Hendricks struggles, Cease cruises as Padres top Cubs to take 2 of 3 in series out West

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The early-season struggles got worse for Kyle Hendricks on Wednesday.

Former White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease, meanwhile, cruised against the team from the North Side of his former city.

Cease pitched six strong innings while Hendricks suffered through five rough ones, and the San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs, 10-2, to take two of three in the series.

The Cubs dropped to 7-5 on the season and now head to Seattle to face the Mariners on the second leg of their nine-game, three-city trip out West. They’re off Thursday before beginning the three-game series Friday night.

In Wednesday’s series finale in San Diego, Hendricks gave the Cubs five innings, but he allowed seven runs, all earned, on nine hits, including two homers. Hendricks is now 0-2 with a 12.08 ERA in three starts this season.

Cease cruises

Cease, who pitched for the White Sox for five seasons before being traded to the Padres during spring training, had no such struggles.

Cease improved to 1-1 on the season and 3-2 overall against the Cubs during his career, allowing just two hits and no earned runs while striking out seven and walking two. Chicago had only three hits total.

Jurickson Profar backed Cease with a go-ahead double and a two-run homer among his three hits for the Padres, and Jake Cronenworth also homered.

Cease’s only big mistake was allowing Michael Busch’s game-tying, two-run homer with two outs in the fourth, Busch’s second homer this season. 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, on 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 also 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 this season, and Profar’s two-run homer, also 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.”

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 trying to stretch it into a triple. 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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