Joc Pederson and Sergio Alcantara each homered in the Cubs’ 3-1 win over the Padres on Wednesday.
SAN DIEGO – The Cubs haven’t had their full lineup often recently and Wednesday was no exception. But even without Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, they found a way to score enough runs to finish the series with a 3-1 win over the Padres.
The Cubs didn’t have a hit off former ace Yu Darvish going into the fourth inning, but Joc Pederson made the team’s first hit a loud one, crushing a long solo home run tying the game at 1.
“The first at-bat, he didn’t give me,” Pederson said. “It just showed me that he’s kinda nasty. I was just looking to get a pitch that I could put the barrel on. He’s got a lot of pitches and they go a lot of different directions.”
While Darvish was tough throughout the day, the Cubs were able to break through in the seventh inning. Following Ian Happ’s lead-off walk and single by Patrick Wisdom, Anthony Rizzo brought in the go-ahead run on a double play and gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Shortstop Sergio Alcantara, who started in place of Baez, gave the bullpen some breathing room in the eighth inning by hitting his first homer of the season, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
“The walk that started that thing. That was a really good at-bat off Yu,” manager David Ross said. “Rizz doing a nice job there 3-2 putting that ball in play and getting us that go-ahead run is nice. … Then the homer by Sergio was huge. We’ve had little moments like that that can’t be understated all year where guys are just getting big hits.
Happ gets first start at second base since 2019
Ross has had to get creative with his lineups with so many players being banged up and unavailable. Ross added another wrinkle on Wednesday, starting Happ at second base. It was Happ’s first start at second base since Sept. 12, 2019 also in San Diego against the Padres.
Versatility has been the name of the game as Kris Bryant has shown this season while the Cubs try to tread water until they can get back to full strength.
“Last week when a lot of guys were going down, [Ian] just said, ‘Hey, if you need me, I can get back to the infield or I’m willing to do whatever,’” Ross said before the game. “That’s the kind of player he is. We got a lot of those guys. KB we talk about moving around and doing what’s best for the team. Same thing with Happ.
“He took some ground balls just to try to get some work in and make sure it looks clean and with Javy being out and then Sogard, just don’t want to run him in the ground with the off day. We’re just limited to what we got in the middle infield … I know he’ll go out there and give his best and give us a chance to win a play.”
Happ’s first opportunity came in the sixth inning and looked natural, making a sliding stop off a ball that took a sharp hop, fielding it and firing to first for the out.