Baez, Rizzo lead surging Cubs past Padres 6-1

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Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez (9) talks to Anthony Rizzo at home plate after Baez's two-run home run off San Diego Padres relief pitcher Miguel Diaz in the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – Javier Báez lined a two-run homer, Anthony Rizzo had two doubles among three hits and the surging Chicago Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 6-1 on Wednesday for their third straight win and ninth in 10 games.

Baez’s shot to the left-field bleachers was his 14th homer and third in three games, and it capped a three-run seventh that allowed Chicago to put it away. Rizzo drove in two runs in the fifth with his first double to snap 1-1 tie and posted a second-straight multihit game after missing the previous six with back tightness.

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The Cubs are looking more and more like a deep, offensively talented team that belongs in first place in the NL Central.

Rizzo doesn't want his club to get ahead of itself.

“I don't think we've really proven anything. It's June 2,” Rizzo said. “We've proven to each other how much fun we're having and how good we are, but there are four more months.”

Manager David Ross is encouraged. He gave stars Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras they day off on Wednesday, but his lineup kept producing.

“We had a good homestand," Ross said of the 5-1 stretch. “The guys have been playing really well. The last couple of weeks has showed us how important it is to have great depth and guys who can come up in our organization.”

The Cubs homered eight times as they swept the Padres in a three-game set at Wrigley Field for the first time since May 2012. San Diego lost its fourth straight, its longest skid since last August.

The Padres also lost Kim Ha-seong and Tommy Pham to injury after they collided chasing a fly ball in the fourth inning. Manager Jayce Tingler said Kim might be day-to-day, but Pham's condition could be more serious.

“It's very scary when you see two guys going full speed and collide,” Tingler said.

Tingler said Kim had been checked under concussion protocol, “is doing well” and it “doesn't look like he had a concussion.”

Pham sustained a blow to the jaw and needed stitches. He'll need to undergo a CT scan to check for structural damage.

“He got banged up pretty well,” Tingler said. “His jaw may be out of whack."

Rizzo lined a pitch from Tim Hill to left-center beyond the glove of diving center fielder Jurickson Profar to put Chicago ahead 3-1 in the fifth.

Hill, a lefty, had entered to face the left-handed hitting Rizzo. He replaced Pierce Johnson (1-2) who was charged with the loss.

“Lefty on lefty, that was a huge knock for us to give us the lead,” Ross said.

Adbert Alzolay (4-4) allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven in five innings for the win. Four Cubs relievers followed with four scoreless innings.

Kim drove in the Padres run. He started at shortstop in place of injured slugger Fernando Tatis Jr.

Moments before the collision between Kim and Pham, the Cubs tied it at 1 when Rizzo raced home on Eric Hosmer’s error at first. Chicago then loaded the bases with one out on Eric Sogard’s bloop single.

P.J. Higgins lofted a high pop to short left, where Pham and Kim ran into each other. The ball and both players dropped to the grass.

Kim popped up and threw to Manny Machado at third for a force on Rafael Ortega. Machado relayed it to Jake Cronenworth at second for a force on Sogard and an inning-ending double-play.


Padres: Tingler said Tatis (right oblique strain) was progressing after being injured when hitting a fly on Tuesday night and might be out only day-to-day. “We’ll see where we're at tomorrow,” Tingler said. “He'll probably get some swings in.” ... CF Trent Grisham (bruised left heel) took live batting practice Wednesday. The 2020 Gold Glove winner has not played since May 21.

Cubs: OFs Jason Heyward (strained left hamstring) and Jake Marisnick (strained right hamstring) left for rehab assignments with Triple-A Iowa and could rejoin the Cubs in San Francisco this weekend.


Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (5-1, 2.16) will face RHP Taijuan Walker (4-1, 1.88) as the Padres open a four-game series Thursday in San Diego against the Mets. Walker has a 0.41 ERA in his last four starts.

Cubs: Cubs RHP Zach Davies (2-2, 4.65) will take the mound versus Giants RHP Anthony DeSclafani (4-2, 3.56) in the opener of a four-game series in San Francisco on Thursday.


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