CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez tied his career high with his 23rd home run and took over the National League lead with 84 RBIs, helping the Chicago Cubs defeat the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Friday.
Jose Quintana (10-7) allowed one run and four hits in six innings, leaving with a 3-1 lead.
Pedro Strop nearly wasted a 5-2 advantage, allowing Cory Spangenberg’s RBI double and Travis Jankowski’s run-scoring grounder before third baseman David Bote threw out Spangenberg at the plate trying to score on Manuel Margot’s grounder.
Baez had thrown out Jankowski at the plate in the eighth when Jankowski tried to score on Hunter Renfroe’s grounder to second.
Strop struck out pinch-hitter Austin Hedges with a man on for his sixth save in nine chances.
Anthony Rizzo homered and had three hits, and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who entered one game ahead of Milwaukee.
Baez’s solo shot in the second inning gave the All-Star 84 RBIs.
Tyson Ross (6-9) gave up three runs and six hits in five innings as the Padres lost for the eighth time in their last nine games. San Diego is an NL-worst 43-69.
Baez led off the second with an opposite-field drive into the right-field bleachers, and Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly in the third.
Christian Villanueva’s 20th homer cut the gap in the fourth, but Zobrist into a run-scoring forceout in the fifth and Rizzo homered off Robert Stock for a 4-1 lead in the seventh.
Spangenberg scored when reliever Steve Cishek threw Margot’s comebacker into center field for an error in an eighth, an inning that ended when Brandon Kintzler, making his second appearance since his trade from Washington, got Villanuva to line out with the bases loaded.
Ian Happ hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half after Baez’s triple.
LF Wil Myers was held out with a bruised left foot, sustained when he fouled off a pitch in sixth inning on Thursday. X-rays were negative and Myers was scheduled for an MRI and CT scan on Friday. Myers has missed 57 games this season due to injuries.
Cubs: Chicago placed LHP Brian Duensing on the 10-day DL with left shoulder inflammation and recalled lefty Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa for the fourth time this season.
Rosario entered in the eighth and walked Hosmer, his only batter. . Manager Joe Maddon said INF Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) is feeling stronger.
Bryant has been out since July 23 with a recurrence of the injury that affects his swing follow-through. . RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis, elbow impingement) is to toss a bullpen session on Saturday
Padres LHP Joey Lucchesi (5-6, 3.74) faces Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-9, 3.97) on Saturday.
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