Levine: Anthony Rizzo Helps Power Cubs Past Giants

By Bruce Levine–

CHICAGO (CBS) — On a cold, blustery night, first baseman Anthony Rizzo led the way for the Cubs on Wednesday.

Rizzo clubbed two solo home runs off Giants left-hander Matt Moore in his team’s 5-4 win at Wrigley Field. The first came in the second inning, a laser that hit the auxiliary board above the right-field field. The second was a fourth-inning shot into the right-center field bleachers. Each tied the game.

“I get on some streaks sometimes,” said Rizzo, who leads the Cubs with 11 homers.  “I do feel good right now. I put some nice things on the ball. We got a W. So that always feels good.”

Rizzo has set a brutally tough regimen for himself to stay strong. When the team is at home, he trains early every morning before night games at the prestigious East Bank Club in River North. He and his trainer do a conditioning program that increases his strength and durability. Pushing around 100-pound tires looks like fun for Rizzo.

He saves the flexibility and baseball activity for the ballpark facility later in the day. His work paid dividends Wednesday, as he was 3-for-3 with a walk. That helped back right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who earned the win by going seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking none.

“We are going toward June, so there is less about pitch count,” Rizzo said of Cubs pitchers going deeper in games. “When our starters go deep, it is always fun to play behind them.”

Hendricks improved to 4-2 and continued his quality work at Wrigley Field, where he’s now 11-3 with a 1.82 ERA since the start of 2016. His seven-inning outing was his longest of this season, and Hendricks has registered six straight starts with two or fewer earned runs allowed.

“That was the strongest I felt deep into a game,” Hendricks said. “The start right before this, I had definitely felt stronger. Today was the best.”

Closer Wade Davis saved his 10th game in as many tries this season despite an eventful ninth inning in which he gave up a two-run homer to Mac Williamson that cut the Giants’ deficit to one. Davis struck out Joe Panik to end the game with the tying run on second base.

The Cubs are 6-2 on their current homestand ahead of the series finale against the Giants on Thursday afternoon. Chicago has homered at least twice in four straight games.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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