CHICAGO — In the midst of a decisive victory, a Cubs’ rookie had two memorable firsts of his career at the Friendly Confines.
You might say Alexander Canario did so in “grand fashion” late Tuesday evening.
The first year outfielder got his first major league homer in the eighth inning of a 14-1 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field, doing so with the bases loaded off pitcher Kyle Nicolas. Canario excitedly made his way around the bases after this major first in his career, and it was a rare one over the past two decades for the Cubs.
According to the team, this is only the second time since 2000 that a player on the Cub’s first major league home run was a grand slam. Catcher Taylor Davis did the same for the team against the Cardinals in St. Louis on May 4, 2019 at Wrigley Field.
This was only one part of what was already a memorable night for Canario, who came through with two firsts in his career on the same at-bat in the sixth inning. That’s when he doubled for his first major league hit which gave him his first RBI as Christopher Morel scored to add to the blowout.
Before that, Canario had registered just one at-bat since being called up for the first time in September. That was 13 days earlier against the Giants at Wrigley Field, striking out in his lone plate appearance.
Before his call-up, Canario was enjoying an outstanding season at three levels of the Cubs’ minor league system. At Triple-A Iowa, he hit .276 with 12 doubles, eight home runs, and 15 RBI in 36 games.
His double and home run were part of a big night for the Cubs as they had 12 hits and four homers, with Dansby Swanson (21), Seiya Suzuki (19), then Cody Bellinger (26) all reaching the seats with hits.
With the victory, the Cubs moved a half-game ahead of the Marlins for the third and final National League Wild Card spot.