#ELMAGO Javier Baez hit his 27th & 28th HR on his 5th anniversary
WRIGLEY FIELD- With #ILLWILL Willson Contreras out for at least a month with a right hamstring injury & closer Craig Kimbrel on the 10 day DL with knee issues, the Cubs depth is being tested. They made it 4 wins in a row & pushed their NL Central lead to 2.5 games over the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-5 win over the Oakland A's in game 1 of the 3 game set.
The Cubs had a 6-2 lead going into the top of 8 but a 2 run HR from Crystal Lake, IL native Nick Martini and a solo from SS Marcus Semien (his 2nd HR of the night) off of reliever Steve Cishek cut the lead to 6-5 but Brandon Kintzler (who left the game with discomfort in his right pec) came in and got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat. Kyle Ryan & David Phelps (who got his 1st save as Semien flew out to the warning track for the 27th out) came through in top of 9 to close out the bullpen by committee act.
Manager Joe Maddon mentioned he'd like to see #Happer Ian Happ get right. His 474 ft BOMB in the bottom of 7 was about as right as he could get as it gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead. "He's typically walking around with a lot of self confidence. He's been staying ready and working hard," Maddon said.
Nick Castellanos extended his hit streak to 5 games going OPPO for his first HR in Cubbie blue in the bottom of 1 & gave the Cubs some insurance after the Happ HR with an RBI double in the bottom of 7 that scored #JHey Jason Heyward to make it 4-2. He salutes his teammates for welcoming him with open arms. "Credit to these guys for making me feel at home from the start & it's incredible to play in front of these fans," he said. Castellanos leads the majors with 40 doubles.
Nick Castellanos gets high fives from his teammates after his 12th HR of the season
#RAKINGSEASON continued for #ELMAGO Javier Baez on the 5th anniversary of his MLB debut as he had his 6th career multi HR game with a solo jack in the bottom of 6 & a 2 run JACK in the bottom of 7 to extend the Cubs lead to 6-2. "I'm just pretty excited. I've stayed healthy and I've been through a lot," he said. Baez also said he got a piece of advice from former Cub David Ross a couple of years back. "I asked Rossi something and he told me I need to play and let the game teach me and that was a big thing for me."
#PoetryInMotion Kyle Hendricks pitched a GEM. He threw 6.1 innings giving up just 1 hit (a 2 run HR to Marcus Semien) 2 runs & 2 BB while striking out 5 on 104 pitches. "Two really bad walks and the pitch to Semien...he just beat me but i'll take it," he said. Hendricks has allowed 2 or fewer walks in a career high 20 straight starts tying Greg Maddux (2005) for the most by a Cubs starter.
The Cubs face the A's tonight & tomorrow afternoon before a 10 game in 11 day road trip starting Thursday in Cincinnati for 4, going through Philadelphia for 3 & ending in Pittsburgh with 3 before returning home.
FINAL- Cubs 6 OAK 5
Summary- Nick Castellanos hit a solo HR in the bottom of 1 to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Marcus Semien put the A's in front 2-1 in the top of 3 on a 2 run HR. #ELMAGO Javy Baez tied the game at 2 with a solo BOMB in the bottom of 6. An Ian Happ solo BOMB, a Castellanos RBI double and a Baez 2 run HR in the bottom of 7 made it 6-2 Cubs. Nick Martini & Semien hit back to back HRs in the top of 8 to cut the Cubs lead to 6-5 and that was all she wrote.
Player(s) of the game- Kyle Hendricks only giving up 1 hit through 6.1 innings & Javier Baez hitting 2 HR's on the 5th anniversary of his first major league game
Play of the game- David Phelps getting Semien to fly out to the warning track with 2 runners on to end the game
Quote of the game- "He was struggling a bit on the road. I thought he's had a better approach at the plate and he's been a little more organized and not chasing" - Joe Maddon on Javy's hot homestand...he's 8-17 (.471) with 6 runs scored, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HRs & 7 RBI
Next game- v OAK 8/6
#TheAce Jon Lester (9-7 3.86 ERA) v Brett Anderson (9-7 4.04 ERA)
In 5 years, #ELMAGO has batted .272 (607-2,233) with 125 doubles, 16 triples, 109 HRs, 345 RBI & 58 stolen bases in 637 regular season games with two All-Star appearances, a 2018 Silver Slugger, a 2016 NLCS Co-MVP & a World Series ring.