SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres have been shut out twice in the first seven games of this homestand and for the fifth time in 16 games.
The latest pitcher to tame the Padres was the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, who threw a five-hitter for his first career complete game and shutout for a 3-0 victory Thursday night. Kris Bryant, who starred at the University of San Diego, hit a two-run homer.
"We’ve just got to keep going at it," manager Bud Black said. "There’s no one thing you can point to. We have a number of guys collectively not swinging well. As fast as it can go bad, it can turn around. There’s no quick fix.
"The Cubs, they shut us down. What did we get, four runs, two runs, no runs. They pitched well. And conversely, we pitched well, too. Well-pitched by both sides in this series," Black said.
Hendricks (1-1) struck out seven with no walks. He allowed five singles. All the Padres’ hits were singles. The only baserunner to advance into scoring position was Justin Upton, who stole second base with two outs in the fourth. Yangervis Solarte then flied out to center.
Hendricks came in with six no-decisions in seven starts, including one against San Diego at Wrigley Field on April 18.
"He just hit his spots," said Will Middlebrooks, who singled twice off the right-hander and was erased each time on a double play. "He’s got that two-seamer that starts off the plate and comes back to the corner. He didn’t miss his spot many times."
Bryant homered to straightaway center field on the seventh pitch of the game by Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3). Dexter Fowler was aboard on a walk for Bryant’s fifth homer.
Bryant made his big league debut on April 17 against the Padres at Wrigley Field. He starred at the University of San Diego before the Cubs took him with the second pick overall in the 2013 amateur draft.
Bryant won the Golden Spikes award in 2013, when his 31 homers were the most in a season since toned-down composite bats replaced aluminum bats in 2011.
Bryant’s parents, Sue and Mike, made the trip from Las Vegas for all three games.
Addison Russell homered leading off the seventh off Dale Thayer, his third.
Despaigne allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked two.
Padres: RHP Brandon Morrow threw a bullpen session as he tries to work his way back from right shoulder inflammation that landed him on the disabled list.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (4-2, 3.70) tries to improve to 5-0 in May when he faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series starting Friday night in Phoenix. He has a 1.67 ERA this month. The Diamondbacks counter with Josh Collmenter (3-5, 5.36).
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-7, 3.24) gets the nod when the Padres open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. He’s taken the loss in each of his last five starts despite posting a 3.55 ERA in that stretch. The Dodgers answer with RHP Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.52).