Cubs slam 3 homers in win against Padres
|Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 8:03 AM- -|
SAN DIEGO -- The Chicago Cubs (79-45) slammed three homers in a 5-1 win against the San Diego Padres (53-72) on Monday night at Petco Park.
Addison Russell stayed red-hot with his 18th home run to left center field in the 2nd inning off of former Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson to put the Cubs up 1-0. Russell had another productive at-bat in the top of the third inning with a sacrifice fly to right fielder Patrick Kivlehan to score Dexter Fowler. Russell is the third shortstop in Cubs history (Ernie Banks, Roy Smalley) with 80 RBIs in a season according to ESPN Stats. Russell has four homers in his last four games which is the third time he has homered in consecutive games this season.
"Just watch me over the course of the year," Russell said to reporters after the game. "The numbers may not be great, but I contribute to my team every single day. We all have each others' backs and we're pushing forward."
Kris Bryant smacked his 32nd homer to left center field in the fifth inning off of Jackson to make it 3-0. Bryant leads the majors with 100 runs this season. The last Cubs third baseman with 100 runs in a season was Ryne Sandberg in 1982. Bryant is the only Cubs player with 30+ homers and 100+ runs at the age of 24 or under in history.
Oft-criticized outfielder Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer for his sixth of the season in the fifth inning to add to the lead at 5-0.
"There's not a more professional guy who I've been around than him," Lester said of Heyward in a post-game interview. "That dugout was more than ecstatic for him to make that good swing."
Veteran pitcher Jon Lester (14-4) went six innings, giving up five hits, one run, two walks with eight strikeouts to get the win and performance lowered his season's ERA to 2.81. Lester's 20 quality starts tied him with Madison Bumgarner and Justin Verlander for the major league lead.
"I don't really like quality starts," Lester said to reporters after the win. "I think it's kind of a made-up stat that helps guys who don't go deep in the ballgames. I think quality starts should go to the seventh inning, more than the sixth. As a starter, I feel better if I get through the seventh. I try to get 200 innings, and that means I'm doing my job."
The defensive play of the game was when Will Myers hit a rocket to shortstop at 110 MPH as Russell made the play and threw to Anthony Rizzo for the out. The road crowd gave Russell a rare standing ovation.
"Not many guys make that play," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to reporters in his post-game press conference. "Somebody said it was 110 miles an hour off the bat, and to pick it clean like that, that's pretty spectacular."
Cubs relievers Justin Grimm, Travis Wood, and Carl Edwards Jr. all pitched a scoreless inning to finish off the Padres and help Lester achieve his 14th win of the season.
Jake Arrieta will face Christian Friedrick on Tuesday night at Petco Park at 9:10 p.m. CT.