After dropping the first two games of their four-game set, the Chicago Cubs (30-17) bounced back on Saturday thanks to big home runs by Willson Contreras, Javier Báez, and Ian Happ. They earned a 4-2 extra-inning victory on the road over the San Diego Padres (22-24), via MLB The Show 20.
Yu Darvish was outstanding for the Cubs just a day after Kyle Hendricks allowed six earned runs in the first two innings. The only true blemishes for Darvish against the Padres were a 3rd-inning solo homer from Jurickson Profar and a Trent Grisham RBI single in the 7th that followed a double by Fernando Tatís Jr.
Those were the only two runs Darvish allowed in eight innings on four hits and no walks while striking out six. On the other side, Chris Paddack was equally great. He went only six innings, allowing six hits and one walk with nine strikeouts. The major difference, however, is that Paddack surrendered only one run.
The Cubs got that run in the 2nd inning when Jason Heyward drilled a 2-0 fastball into the seats in right field to put Chicago in front 1-0. That would be it for the offense until the 9th inning, when San Diego went to closer Kirby Yates with a 2-1 lead. Contreras came in to pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot and took Yates deep to left field to tie the game.
It appeared as though San Diego might walk off in the 9th when Eric Hosmer led off the inning with a double against Jeremy Jeffress. Tommy Pham hit a single into right field, bringing Hosmer around to try to score. But Heyward threw an absolute bullet to Victor Caratini at home, nailing Hosmer and effectively shutting the door on the Padres.
Yates went back out for the 10th inning, despite having blown the save and allowed the Cubs to tie the game previously. That was ultimately a mistake, as Báez was first up and smacked the ball to right field, just deep enough to get it over the wall for a go-ahead solo shot.
The Padres then went to Matt Strahm out of the bullpen and he was able to get the next two outs by striking out Kyle Schwarber and getting David Bote to groundout to second base. But Ian Happ spoiled Strahm’s outing, crushing a home run to right-center field and giving the Cubs a little breathing room.
Craig Kimbrel came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th and he did so with no hiccups. After blowing the save and losing the first game of the series, Kimbrel got back on track and easily closed out the 4-2 Cubs victory.
Báez – 3-for-5, 3B, HR, RBI, SB
Heyward – 3-for-5, HR, RBI
Happ – 2-for-5, HR, RBI
Darvish – 8 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 6 K
Grisham – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Profar – 1-for-4, HR, RBI
Paddack – 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 9 K
Winning Pitcher – Jeffress (4-1)
Losing Pitcher – Yates (0-1)
Save – Kimbrel (17)
Home Runs – Báez (13), Happ (10), Heyward (9), Contreras (8), Profar (5)