CHICAGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres’ starting lineup Tuesday night had a total of 29 home runs this season. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, the player San Diego traded to Chicago in 2012, now has 25 by himself.
Rizzo hit two homers and the Padres managed only five hits – failing to get a runner to third base – in a 6-0 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday night.
“He’s a talent,” Padres manager Bud Black said of Rizzo. “He’s a good player. They’re giving him his at-bats, and he’s producing.”
Rizzo staked Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (1-0) to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a solo homer. Four innings later, rookie Arismendy Alcantara and Rizzo hit back-to-back homers off Blaine Boyer for a 5-0 lead. Rizzo became the first National League player to reach 25 homers this season, his career high. He hit 23 homers in 160 games last season.
Emilio Bonifacio, Wellington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano had two hits apiece for the Cubs.
Recalled from Triple-A Iowa earlier Tuesday, Hendricks made short work of an anemic Padres lineup that entered the game with an NL-worst .215 team batting average. In his second start of the season, the right-hander allowed five hits and threw only 83 pitches in seven innings. He walked three and struck out five.
“He really executed well,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of his 24-year-old starting pitcher. “He had a tremendous tempo. He had a real good idea of what he wanted to do to every single hitter.”
Eric Stults (3-12) took the loss, the ninth in his last 10 decisions. He gave up three runs and six hits and walked three in five innings.
On a hot, humid night in Chicago, the short innings produced by Hendricks left Stults without much rest.
“It’s kind of hard to catch your breath,” Stults said. “The way the other guy threw, he had some quick innings. It felt like I was sitting down and getting right back up.”
The Padres had two runners on base in the first, third and fifth innings, but the Cubs turned two of their season-high four double plays to erase the last two threats.
“Double plays were our demise tonight,” Black said. “We couldn’t get it airborne.”
In his first appearance since June 13, when he went on the disabled list because of a strained right oblique, Bonifacio set the tone in the first inning. He led off with a double and later scored on Ruggiano’s short fly ball.
NOTES: San Diego rookie 1B Jake Goebbert played his first major league game at Wrigley Field, less than 10 miles from Northwestern, where he was a two-sport star. His family owns a pumpkin patch northwest of Chicago. … San Diego RHP Odrisamer Despaigne had his next start pushed back one day to Saturday as a precautionary measure. In his last assignment on Sunday, the rookie took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. … Chicago LHP Tsuyoshi Wada will be activated and start the second game of the series on Wednesday night. … General manager Jed Hoyer indicated that Alcantara will continue play regularly down the stretch. Veteran 2B Darwin Barney was designated for assignment before the game. … The Cubs will play 22 of their next 32 games at home, where their 43 games are the fewest of any major league team to date.