How it happened: The Cubs struck early when Emilio Bonifacio doubled to lead off the first inning, eventually coming around on a Justin Ruggiano sacrifice fly. Two innings later Anthony Rizzo hit his 24th home run of the season, a no-doubter to the top row of the right-field bleachers. Ruggiano added an RBI single in the fifth inning and then Arismendy Alcantara hit one onto the street behind the right-field bleachers in the seventh for his second career home run. That was followed by another one by Rizzo, this time to left-center. Welington Castillo drove in Ruggiano with a double to complete the scoring.
It’s all the offense starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks would need. Hendricks went seven innings, giving up five hits and three walks but was helped by three double-plays balls. He struck out five, including his final batter of the evening. He threw just 83 pitches over his seven innings.
What it means: Hendricks earned his first career win by doing what he does best: change speeds and move the ball to both sides of the plate. Hendricks wasn’t hitting 90 mph much, but he dipped down into the low 70s to induce very little hard contact. Any oncoming trouble was snuffed out in the form of three double plays over the course of four middle innings. He was as good as advertised.
Rizzo is off to a good start in trying to win back-to-back player of the week honors, as he has hit five home runs since the All-Star break. Alcantara displayed his tremendous power by taking a low pitch and putting it onto Sheffield Ave.
C.J. Edwards update: Pitching prospect C.J. Edwards is scheduled to throw in a rookie league game on Wednesday as recovers from a shoulder injury.
Fujikawa rehab: Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa has moved his rehab to Triple-A Iowa, but general manager Jed Hoyer said there is no specific timetable for a return to the majors. Fujikawa has been out since early last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.