Cubs

Observations: Royals outslug Cubs to take opener

Cubs
USA TODAY

With the Blue Angels flying around Wrigley Field, the Cubs and Royals made noise of their own on Friday, combining to hit six home runs.

Kansas City hit five of those blasts, tied for most the Cubs have given up in a game this season, to win the opener of a three-game series, 6-2.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Hello, Waveland Ave. Patrick Wisdom crushed a solo home run out of Wrigley in the second, his 19th this season — most among National League rookies. He's one shy of reaching a tie for second-most among all rookies.

2. The Cubs caught a tough break in the third when Ian Happ slipped around first base after hitting what appeared to be a two-run single. Happ was thrown out from right field, negating the second run. Replay review ruled he was tagged out before Rafael Ortega touched home plate.

3. Wrigley Field’s manual (3-0) and digital (2-0) scoreboards were at odds when Royals catcher Salvador Pérez led off the fourth with a home run. Both then showed a 2-1 Cubs lead.

4. Zach Davies gave up four runs on five hits in six innings, all four runs coming on solo home runs, including a second from Pérez in the sixth. 

5. Pérez' big day came to a sudden end when Jarrod Dyson pinch hit for him in the eighth. Pérez was hit by several foul balls behind the plate, one that deflected off his helmet and brought out a Royals trainer.

 

6. For all the slugging, Kansas City played small ball to add an insurance run in the eighth. Whit Merrifield reached on an infield single, moved to second base on a sac bunt, stole third, and scored on a safety squeeze.

7. Frank Schwindel going hitless has been a rare occurrence since he joined the Cubs last month. The first baseman went 0-for-4, the third time in 18 games with the Cubs he hasn’t got a hit.

8. Illinois native Michael Hermosillo said this week he dreamed of being a Cub as a kid but imagined he’d make it to Wrigley as an opponent. He made his first appearance at the Friendly Confines with the North Siders, pinch hitting in the seventh.

9. The Cubs’ winning streak ended at two games. They haven’t won three straight games since winning five in a row from June 8-13, before their two double-digit losing streaks.

10. The Cubs are one loss away from tying a franchise record for longest home losing streak. They've lost 11 straight home games dating back to July 27. From April 4-May 3, 1994, they lost 12 straight.

On deck: First pitch Saturday is 1:20 p.m. as Keegan Thompson (3-2, 2.21 ERA) makes his second career big league start. Kris Bubic (3-6, 5.09 ERA) is the Royals probable starter.

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