The Cubs returned to Wrigley Field on Friday to battle the Royals for both the weekend series and a better draft spot. With the Chicago Air and Water Show warming up, the road team put on an aerial display in a home run-powered win.
Patrick Wisdom kicked off the scoring with a solo homer that made it onto Waveland Avenue in the 2nd inning, then Ian Happ padded the lead with an RBI single in the 3rd that made it 2-0. Happ also ended the inning and cost the Cubs a run when he slipped rounding first base and was tagged out before Rafael Ortega crossed the plate.
Zach Davies started out well, pitching a scoreless three frames to open the game. Then he ran into homer trouble as Salvador Pérez had the first solo shot in the 4th, followed by Emmanuel Rivera‘s first career home run in the 5th inning that tied the score.
Pérez hit his second homer of the game and 32nd of the season in the 6th and Andrew Benintendi made it back-to-back dingers. A Jerrod Dyson RBI bunt single in the 8th and a Cam Gallagher, wait for it, solo homer the next inning increased the lead to 6-2.
Why the Cubs Lost
They say limit home runs to solo shots and you have a pretty good chance to win. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work so well when you allow five of them.
On Happ’s 3rd inning single, he overran first base and was tagged out when first baseman Carlos Santana cut off the throw. The home plate umpire originally ruled that Ortega had scored from second base, but the call was overturned upon review and left the Cubs up 2-0 instead of 3-0. They would not score again.
Stats That Matter
- Davies allowed just five hits, but four of them were home runs: 6 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- No Cubs had more than one hit on Friday.
For a game being buzzed by the Blue Angels, not much interesting happened. The Cubs put forward another weak effort against an equally poor opponent. This will help their draft stock and not much else, as they are now a half game up on KC for the seventh pick.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 1:20pm CT and features a pitching matchup between Kris Bubic and Keegan Thompson, who makes his first major league start. Television coverage is available on Marquee Sports Network and the radio call is on 670 The Score.