Morel homers as Cubs beat Orioles 10-3 for 4th straight win

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 16: Christopher Morel #5 of the Chicago Cubs hits a home run in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Wrigley Field on June 16, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Dansby Swanson sees a lineup doing all the right things — and the numbers back him up.

"We’ve taken a really good approach and mentality into the batter’s box," Swanson said, "and we’ve been rewarded for that."

Big time.

Christopher Morel homered and drove in three runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 on Friday for their fourth straight win.

Swanson and Miguel Amaya also connected for Chicago, which broke open a close game with six runs in the sixth inning. Nico Hoerner had two hits and two RBIs, and Kyle Hendricks (2-2) pitched five effective innings for his second straight victory.

Chicago (32-37) has won six of seven, and the four-game win streak matches its season high.

"Offense has really been kind of finding their stride, getting big hits," manager David Ross said. "Christopher Morel, I mean he’s punishing baseballs right now."

Baltimore (43-26) had won six of seven. But Cole Irvin (1-3) was pulled in the fifth, and the bullpen faltered in the opener of a five-game trip.

Mike Baumann issued consecutive walks beginning the sixth, and runners advanced on Cionel Pérez’s balk ahead of pinch-hitter Ian Happ’s two-run single. Morel made it 8-2 with a two-run double off Reed Garrett with two outs, and Seiya Suzuki added an RBI single.

"We had three walks and a balk," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of the trouble in the sixth, "and if we don’t balk there, it’s a double-play ball that Happ hits and the game might be a little bit different."

Chicago, in all-blue uniforms with "Wrigleyville" across the chest, finished with 12 hits for its fourth straight game in double digits. The Cubs have recorded a four-plus run inning in four straight for the first time since June 28-July 1, 2018.

"Everybody’s doing a good job," Morel said.

Ryan O’Hearn had three hits for Baltimore, and Austin Hays collected two hits and two RBIs. O’Hearn is batting .396 (21 for 53) in his last 16 games.

Jorge Mateo’s RBI double got Baltimore within one in the fifth. The Orioles had a chance to tie the game in the sixth, putting a runner on third with one out. But Michael Fulmer escaped the jam by striking out Hays and retiring Aaron Hicks on a grounder to second.

"It was a huge inning by Fulmer, getting out of that," Hendricks said.

Chicago jumped in front on Amaya’s first homer at Wrigley Field, a leadoff drive to left in the third. The catching prospect made his big league debut in May and connected for his first homer June 4 at San Diego.

Irvin retired the next two batters before Swanson and Morel combined for the sixth set of back-to-back homers for Chicago this season. It was the seventh homer for Swanson, and No. 12 for Morel.

"Besides those three homers, I thought he did a nice job," Hyde said of Irvin. "Pitched into the fifth inning against an all right-handed lineup, and 3-2 game there, got away from us in the sixth inning."


Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle (vertigo) is "starting to feel a little bit better," Hyde said. "But he’s still a little bit under the weather." Mountcastle was placed on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday.

Cubs: RHP Codi Heuer (recovery from Tommy John surgery) is scheduled for another rehab appearance with Triple-A Iowa this weekend. ... LHP Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation) was slated to play catch on Friday for the second straight day.


Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (6-2, 2.65 ERA) returns on Saturday. He was placed on the 15-day injured list on June 3 with a strained left forearm. Right-hander Kyle Gibson (8-3, 3.90 ERA) takes the mound for the Orioles. Gibson is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last five starts.