Chicago Cubs slug their way to eighth straight victory
The Chicago Cubs kept the bats hot and survived a late-game scare, as they beat the San Diego Padres 8-7 on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to an impressive eight games.
Jon Lester (4-1, 1.96 ERA) took the mound for the North Siders having come into the game with a 3-1 record and a 1.58 ERA. The big lefty didn’t have his best stuff in the series opener, giving up a number of hard hit outs early on.This would eventually lead to a Melvin Upton Jr. solo homer in the fourth inning, giving the Padres their first run.
Lester pitched six complete innings giving up three runs on four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts.
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Opposing starting pitcher, Cesar Vargas entered the day having given up only two runs in 16 innings of work, but his luck soon changed after running into a red-hot Cubs team. Vargas was chased out of the game after only four innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits.
The Cubs got out ahead early as Addison Russell doubled home Ben Zobrist in the second inning. Russell did have a baserunning blunder, missing the stop sign and sliding into a third base that was already occupied by Javy Baez.
The next inning, Kris Bryant drove in a pair of runs with a double to deep left field, followed by a Ben Zobrist RBI single and a David Ross sac fly, giving the Cubs a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth.
Anthony Rizzo started the seventh inning with a lead-off walk, raising his on-base percentage to .415. Ben Zobrist, who had a 4-for-4 day at the dish, singled to right setting up for an Addison Russell two-run triple, giving the Cubs a comfortable 8-3 lead.
Room for comfort would then run short as the Cubs bullpen loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. Adam Warren entered the game to try and escape the jam, but gave up a grand slam to pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson, closing the gap to just a single run.
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The Cubs would endure, however, as closer Hector Rondon sat down all three batters he faced, striking out two out of three in the ninth, giving the Cubs an 8-7 victory.
The Cubs will play a split doubleheader on Wednesday with Kyle Hendricks set to face off against Colin Rea at 12:05 PM CT and John Lackey going against Drew Pomeranz at 7:05 PM CT.