California received everything but love from the Chicago Cubs as they completed the three-game sweep over the Oakland Athletics Sunday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks turned in another fantastic start for the first-place club.
Excuse my California Love reference in the beginning of the article, I’m a huge Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre fan. And while the Oakland Athletics sounded a clip from one of the greatest hip hop songs of all-time, it was the Chicago Cubs and their fans celebrating once the third and final out was recorded.
Thankfully. With the Cubbies extending their winning streak to seven games following today’s 3-1 sweep over the Athletics, they continued to gain ground in the N.L. Central. The second-place St. Louis Cardinals are now 11.5 games behind.
Hendricks (11-7, 2.17 ERA) chewed through this Oakland lineup and was looking to pick up his fourth career complete game until Marcus Semien took him deep in the eighth.
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Semien’s home run was only the third hit given up by Kyle who ended the afternoon with zero walks and four strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Reliever Pedro Strop entered the game and helped keep the Athletics (48-63) at bay with Aroldis Chapman warming up in the pen.
For the third time this weekend, the Cubs (69-41) were the first team on the board. It took them awhile but Kris Bryant hammered his 27th home run of the 2016 campaign out to deep left field, giving Kyle a 1-0 lead in the sixth.
Jorge Soler, who launched a home run on Friday and doubled in a run on Saturday, led off the seventh inning with his seventh home run. Both Soler and Bryant combined 4-for-7 as Willson Contreras and Addison Russell were the only Cubs without a hit.
Russell nearly had himself a solo shot of his own, only to watch the ball die on the warning track and land in the glove of outfielder Coco Crisp.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo tallied Chicago’s third run of the ballgame with his 32nd double of the year out to left field, scoring Bryant from second. The Cubs had the bases juiced with no outs at least twice today and failed to capitalize.