Game Fifty-Two – Cubs 7, Dodgers 2
WP – Kyle Hendricks (4-4) LP – Julio Urias (0-1) Save – None
Kyle Hendricks pitched eight excellent innings. Javier Baez put on a show in the field, hit a two-run homer and drove in the first three runs. Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back jacks in the fifth. And Anthony Rizzo launched a solo homer in the eighth as the Cubs beat the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon.
Kyle Hendricks put together arguably his best start in big leagues. Hendricks followed up the complete game against the Phillies with a spectacular outing against the Dodgers. Hendricks had very good command and kept the ball down. Hendricks located his fastball extremely well and featured a very good changeup. To put it simply, Hendricks was on top of his game Thursday. Hendricks made only one mistake in eight innings. And Trayce Thompson hit it into the first row of the bleachers in left center in the fifth inning. The Dodgers second run scored on a sac fly by Corey Seager in the sixth that plated Kike Hernandez.
The Cubs defense turned two double plays behind Hendricks in the first four innings. Hendricks started the first inning ending double play in the opening frame. Hendricks induced 11 groundball outs.
Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Hendricks made 101 pitches, 67 for strikes, in eight innings.
Travis Wood faced the minimum in the ninth. After walking Corey Seager with one out, Justin Turner lined into a 4-3 double play to end the game.
Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) had a big day in the field and at the plate. Baez made two outstanding plays behind Hendricks. Baez made a diving catch in shallow center to take away a hit from Carl Crawford in the fifth and retired Chase Utley in the sixth. Baez charged a slow roller, fielded the ball cleanly and flipped it out of his glove to Rizzo for the out.
Javier Baez singled in Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) in the second inning with the game’s first run. And Baez unloaded on Julio Urias in the fourth inning, a two-run shot to the back of the bleachers in left that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Jason Heyward (2-for-4 with a home run) and Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run) hit back-to-back jacks in the fifth inning off Julio Urias. Bryant’s blast was a towering shot off the left field video board with an exit velocity of 110 mph and an estimated distance of 436 feet.
Anthony Rizzo went yard in the eighth … a shot to straight away center through the wind. By the eighth inning, the wind shifted at Wrigley. Rizzo crushed the ball the landed in the basket.
The Cubs scored seven runs on 10 hits and three walks.
The Cubs defense turned three double plays, two behind Kyle Hendricks. The defense early helped keep Hendricks’ pitch count down and him out of any kind of trouble. And the Cubs baserunning paid off with an early run and kept the pressure on the Dodgers’ defense.
Before the Cubs starting teeing off on Dodgers’ pitching, Javier Baez drove in the first run and the baserunning led to the second run of the game.
Anthony Rizzo led off the second with a walk. Jorge Soler (2-for-3 with two runs scored) singled to right. Chase Utley made a sliding stop to keep Rizzo from advancing to third. Addison Russell worked a full count but struck out swinging.
Javier Baez dumped a 2-1 pitch from Julio Urias into left center. Joc Pederson did not field the ball cleanly which allowed Rizzo to score easily. Soler moved to third on the play and Baez took second on what was charged as an error to Pederson.
Miguel Montero (0-for-3 with a walk and a RBI) put the ball in play and rolled out to second on a 1-2 pitch from Urias. Soler scored and the Cubs took a 2-0.
The little things made a big difference Thursday before the Cubs started launching longballs.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 37-15 on the season.
The Cubs open a three-game series with the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). John Lackey is scheduled to face Archie Bradley.