How it happened: Rookies Kris Bryant and Addison Russell both homered to lead the Cubs on offense. Bryant hit a 2-run shot in the first inning while Russell went deep in the seventh. The runs supported Kyle Hendricks, who gave up just five singles – three on ground balls up the middle -- in his nine innings of work. He didn’t walk anyone while striking out seven. The Padres had very little hard contact as Hendricks became the first Cubs starter with a complete game this season, notching his first career shutout.
What it means: Once again Hendricks looked like the pitcher that went 7-2 last season. He’s been up and down this season, but on Thursday his pitches had the movement that he’s famous for and he made the big pitch when he needed it. Consider: Two of the hits he gave up came with two outs and then he quickly got the next batter. The three hits earned with less than two outs were followed by ground balls, two for double plays and another just missed getting two. The next batter after that -- you guessed it -- got out quickly. Hendricks was tremendous.
In front of their agent, Scott Boras, Russell and Bryant provided the offense, while Bryant did one better with a barehanded pick-up and perfect throw to get Derek Norris on a grounder in the fourth inning. Russell nearly had a web gem when he went to the left of second to field a grounder in the eighth, but Matt Kemp beat it out. Both rookies showed off their talent.
Season high: The Cubs matched a season high, moving to six games over .500 at 23-17. They also gained a game on first-place St. Louis, as they’re 3.5 games heading into Memorial Day weekend.
Bullpen help?: Before the game Boras was coy about the Cubs' interest in another client, reliever Rafael Soriano. Soriano is un-signed but working out for teams. The Cubs have inquired, but one scout said recently Soriano hasn’t performed well, which is possibly one reason he hasn’t signed yet. Stay tuned.