swanson went 4 for 4 and Trey Mancini homered as the Cubs won for the fifth time in six games. Mancini had three RBIs, and Nico Hoerner had two hits and drove in two runs.
Velázquez had three hits and scored three times in his first start since he was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Monday.
“Nelson had phenomenal at-bats” Chicago manager David Ross said. “That's as good as I've seen him. You can tell his game has elevated with the experience in games last year and the offseason work he put in and swinging the bat well down at Iowa.”
Swanson posted his fifth career four-hit game before departing in the sixth with tightness on his left side. He is batting .400 (16 for 40) in his first 10 games with his new team.
Swanson said he cramped up after getting up at 4 a.m. and spending the day with his wife, U.S. soccer star Mallory Swanson, who underwent surgery on Tuesday for a knee injury after she got hurt Saturday in a game against Ireland.
“It's been a long few days and today was an exceptionally long day as well,” Swanson said. “Realistically, I just felt like my body's just kind of like done. The night was over for me, pretty simple.”
Eugenio Suárez and Jarred Kelenic homered for Seattle in its third consecutive loss. Suárez drove in three runs, and Ty France finished with three hits and two RBIs.
The wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field on a warm night.
“We knew that conditions were going to be very favorable for the offensive side,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I thought early in the game our at-bats were great.
“We jumped all over their starter. We were in a really good spot.”
The Mariners made the most of errors by Swanson and Mancini in the second, scoring five unearned runs on their way to a 7-0 lead. It was each player's first error with Chicago.
But the Cubs responded in the third, sending 13 men to the plate. Mancini hit a two-run shot and Eric Hosmer added an RBI single. Velázquez then hit a drive to left-center against Chris Flexen, making it 8-7 and sending the crowd of 30,081 into a frenzy.
“It was so pure,” Swanson said. “The energy was just amazing. As soon as Nellie hit that ball, I hadn’t really felt too many things like than in my career.”
Flexen (0-2), making his second start in place of the injured Robbie Ray, departed after Velázquez's homer. He was tagged for 10 hits and walked two.
Chicago starter Hayden Wesneski recorded just four outs. He was charged with seven runs, two earned, and five hits.
Michael Rucker (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the win.
Kelenic connected for a solo shot in the fourth, but Swanson and Mancini each hit an RBI single in the fifth and the Cubs tacked on three more in the sixth.
Swanson, who signed a $177 million, seven-year contract with Chicago in free agency, won the Gold Glove last season with Atlanta. He made just eight errors on 592 chances last year for a .986 fielding percentage.
Mariners: Servais said Ray (left flexor strain), the 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner with Toronto, is getting through upper-body workouts, but not yet throwing. Ray got hurt in his first game this season on March 31. ... Servais said SS Dylan Moore (left oblique strain) probably will be sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Tacoma next week.
Cubs: RF Seiya Suzuki (left oblique) and LHP Brendan Hughes (left knee inflammation) continued their rehab assignments with Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer expects Suzuki to rejoin the Cubs on their upcoming six-game West Coast trip that starts Friday. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder strain) was set to throw two innings of live batting practice at the team’s Arizona training facility on Wednesday. ... RHP Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) tossed an inning of batting practice on Tuesday.
Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (0-1, 3.60 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman (2-0, 0.00 ERA) in the series finale on Wednesday.