Javier Baez had a three-run home run among his three hits, while Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs, as the Chicago Cubs' hot second-half start continued with a 6-5 victory Saturday afternoon against the visiting San Diego Padres.
Baez's home run in the fourth inning, his 24th of the season, allowed the Cubs to erase an early deficit on a day when starter Jose Quintana (8-7) was not at his best. The left-hander gave up five runs on eight hits over five innings with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Hunter Renfroe hit home runs for the Padres, who lost their third consecutive game and fell to 1-7 in the second half.
Padres starter Joey Lucchesi (7-5) was not first-rate either, giving up six runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Cubs not only are 7-1 to open the second half, they have won nine of their last 11 since the Fourth of July. Chicago also improved to 24-14 since May 25. The Cubs are 36-17 at home this season, and only the Los Angeles Dodgers are better in their own park among National League clubs.
Rizzo had an RBI ground out for the first Cubs' run and Robel Garcia added an RBI triple for a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. It was the ninth career hit for the rookie Garcia, eight of which have gone for extra bases.
The Padres took a 3-2 lead in the second inning on a solo home run by Tatis, his 16th, and a two-run shot by Machado, his 25th. The Cubs tied it 3-3 in the third on an RBI single from Rizzo.
A Tatis sacrifice fly in the fourth gave the Padres a 4-3 lead before Baez took Lucchesi deep to center field for his three-run shot and a 6-4 advantage in the fourth. Renfroe cut that lead to 6-5 in the fifth on a solo shot, his 28th.
Cubs relievers Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop and Craig Kimbrel held the Padres scoreless over the final four innings. Kimbrel recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities.
--Field Level Media