hold on to beat Padres
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[June 20, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo had
another big night as a leadoff batter on Monday, going 2-for-3 with
a triple, bunt single and sacrifice fly in a 3-2 Chicago Cubs
victory over the San Diego Padres.
But a play at the plate that stopped Rizzo from scoring a run raised
ire from the Padres and shrugs from Rizzo and the Cubs.
Rizzo tripled to open the Cubs sixth, bolted for home after Kris
Bryant's liner to center was caught. Rizzo barreled into Padres
catcher Austin Hedges after he caught a throw from center fielder
Matt Szczur and defended the plate.
"It's a cheap shot," said Padres manager Andy Green. "I'm not saying
he's a dirty player, nobody's saying that (but) he clearly deviated
from his path to hit our catcher. He took our catcher out."
But the Cubs first baseman, who was tagged out on the play, said it
was just good, hard baseball.
"By no means do I think that's a dirty play at all," Rizzo said. "I
went pretty much straight in. He caught the ball and went towards
the plate so I went in -- I slid in there -- it was a hard slide.
... I play this game hard for a 162 games-plus so I can't see that
Hedges apparently suffered a bruised thigh in the collision and did
not return for the seventh inning.
"I don't expect him to play tomorrow," said Green. "I don't know how
long he's out for."
Javier Baez went 2-for-3 and scored a go-ahead run on a throwing
error as the Cubs (35-34) beat the Padres for the first time this
season after three losses last month in San Diego.
Reliever Hector Rondon (2-1) worked one inning -- a scoreless
seventh -- for the victory.
Right-handed reliever Kirby Yates (1-1) took the loss after allowing
one run on two hits in the seventh.
Cubs reliever Wade Davis faced five batters in the ninth and had
runners on second and third with one out after two wild pitches. But
he struck out Wil Myers swinging and got Hunter Renfroe to ground
out to earn his 14th save.
Neither San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard nor Chicago
left-hander Jon Lester figured in decisions.
The Padres (28-43) dropped their second straight and third in four
games despite homers from leadoff batter Jose Pirela and second
baseman Yangervis Solarte.
Rizzo, playing this sixth game in the leadoff spot, extended his
hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. He has reached base in all
six games leading off, just the fifth Cubs player to do so since
Lester worked six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He
walked one and struck out seven.
The Cubs tied the game 2-2 in the seventh on Willson Contreras'
sixth homer of the season, coming with none out on Richard's 1-2
Richard departed with one out, and Baez greeted Yates with a single
to shallow right. Albert Almora Jr. then doubled to left, and Baez
scored on Pirela's throwing error for a 3-2 Cubs lead.
[to top of second column]
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) hits a home run in the seventh
inning against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. Mandatory
Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Richard allowed two runs on five hits over 6 1/3
innings. He walked three and struck out three.
The Padres claimed an instant 1-0 lead on leadoff batter Pirela's
first-inning home run. Pirela sent Lester's 1-1 pitch to center
field for his third homer of the season.
In the bottom of the first, Rizzo spoiled the Padres' infield shift
toward first base by placing a perfect bunt down the third-base line
that wasn't picked up until he had reached first.
"It's not your prototypical lead off the game," said Rizzo.
Solarte made it 2-0 in the third with a first-pitch homer to left
field. It was his 10th of the season and third since Saturday, when
he clubbed two against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs got one run back in the third when Rizzo sent a one-out
sacrifice fly deep to left field to drive in Almora from third.
Chicago had runners at first and second with none out in the fifth,
but Lester struck out while bunting foul and Jon Jay grounded into
an inning-ending double play.
The Cubs were without right fielder Jason Heyward, who sat out
Monday after suffering a laceration to his left hand in the second
inning of Sunday's game at Pittsburgh while attempting to make a
NOTES: San Diego designated RHP Zach Lee for assignment on Monday
and claimed LHP Dillon Overton off waivers from Seattle and optioned
him to Triple-A El Paso. ... San Diego needs just one win this week
to take the season series from Chicago after the Padres recorded a
three-game sweep and held the Cubs to 12 collective hits last month
at Petco Park. ... The Padres will send RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-5,
5.10 ERA) against Cubs LHP Mike Montgomery (0-3, 2.65 ERA) in
Tuesday's middle game. ... The three-game Cubs-Padres series is also
Chicago's shortest homestead of the season. After Wednesday's
finale, the Cubs embark on an 11-day, 11-game road trip that takes
them to Miami, Washington and Cincinnati. ... The Cubs have been at
the .500 mark 14 times this season. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo led off for
the sixth time on Monday and went 2-for-3 with a bunt single and
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