CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant smacked back-to-back home runs, the latter a towering shot high off the left-field video board, and Javier Baez drove in three runs, including a pair on his third homer of the season, to power the Cubs to a 7-2 victory on Thursday afternoon
CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant smacked back-to-back home runs, the latter a towering shot high off the left-field video board, and Javier Baez drove in three runs, including a pair on his third homer of the season, to power the Cubs to a 7-2 victory on Thursday afternoon over the Dodgers and teen lefty Julio Urias at Wrigley Field.
Urias lasted five innings in his second big league start, but the 19-year-old served up three Chicago home runs. When Kyle Hendricks was 19, he was enrolled at Dartmouth College. The Cubs starter, now 26, who was coming off a complete-game victory, struck out six over eight innings. He allowed two runs, including a solo home run by Trayce Thompson in the fifth inning.
"He was outstanding again," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He made the one mistake to Thompson -- he saw the replay and missed his location. He gave up a lot of weak contact. The ball was going where he wanted it to. The changeup was really pertinent, the fastball with the sink -- a lot of ground balls."
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"Every day he takes the mound up here, it's learning a lesson," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urias. "He left a few balls up, and they made him pay. He gave up three home runs. When you elevate in the strike zone, there's damage to be had."
Baez, subbing for Ben Zobrist at second base, took care of things both at the plate and in the field. Baez made a diving catch in shallow center of Carl Crawford's liner with one out in the fifth, and in the sixth, he made a backhanded flip of a Chase Utley grounder in time to Anthony Rizzo at first.
"Unbelievable performance by him today," Maddon said of Baez.
Rizzo added a leadoff home run in the eighth to help the Cubs improve to 37-15, their best start since the 1907 team was 40-12.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kid stuff: Urias was the first teenage pitcher the Cubs have faced since 19-year-old Mets sensation Dwight Gooden started on April 13, 1984. The Cubs won that game, 11-2, and took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Thursday on Baez's RBI single and Miguel Montero's run-scoring groundout. In the fourth, Jorge Soler singled to lead off, and one out later, Baez smacked his third home run to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Second look: Urias lasted longer than he did in his Major League debut, on May 27 against the Mets in New York, but he didn't fare much better. The Dodgers' top prospect, who gave up three runs in just 2 2/3 innings against the Mets, has a chance to earn a spot in the rotation with Alex Wood (left elbow) on the 15-day disabled list. This wasn't the impression Urias wanted to leave, despite striking out four and walking one. He was hit hard, yielding six runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings.
"I felt good," Urias said. "My pitches were there. Overall, I felt good, but those pitches that I missed, those are the ones they were able to capitalize on. Those pitches lacked control, and they connected on them in the best way." More >
Power rangers: With one out in the fifth, Heyward hit his second homer of the season into the right-field bleachers, connecting on a 2-1 pitch from Urias. Bryant launched the next pitch for his 13th home run, increasing his RBI total to 40 and marking the fifth time this season the Cubs have hit back-to-back homers. It's also the second time Bryant has hit the video board.
"I'm not going to say the luck is swinging yet," said Heyward, who is batting .229. "I just try to continue to put good swings, be on time, have better at-bats and just keep hitting the ball hard and let everything else take care of itself."
"Their starting pitching ... you win with starting pitching, and they've got it. On the offense, there's always traffic. Guys are getting on base and they can slug, so one through eight, there is damage to be had. There is a confidence there, a swagger, and obviously those guys are playing hard for Joe and his staff." -- Roberts, on the Cubs' strengths
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Hendricks hadn't allowed a home run at Wrigley Field in 10 straight starts until Thompson's homer in the fifth. His streak of homer-free home starts was tied with Greg Maddux (1991-92) and Jake Arrieta (still active) for the longest streak by a Cubs pitcher in the last 30 seasons.
Dodgers: Right-hander Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to start the 7:10 p.m. PT opener of a three-game set against the Braves on Friday at Dodger Stadium. Maeda was supposed to start Thursday's game but was pushed back because his right hand hadn't healed after it was struck with a line drive in his last start, on Saturday against the Mets. Yasiel Puig (left hamstring) might return after not starting the past three games.
Cubs: Right-hander John Lackey (5-2, 3.16 ERA) will open the Cubs' series against the D-Backs on Friday at 1:20 p.m. CT. In his last start, Lackey gave up one run over seven innings against the Phillies. He's 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in four home starts this season. Ben Zobrist is expected to return to the lineup after getting a breather on Thursday.
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Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for
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