CHICAGO (AP) — Eric Hosmer and Nelson Velázquez hit back-to-back homers and Dansby Swanson added his first of the season to help the Chicago Cubs top the San Diego Padres 5-2 on Thursday.
Manny Machado homered for the Padres, who had won five of seven.
Hayden Wesneski (2-1) worked the first five innings for Chicago, which took the three-game series after going 1-3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend. The right-hander allowed four hits, including Machado’s solo shot in the second, and had three strikeouts and a walk.
“I didn’t think that was our best performance, pitching-wise but when you can say that and still come away with a win and make pitches when you have to, that’s what stands out to me,” Cubs manager David Ross said after his pitchers got plenty of help from their defense and a persistent wind that kept several balls in the park.
Hosmer and Velázquez gave the Cubs the lead for good with consecutive homers off Seth Lugo (2-2) in the bottom of the second.
Lugo struck out three and gave up seven hits and all four Chicago runs in five innings, including Ian Happ’s RBI single in his final frame. Swanson went deep in the seventh off reliever Tim Hill.
“This is a special place and getting the first one out of the way is definitely a good feeling for sure,” said Swanson, who signed with the Cubs during the offseason. “No matter who we play, I feel like we match up pretty well.”
Wesneski loaded the bases with a pair of walks in the fourth but escaped by getting Ha-Seong Kim to ground meekly to third.
San Diego’s Matt Carpenter had a sacrifice fly in the eighth to create a save situation for Brad Boxberger, who worked the ninth for his second in as many chances.
NOT SO BRIGHT
The Cubs got a final run in the second when Padres center fielder Trent Grisham lost Tucker Barnhart’s pop fly in the sun. Grisham appeared unsure of the ball’s trajectory and it dropped just in front of him for a long single that brought home Nick Madrigal for Chicago’s third run.
Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts drew a walk from reliever Keegan Thompson after a 10-pitch at-bat in the eighth to extend his season-long on-base streak to 27 games. Bogaerts, who reached safely in the final two games of the 2022 season, was 0 for 3 with a pair of strikeouts in his first three tries.
Cubs: Chicago heads to Miami on Friday, where RHP Marcus Stroman (2-2, 2.17) will face LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-1 3.62).
San Diego will send RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 5.40) to face San Francisco LHP Sean Manaea (0-1, 6.61) on Saturday when they begin a two-game series in Mexico City. The Padres are the home team for the series.
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