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Cease cruises vs the Cubs as Profar and Cronenworth homer in the Padres' 10-2 win

Dylan Cease pitched six strong innings and Jurickson Profar had a go-ahead double and a two-run homer among his three hits for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 on Wednesday to take two of three in the series.

Jake Cronenworth also homered to back Cease (1-1), who pitched for the Chicago White Sox for five seasons before being traded to the Padres during spring training. Cease improved to 3-2 against the Cubs. He allowed just two hits and no earned runs while striking out seven and walking two. Chicago had only three hits.

Cease's only big mistake was allowing Michael Busch's tying, two-run homer with two outs in the fourth, his second. It came one batter after shortstop Ha-Seong Kim committed a fielding error on Christopher Morel's grounder.

“I feel like I'm getting stronger every time out,” Cease said.

He was facing a Cubs team that won 5-1 on Tuesday night after blowing an 8-0 lead and losing 9-8 Monday night.

Cease said his game plan was to "just attack and get strikes and don't fall behind, basically. I think when I do that I'm very hard to hit.”

The Padres got their first series win of the season.

“I like the way the game was played,” manager Mike Shildt said. “Obviously dominating pitching from Cease; he was tremendous. We did a lot of different things offensively, showed a lot of versatility, added on by applying pressure.”

Shildt said Cease's fastball “just jumps” and that his slider “clearly is a filthy pitch.”

The Padres regained the lead in the fourth before blowing it open in the sixth on Cronenworth's leadoff shot, his second, and Profar's two-run homer, his second.

Profar left the Padres as a free agent after the 2022 season but returned in September after being released by the Rockies. He signed a $1 million, one-year deal in February.

“The city feels like home, like Curacao,” Profar said. “I grew up playing in an environment like San Diego. It just brings the best out of me.”

Profar's drive chased Kyle Hendricks (0-2). He allowed seven runs and nine hits.

The Padres went ahead 3-2 in the fourth when Manny Machado hit a leadoff single and scored on a double by Profar, who was thrown out stretching. Kim then made up for his error by hitting a triple and scoring on Luis Campusano's groundout to make it 4-2.

UP NEXT

Cubs: LHP Jordan Wicks (0-1, 4.15 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle, which will counter with RHP Bryce Miller (1-1, 3.00).

Padres: RHP Michael King (2-0, 3.14) starts Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are scheduled to go with RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.09).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB