Cubs

Observations: Cubs return from break with win over D-Backs

Cubs
USA TODAY

The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 5-1 Friday night, improving to 45-46 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Kyle Hendricks went on an incredible run before the All-Star break, throwing 10 quality starts in 11 tries. He picked up where he left off Friday, tossing six innings of one-run ball.

2. But Hendricks worked around heavy traffic in those six innings. Arizona tallied six hits and three walks against him, loading the bases with one out in the fourth. Hendricks got out of the jam unscathed, limiting the Diamondbacks to one run on the night.

3. Anthony Rizzo has mashed lefties this season (.347 average, .422 on-base percentage), but only two of his 10 home runs before the break were against southpaws. He’s halfway to matching that total after taking Madison Bumgarner deep with a solo blast in the fourth.

That was Rizzo's 239th home run with the Cubs. He's now tied with Aramis Ramirez for sixth in Cubs history.

4. Any trades in the next two weeks will open up more opportunities for secondary players like Patrick Wisdom, who's made a strong impression this season. He hit a solo home run in the seventh, No. 13 this season — tied for third on the Cubs.

5. Jason Heyward, after a down first few months offensively, entered the break on a high note, batting .385 over his final 13 games. He came up big in a pinch Friday with a two-run home run off the bench in the seventh, extending the Cubs’ lead to 5-1.

 

6. Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel all pitched Friday. If you're keeping score at home, it's the first time they appeared in the same game since the Cubs threw a combined no-hitter on June 24.

7. Of course, this was only Tepera's second appearance since coming off the injured list last Friday. A potential trade chip, he struck out three in a scoreless seventh, hitting a batter and allowing a single.

8. Happy homecoming, Mr. Chafin. The lefty pitched a scoreless, 12-pitch eighth in his first career appearance against Arizona, where he spent his first seven seasons.

9. If the Cubs win Saturday or Sunday, they'll clinch their first series win since June 11-13, when they swept the Cardinals.

10. Friday’s win was the Cubs’ third overall and first on the road since the combined no-hitter. They’re 3-13 over their last 16 games, which obviously includes an 11-game losing streak.

Arizona, meanwhile, is 12-55 since the start of May.

On deck: The Cubs and Diamondbacks play a Saturday matinee at Chase Field. First pitch is 3:10 p.m. CT. Adbert Alzolay (4-9, 4.66 ERA) and Zac Gallen (1-4, 4.17 ERA) are the probable starters.

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