Hedges, Lamet help Padres hand Cubs 5th straight loss
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The rebuilding San Diego Padres are hoping to follow the Chicago Cubs’ blueprint — the one that required years of losing before a title was delivered.
Not that the defending World Series champions are looking all that unbeatable up close.
Austin Hedges had a home run and a career-high four RBIs, rookie Dinelson Lamet produced another strong outing and the Padres beat the Cubs 6-2 on Tuesday night, giving Chicago its fifth straight loss.
Hedges hit a two-run homer and a two-run double as the Padres clinched the three-game series against the struggling Cubs.
Lamet (2-0), one of Padres’ top prospects, was making his Petco Park debut and looking to build on his stellar first start. Against the New York Mets on Thursday, the right-hander threw five innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits.
He was nearly as good against the potent Cubs, limiting them to two runs, five hits and a walk over five innings. For the second straight start, he struck out eight. He showed three effective pitches in a fastball, slider and changeup.
“We knew we would see great stuff, but a 4-to-1 strike-to-ball ratio today?” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He’s in the strike zone, and that is the No. 1 thing for him to be successful.”
Eddie Butler (2-1) was seeking his third straight win, but he lasted only 4 1/3 innings, charged with six runs and seven hits.
“We had a good game plan, executed a lot of pitches, but missed with a few too many,” Butler said.
He walked three and struck out five as his teammates were no match for Lamet.
“Fortunately everything went well,” Lamet said through a translator. “I got confidence once I got a strike on these guys, then I could go after them with my offspeed pitches and my breaking stuff. I was trying to be aggressive and attacking the strike zone.”
Hunter Renfroe had a two-run double in the fifth that put the Padres up 4-2 and gave him six RBIs in two games.
“We gave up the lead and that was largely because they did pitch well again and we’re not hitting like we can,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “So that is a bad combination.”
Hedges got to reliever Brian Duensing for another two-run double into the left field corner, extending the edge to 6-2.
Kyle Schwarber burned Lamet on an 0-2 pitch, turning on an elevated fastball for a solo homer in the fifth to tie it at 2 and snap his 0-for-13 skid.
“The rest of the outing it was lights out for the young guy,” Green said. “I feel really good about his ballgame, and I couldn’t be more pleased in what he has done in his two starts.”
Hedges’ ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Butler’s fastball, pushed the Padres ahead 2-1 in the second inning. Franchy Cordero opened with a single.
The Cubs struck first when Willson Contreras’ bad-hop grounder got past Cory Spangenberg at third for a double in the second for a 1-0 edge, scoring Cordero after he singled.
Chicago, which has fallen a game under .500, has nine hits in the series’ first two games. They left nine runners on base.
Cubs: 2B Ben Zobrist is starting but a sprained left wrist is restricting him when he bats right-handed. He’s avoiding hitting from that side but is getting better, according to manager Joe Maddon.
Padres: RHP Jered Weaver (hip inflammation) threw his first bullpen session Tuesday since going on the DL on May 20. ... RHP Trevor Cahill (shoulder strain) has yet to throw after going on the DL May 14. ... CF Manuel Margot (strained left calf) had an MRI, which the team said came out well.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.92) has lost three of his last four starts. Against the Padres, Arrieta is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He last faced them in August when he threw eight shutout innings.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (0-0, 4.19) has lost his last two decisions after setting a franchise mark with six straight no-decisions to start a season. Perdomo has pitched against the Cubs just once, allowing two runs, two hits and two walks in three innings.
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