Anthony Rizzo snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the fifth and Javier Baez later rocketed a two-run homer two innings later to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 6-1 win and a three-game sweep of visiting San Diego.
The game featured Padres left fielder Tommy Pham and shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, who knocked in the Padres’ only run on a fourth-inning single, both leaving early after a scary collision in short left field in the bottom of the fourth.
The Cubs had scored to tie the game at 1-1 in the fourth and had the bases loaded with one out when P.J. Higgins lifted a high pop fly to short left. Pham was racing in as Kim, who started at short for the injured Fernando Tatis Jr. (right oblique), drifted back.
As Kim reached up for the ball, the shortstop’s head hit Pham’s chin as they collided. Both lay on the ground for several minutes after Kim reflexively grabbed the ball and rifled it to the infield. Pham eventually walked off the field under his own power. Kim walked off assisted by two trainers. Moments later, Pham had to be restrained in the Padres dugout with an exchange of words with someone other than Kim.
Ironically, the Cubs did not score on the collision play. The runners at second (Rafael Ortega) and first (Eric Sogard) didn’t run on the play, believing the ball had been caught. Kim recovered briefly enough to pick up the ball, throw to Manny Machado at third and start a double play.
The Cubs’ winning rally in the fifth was also marked by controversy as Padres pitching coach Larry Rothschild was ejected for arguing a ball called by plate umpire Scott Barry before the frame began.
Padres reliever Pierce Johnson (1-2) suffered the loss after walking the first two hitters he faced in the fifth (Nick Martini and Joc Pederson), then retiring the next two before Rizzo greeted reliever Tim Hill with a line drive to the wall in left-center past diving center fielder Jurickson Profar.
Sergio Alcantara started the Cubs’ three-run seventh with a triple into the right-field corner. He scored when Ian Happ reached on an error by Jake Cronenworth, who had slid from second base to replace Kim after his injury, and Baez connected off Miguel Baez with his third homer of the series.
The Cubs scored their first runs in the fourth when Padres drawn-in first baseman Eric Hosmer botched a grounder, scoring Rizzo, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay (4-4) got the win, allowing a run on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in five innings. Padres starter Dinelson Lamet gave up a run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts in four innings.
–Field Level Media