CHICAGO — Sometimes putting the ball in play is all it takes to generate offense.
A mix of soft contact and extra-base hits fueled the Chicago Cubs in a 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Two Padres errors also helped the Cubs complete the three-game sweep, accounting for two of their runs. The Cubs will embark on a West Coast trip as winners in 11 of their last 13 games.
Right-hander Adbert Alzolay shut down a Padres offense that was without Fernando Tatís Jr. (oblique), the National League Player of the Month for May. Alzolay struck out seven in five innings while surrendering only one run on three hits and walking one.
It was the Cubs’ first sweep of the Padres in a three-game series at Wrigley since May 28-30, 2012.
Four Cubs relievers combined to toss four shutout innings, continuing a dominant stretch for the bullpen. The Cubs bullpen has not allowed an earned run in 21 of the last 23 games, posting a big-league-best 0.75 ERA (seven earned runs in 84⅓ innings) in that span.
Shortstop Ha-Seong Kim’s RBI single gave the Padres the lead in the fourth. The Cubs tied it in the bottom of the inning thanks to first baseman Eric Hosmer’s fielding error.
They appeared to go ahead on a ball that popped out of Kim’s glove in shallow left as he collided with left fielder Tommy Pham, which initially scored Patrick Wisdom from third. The run came off the board, however, because of Kim’s quick throw in for an inning-ending double play on forceouts at third and second. The Cubs runners didn’t advance on the dropped fly ball, seemingly unable to determine whether it was a catch.
Anthony Rizzo got that run back the next inning. Padres manager Jayce Tingler brought in left-hander Tim Hill to face Rizzo, but the move didn’t work out. Rizzo connected for a two-out, two-run double for a 3-1 lead.
The Cubs tacked on three more runs in the seventh. Ian Happ’s ball in play was mishandled by Jake Cronenworth, bringing home a run. Javier Báez followed with a two-run homer, his 14th of the season.