Game One Hundred Twenty-Six – Cubs 6, Padres 3
WP – Kyle Hendricks (12-7) LP – Paul Clemens (2-3) Save – Aroldis Chapman (29)
Dexter Fowler doubled, Kris Bryant doubled, Ben Zobrist tripled and Jorge Soler hit a sacrifice fly to start the game. The Cubs scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back on Wednesday afternoon at PETCO Park. Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs in six innings as the Cubs beat the Padres and completed the three-game sweep in San Diego.
The Cubs never trailed in the three games in San Diego.
The Cubs did what is expected of a team with the best record in baseball that is playing a Padres team that is in the middle of a rebuild. The Cubs won a season-series against the Padres (4-2) for the first time since 2008. And with the win on Wednesday, the Cubs are 36 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1945 season (98-56).
Dexter Fowler (1-for-5 with a double and a run scored) and Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored) started the game with back-to-back doubles. Fowler could not score on Bryant’s two-bagger because he had to hold to make sure Travis Jankowski did not make the catch at the wall.
Ben Zobrist (2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI) tripled in Fowler and Bryant and he scored on a sac fly from Jorge Soler (2-for-3 with a double and a sac fly RBI).
The Cubs took advantage of a bad Padres team in the sixth and added two runs. Addison Russell (0-for-4 with a RBI) collected an RBI after he smoked a grounder toward short with the infield in that Luis Sardinas could not handle.
Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a home run) went opposite field in the seventh inning with a solo shot to right for the Cubs’ sixth and final run of the game.
Kyle Hendricks was a little off on Wednesday. Hendricks gave up single runs in the second and third innings. But with the tying run on third and no outs in the third, Hendricks made his best pitches of game. Hendricks retired the next three batters on a pair of pop ups to Javier Baez at third base and he caught Ryan Schimpf looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Hendricks allowed the leadoff man to reach in each of the first four innings. Hendricks retired the Padres in order for the first time in the fifth and the seven-pitch inning allowed him to go back out for the sixth. Hendricks turned the game over to the pen in the seventh inning. Hendricks allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Hendricks made 99 pitches, 65 for strikes, in six innings.
Trevor Cahill pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Cahill ran into a little trouble in the eighth after issuing a two-out walk to Alex Dickerson and serving up a double to Ryan Schimpf. Justin Grimm struck out Brett Wallace swinging to end the inning.
Aroldis Chapman struck out three in a row to end the game after giving up a leadoff single to Derek Norris.
The Cubs scored six runs on 10 hits without a walk and finished the game 2-for-10 with RISP while leaving four men on base.
The Cubs jumped on Paul Clemens in the first inning. The first three reached on two doubles and a triple and Jorge Soler made it 3-0 with a sac fly to center. Dexter Fowler doubled to right. Kris Bryant just missed a homer to left center. The ball hit off the base of the wall. Fowler had to hold and ended up at third when Bryant had to settle for a double.
Ben Zobrist ripped a 1-1 pitch into the gap in right center. Fowler and Bryant scored easily on a triple for Zobrist. Soler hit a sac fly to center. Four batters into the game, 3-0 Cubs. Russell was called out on strikes (2-2 pitch was not a strike) and Heyward flied out to left.
Kyle Hendricks worked around a leadoff double by Travis Jankowski in the first by retiring Myers (swinging strikeout), Solarte (grounder to first) and Dickerson (pop out to center). Hendricks made 20 pitches, 13 for strikes, and at the end of one complete, the Cubs led 3-0.
Paul Clemens faced the minimum in the second after Contreras lined into a 6-3 double play. The Padres chipped into the Cubs lead in the home-half.
Ryan Schimpf led off the second with a triple to right center. Brett Wallace lifted a 2-0 pitch to center. Fowler hauled it in, but had no shot on Schimpf. The Padres second baseman tagged and scored, 3-1 Cubs. Hendricks retired Norris on a fly out to left. Luis Sardinas reached on a fielding error by Zobrist at second base. Hendricks struck out Clemens swinging (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.
After two complete, it was 3-1 Cubs.
The Cubs went down in order in the top of the third. Clemens struck out Fowler (looking) and Bryant (swinging) for the first two outs. Zobrist rolled out to first base for the third out. The Padres made it a one-run game in the bottom of the third. Hendricks did an excellent job of not allowing the Friars to tie the game.
Travis Jankowski started the third with a single to left. Wil Myers lined a 0-2 pitch into right center. Jankowski scored easily on what ended up being a triple for Myers, 3-2 Cubs. With no outs and the tying run at third, Hendricks got Solarte to pop up a 1-0 pitch to Javier Baez. And Alex Dickerson popped Hendricks’ first pitch to Baez. Hendricks struck out Schimpf looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs led by one, 3-2, after three complete.
The Cubs finally got to Paul Clemens again in the sixth inning.
Bryant led off the sixth with a single to center. Zobrist singled to left center. And the Cubs had two on with no outs. Soler popped up Clemens first pitch. Norris caught the ball in foul ground for the first out. Bryant and Zobrist moved to second and third on a wild pitch with Russell at the plate. Andy Green brought his infield in with one down.
Addison Russell smoked a 2-2 pitch toward short that ate up Sardinas. Bryant and Zobrist scored on E6 … Cubs 5, Padres 2. With Russell at second and one out, Green made the slow walk and went to his pen for lefty Brad Hand. Heyward was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch for the second out. And Baez struck out swinging to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks pitched around a two-out walk to Schimpf in the sixth. The Cubs led by three after six complete, 5-2.
Brad Hand stayed in for the seventh. And Willson Contreras took Mr. Hand out to right. Contreras started the seventh with an opposite field shot and made it a 6-2 game. David Ross hit for Hendricks and lined a 3-2 pitch to short for the first out. Fowler flied out to the wall in left center. Bryant hit a 3-1 pitch back to Hand on the mound to end the inning.
Trevor Cahill took over for Hendricks in the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. The game went to the eighth with the Cubs leading 6-2.
Cahill struck out Myers and Solarte for the first two outs in the eighth. Cahill walked Dickerson. Ryan Schimpf doubled to right, Dickerson scored and Maddon went to his pen for Justin Grimm. Matt Szczur replaced Soler in left on the double-switch. Grimm struck out Wallace swinging on three pitches to end the inning.
The Cubs did not add on in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman took the mound in the ninth with the Cubs leading 6-3. Chapman picked up the save. After giving up a leadoff single to Derek Norris, Chapman struck out Sardinas, Rosales and Jankowski to end the game.
With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 81-45 on the season.
The Cubs will spend Thursday’s off day in Los Angeles. The Cubs begin a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday night (9:10pm CDT). Mike Montgomery gets the ball in the opener. The Dodgers have not announced their starters for the series.