Rizzo and Alcantara Play Longball, Hendricks and the Pen Shutout the Padres – Cubs 6, Padres 0

Game Ninety-Eight: Cubs 6, Padres 0

WP – Kyle Hendricks (1-0) LP – Eric Stults (3-12) Save – None

wflag-pub2014The Cubs snapped their five-game skid Tuesday night at the old ballyard. Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs, Arismendy Alcantara launched a solo shot onto Sheffield and Kyle Hendricks pitched an efficient seven innings of shutout ball in route to the first victory of his big league career as the Cubs started the 10-game homestand with a win over the Padres.

Kyle Hendricks made his second big league start and Wrigley Field debut and put together a very good outing against the Padres. Hendricks had a good rhythm, threw strikes and kept the ball down on a night the wind was blowing out. Hendricks allowed just five hits and walked three batters. Hendricks kept the leadoff hitter off base in six of the seven innings he started. Hendricks struck out the side in the seventh to end his night.

Kyle Hendricks recorded 11 groundball outs and the defense turned three inning ending double plays behind him. Kyle Hendricks threw only 83 pitches, 55 for strikes, over seven innings.

Pedro Strop and Wesley Wright pitched the last two innings and the three pitchers combined on the pitching staff’s seventh shutout of the season.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two home runs) turned a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 advantage with his first of two homers on the night in the third inning. After the Cubs added a run in the fifth on a Justin Ruggiano (2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI) single that plated Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) with the third run of the night, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a home run and a walk) and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back jacks in the seventh. Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Ruggiano with the Cubs sixth and final run in the seventh.

Anthony Rizzo set a new career-high with homers No. 24 and 25 on Tuesday night. Tuesday was Rizzo’s third multi-homer game of the season and the seventh multi-homer game of his career. Rizzo leads the National League in home runs with 25 on the season after 98 games.

And Arismendy Alcantara became the first Cubs player to hit a home run onto Sheffield Avenue this season with his blast in the seventh inning.

The defense had a good game outside of the error that was charged to Emilio Bonifacio in the third. The Cubs turned four double plays on the night, and three in the first six innings behind Kyle Hendricks.

With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 41-57 on the season.

Kyle Hendricks retired three of the five batters he faced in the first inning. Hendricks threw 20 pitches in the opening inning, 13 for strikes. The Cubs jumped on Eric Stults in the home-half of the first.

Emilio Bonifacio led off the inning with a double into the left field corner. Arismendy Alcantara fell behind 1-2 before he worked a walk and put two on for Rizzo. Eric Stults struck out Rizzo swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Starlin Castro worked a walk and loaded the bases with one down. Justin Ruggiano hit a fly out to right. Chris Denorfia caught the ball but his throw barely made it to the cut-off man. Bonifacio scored, 1-0 Cubs. Alcantara advanced to third on the play. With runners on the corners and two down, Castillo flied out to right to end the inning. The Cubs made Stults work. It took the Padres starter 29 pitches, 15 for strikes, to get through the first inning.

After one complete, the Cubs led 1-0.

Kyle Hendricks put zeroes on the board in the second and third inning. After three innings, Kyle Hendricks had thrown 37 pitches, 25 for strikes.

Anthony Rizzo led off the third inning with the Cubs up 1-0 and crushed the first offering from the lefty Stults. Rizzo’s 24th longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Stults retired Castro (grounder to third) and Ruggiano (swinging strikeout) for the first two outs in the third. Welington Castillo singled to left but Lake struck out swinging to end the inning. Stults threw 69 pitches in the first three innings, 43 for strikes.

The Cubs led 2-0 after three innings.

Kyle Hendricks issued a two-out walk to Jake Goebbert, but that was all for the Padres in the fourth inning. Hendricks needed 50 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete four innings Tuesday night. And the Cubs did nothing in the fourth. After four innings, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

Kyle Hendricks worked around a leadoff double by Brooks Conrad in the fifth, and threw only 56 pitches in five innings, 38 for strikes.

Eric Stults retired Alcantara (grounder to second) and Rizzo (lineout to deep center) for the first two outs in the fifth. Starlin Castro took the first three pitches from Stults before he launched a 3-2 pitch to deep left. Castro collected his first extra basehit since July 4 with a double off the vines. Justin Ruggiano blooped a single into center. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead. Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.

At the end of five innings, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead.

The game remained 3-0 Cubs through the sixth and into the bottom of the seventh. The defense turned an inning ending double play in the sixth and Hendricks struck out three of the four batters he faced in the seventh.

Blaine Boyer replaced Doug Thayer for the seventh inning and retired Bonifacio on a grounder to third. Arismendy Alcantara stepped in and launched a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right and out onto Sheffield Avenue. Alcantara’s second big league homer was rather impressive and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Anthony Rizzo followed and drove a 2-1 pitch into the basket in left center. Rizzo’s second of the night and 25th of the season put the Cubs up 5-0 … Alcantara and Rizzo with back-to-back jacks. Chris Nelson took a hit away from Castro for the second out of the inning. But Justin Ruggiano singled to left on a 2-2 pitch and scored when Welington Castillo launched a 0-2 pitch to deep right center. The ball short-hopped the wall and Ruggiano scored from first, 6-0 Cubs. Ruggiano appeared to hurt a hamstring while he was running the bases and Nate Schierholtz replaced him in right field in the eighth. The Cubs said Ruggiano was fine after the game. Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs led 6-0 after seven innings … and that is the way the game ended.

Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Wesley Wright faced the minimum in the ninth after the defense turned its fourth double play of the game.

Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to face Ian Kennedy in game two of the series Wednesday night.

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