Flores homers, Giants beat Cubs 6-5 for 7th straight win
CHICAGO (AP) — Wilmer Flores flew halfway across the country knowing he would play in just one game before heading back home.
Turns out it was a worthwhile trip.
Flores homered and drove in three runs, Kris Bryant scored two against his former team, and the San Francisco Giants hung on to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Sunday for their season-high seventh straight win.
Owners of the best record in the majors, the Giants matched their longest streak since a seven-game run in August 2020.
They were rolling along with a 6-3 lead in the seventh before the Cubs scored two while chasing Logan Webb (10-3). Chicago had the bases loaded with one out when submarining right-hander Tyler Rogers caught Willson Contreras looking at an 84 mph fastball on a 3-2 count. He then struck out Alfonso Rivas swinging at a 3-2 pitch with the crowd on its feet.
The Cubs had the tying run on in the ninth after Jake McGee gave up a one-out double to pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom. But Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ grounded to first to end the game.
Flores said he “felt great out there” after being sidelined since Sept. 1 because of a strained left hamstring. And considering how far he had to go, it was a rewarding day for him.
“Definitely,” he said. “We’re on a run here. Any little thing counts. I always want to play. If I have to fly in for one game, I’ll do it again.”
Flores hit an RBI single in the second and singled and scored in the fourth as the Giants went up 3-0. He matched a career high with his 18th homer when he launched a two-run shot to left against Justin Steele (3-3) in the fifth to stretch the lead to 5-2.
CHEERS FOR BRYANT
Bryant got a standing ovation when he stepped to the plate in the first. He drove in a run with a force in the third, and singled and scored in both the fifth and seventh innings to help make it 6-3.
Bryant was 4 for 12 with five runs in an emotional first series against Chicago since being traded prior to the July 30 deadline.
He also got charged with a three-base error in right field when he collided with center fielder Austin Slater chasing a fly in the fifth by David Bote, leading to a run. Manager Gabe Kapler said that was more on Slater for not calling him off the ball.
“We definitely have to tighten up our communication,” Kapler said. “That play didn’t stop us from winning the game, but it may have stopped us from being at our best throughout that game.”
Webb gave up five runs and six hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander exited with a 6-5 lead after Bote hit an RBI double and Robinson Chirinos drove him in with a bloop single.
Tony Watson pitched the eighth. McGee worked the ninth for his 31st save in 36 chances, and the Giants finished a 6-0 road trip.
Cubs manager David Ross returned to the dugout after being away from the team since Sept. 3 following a positive COVID-19 test. Ross, who is vaccinated, experienced no symptoms.
Happ hit his eighth homer in 16 games, capping a two-run fourth with a solo shot. But Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games after winning seven in a row.
Steele went five innings, allowing five runs and 11 hits.
“He just didn’t look like he had real good command of his stuff today,” Ross said. “He battled his way through five. Just didn’t have his best stuff today.”
Giants: The Giants reinstated CF Austin Slater (concussion) from the seven-day injured listed and 1B Wilmer Flores (strained left hamstring) from the 10-day IL. RHP John Brebbia and LHP Caleb Baragar were optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Cubs: Ross had no update on OF Jason Heyward, who left Saturday’s game after getting kneed in the head by Crawford. Heyward was hurt sliding into third in the fourth inning when Crawford took a throw on the run as he covered the bag and jumped over him. … 2B Nico Hoerner (strained right oblique) was to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Sunday.
Giants: The Giants begin a four-game series at home against San Diego, with RHP Dominic Leone (3-3, 1.48 ERA) up first in a bullpen game for San Francisco. The Padres had not announced their starter.
Cubs: The Cubs open a three-game series at Philadelphia on Tuesday, with RHP Adrian Sampson (0-2, 2.20) starting for Chicago and RHP Kyle Gibson (10-6, 3.38) pitching for the Phillies.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports