Ben Zobrist broke a tie with a two-run double and Kris Bryant followed two batters later with a two-run single, powering a four-run seventh inning that sent the Chicago Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game series in Chicago.
Kyle Hendricks limited the Giants to two hits and one run over seven innings for the Cubs, who busted out after having been held to one run in two games by the Cleveland Indians earlier in the week.
Gorkys Hernandez homered for the Giants, who have scored just five runs in three games on a trip that began with a pair of losses in Houston.
After Hendricks and the Giants’ Derek Holland dueled in a 1-1 game through six innings, the Cubs caught a break when Holland hit Javier Baez with a two-strike pitch to open the last of the seventh.
Ian Happ then drew a walk, prompting the Giants to replace Holland with left-hander Will Smith.
A sacrifice bunt by Addison Russell and walk to pinch hitter Tommy La Stella loaded the bases for Zobrist, who doubled to left field, scoring Baez and Happ for a 3-1 lead.
Cory Gearrin came on to strike out Albert Almora Jr. for the second out, before Bryant then singled to center, scoring La Stella and Zobrist for a 5-1 advantage.
Holland (2-6) was charged with two of the four runs in the inning, giving him three (two earned) in six-plus innings of work. He walked two and struck out six.
Hendricks (4-3), who left for a pinch hitter in the four-run inning, faced only 25 batters in his seven innings. Other than the homer by Hernandez, he allowed a single by Hernandez and two walks. He struck out seven.
Hernandez’s home run, his fifth of the season, came in the fourth inning after Hendricks had opened the game by retiring the first nine batters he faced.
The Cubs tacked on a run for a 6-1 lead in the eighth off Giants closer Hunter Strickland when Happ walked, stole second and scored on Russell’s one-out single.
In losing for the ninth time in their last 10 road games, the Giants completed the scoring in the ninth on a two-out single by Evan Longoria that scored Brandon Belt, who also had singled.
Brandon Morrow came on to strike out Mac Williamson to end the game with two runners aboard, notching his 11th save of the season.
Anthony Rizzo drove in Chicago’s first run with a one-out single in the first that scored Zobrist, who had opened the inning with a single.
Almora, who had followed Zobrist’s hit with one of his own, was thrown out at the plate by Williamson, the Giants’ left fielder, on Rizzo’s single.
Zobrist and Bryant had two hits and two RBIs apiece while Happ joined Zobrist with two runs scored for the Cubs, who improved to 1-2 on a five-game homestand.
Russell also had two hits for Chicago, which out-hit the Giants 8-4.
—Field Level Media