Streak: W W
LAA 1 – CHC 5
The Cubs struck early and struck with power on Friday tagging Tyler Skaggs for three home runs in four innings. Cole Hamels went 8-innings, threw 106 pitches, and allowed one run. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run blast and Willson Contreras added a solo shot to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead after one. Albert Pujols golfed a Hamels pitch over the left field bleachers in the fourth to account for the Angels lone run. David Bote countered with a long ball in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-1. Contreras extended the Cubs lead to 5-1 in the sixth with his second home run of the afternoon. Brandon Kintzler put a bow on Hamels’ gem with a clean ninth. The win snaps the Halos six-game winning streak. Former Cub, Tommy La Stella, received a warm applause when he pinch-hit for Skaggs in the fifth inning; he lined out to center.
Contreras: 3-4, 2 HR (5), 2 RBI
Rizzo: 1-4, HR (3), 2 RBI
Báez: 0-3, 3 K
This is the Contreras we expected to see last season. He’s swinging the bat with confidence and authority.
Rizzo’s monster 2-run blast in the first traveled 472-ft, according to Statcast; that’s the longest home run of his career.
Hamels: 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 6 K
A day after Jose Quintana recorded the best outing for a Cubs starter this season, Cole Hamels did him one better. It’s the first time the rotation has put together back-to-back strong outings. A quality start from Kyle Hendricks on Saturday would keep the bullpen fresh for Tyler Chatwood’s start in place of Jon Lester on Sunday—and we can’t expect Chatwood to last more than two or three innings.
CUBS STARTERS IP
19 – Hamels
14 – Lester
12 – Darvish
10 – Quintana
8.1 – Hendricks
Saturday 1:20 p.m. CT
Chris Stratton (0-1, 6.48 ERA)
Kyle Hendricks (0-2, 6.48 ERA)
Reliever Brad Brach (1-0, 1.50) turned 33 on Friday.
“Scott Sanderson, a 1974 Glenbrook North graduate who helped the Cubs win two division championships and spent a season with the White Sox during a 19-year career, died Thursday. He was 62.” – Chicago Tribune
The Reds and Cardinals will play a regular-season two-game series at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in Mexico this weekend. Each team will be allowed to add a 26th man to the roster. Cincinnati is the designated home team. Sunday’s game will be nationally televised on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. In May, the Angels and Astros will also play a two-game series at the stadium. Last season, the Dodgers and Padres played a three-game regular-season series in Monterrey, the third largest city in Mexico.