Game One Hundred Twenty-Four – Cubs 5, Padres 1
WP – Jon Lester (14-4) LP – Edwin Jackson (3-4) Save – None
Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward homered. Jon Lester was charged with one run in six-plus innings. Addison Russell and Javier Baez turned in web gems and the bullpen hung zeros on the board over the last three innings as the Cubs beat the Padres on Monday night at PETCO Park.
Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a home run, a sac fly and two RBI) had an incredible game. Russell drove in the first two runs with a solo homer in the second, his 18th longball of the season, and a sacrifice fly in the third. Russell made one of the best defensive plays a shortstop can make in the eighth inning. Russell saved a run and took away a hit from Wil Myers with an incredible diving stop to his left. Russell fielded the smash and threw out Myers at first base.
Kris Bryant (1-for-5 with a home run) launched his 32nd homer of the season, a solo shot off Edwin Jackson in the fifth that gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Jason Heyward (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) put the game away with a two-run homer to right in the fifth that gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead. A very happy Jason Heyward trotted around the bases for the first time since July 29.
Anthony Rizzo (4-for-5 with a double and a run scored) had a big night in his return to San Diego. Rizzo collected four hits, three singles and a double. And Rizzo was on third base when Heyward went yard in the fifth.
The Cubs defense was back to its run preventing ways Monday night.
Addison Russell turned in the incredible play in the eighth inning. Javier Baez made the other two dazzling defensive plays on the night at third base. The only miscue was made Jason Heyward in the sixth inning, his first error of the season.
Jon Lester was very sharp once again Monday night. Lester had excellent command and located to both sides of the plate. The Padres made very little hard contact against him in the six-plus innings. The only ball that was squared up was in the sixth, a lineout to left off the bat of Luis Sardinas.
Lester took a three-hit shutout into the seventh. Lester faced two hitters and gave up back-to-back singles to Alex Dickerson and Christian Bethancourt. With two on, no outs and Lester reaching the 100-pitch mark, Joe Maddon made the slow walk and called in Justin Grimm.
Javier Baez took an infield hit away from Patrick Kiviehan with a sensational barehanded pickup and strike to first base. With runners on second and third, Grimm struck out pinch hitter Ryan Schimpf swinging on a ball in the dirt. The ball bounced away from David Ross. And not only did Schimpf reach, but Dickerson scored from third and broke up the shutout. Grimm struck out Luis Sardinas and Brett Wallace to end the seventh … and closed the book on Lester.
Jon Lester actually pitched better than his final line. Lester was charged with one run on five hits and two walks. Lester struck out eight on 100 pitches, 62 for strikes, in six-plus innings.
Travis Wood pitched a scoreless eighth with help from the incredible defensive play by Addison Russell.
Carl Edwards Jr. struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth on 20 pitches, 13 for strikes.
Monday was a team win as Joe Maddon received contributions from everyone that played. The Cubs scored five runs on 11 hits with four of the five runs scoring on home runs. Seven of the eight starters collected hits and all eight reached base at least once. The Cubs finished the game 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.
With Monday’s win, the Cubs improved to 79-45 on the season.
Jake Arrieta faces lefty Christian Friedrich in game two with the Padres on Tuesday night (9:10pm CDT).