The Padres remembered Tony Gwynn on the night of what would have been Mr. Padre’s 62nd birthday.
On Petco Park’s video boards between most innings, clips of the late Hall of Famer played and were met with applause from the robust Monday crowd of 41,595 and players in both dugouts.
On the field, the Cubs were the only ones paying homage, spraying hits to all corners, as the Padres mostly dormant on offense and lost 6-0.
The only runs the Padres have scored in 28 innings since mid-game Friday came on Jorge Alfaro’s three-run walk-off homer Sunday against the Marlins.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, who had a 5.64 ERA coming in and whose fastball averages an MLB-low 86.7 mph, baffled the Padres for 8 2/3 innings before giving way to reliever Scott Effross having thrown 116 pitches. Hendricks did not pitch with a runner in scoring position.
“At any point he can pitch like this,” Padres third base coach Matt Williams said of the nine-year veteran. “We’ve seen him do it. Over the last three (games), we’ve faced some pretty good starting pitching.”
Williams addressed the media postgame, as the Padres have been hit with some health issues. Bob Melvin managed the game but was still dealing with a gastrointestinal illness that kept form managing this past Thursday and almost kept him from Petco Park on Monday. Bench coach Ryan Christenson was in COVID protocols postgame. In the clubhouse afterward, some players and staff were wearing masks for the first time this season.
Padres rookie MacKenzie Gore allowed the Cubs three runs in his five innings, almost doubling his run total from his first four starts. He yielded seven hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter for the first time.
The Cubs, who won for the first time in six games, led 1-0 two batters into the game on Willson Contreras’ single and Seiya Suzuki’s double.
Gore retired seven straight after that before hitting Contreras with two outs in the third.
The Cubs added a run on three singles in the fourth inning and another one on a pair of singles and double-play grounder in the fifth. Gore was at 89 pitches when that inning ended.
Craig Stammen worked a perfect sixth and gave up an unearned run in the seventh. The Cubs scored twice off Dinelson Lamet in the eighth.
The Padres were trying to join the Mets and Yankees as the only teams with 20 wins this season. A victory would also have made this the first Padres team since 1998 to win 20 of its first 30 games.
Eric Hosmer’s single in the second inning, Jose Azocar’s bunt single in the third, a catcher’s interference on a Jake Cronenworth swing in the fourth, Manny Machado’s single in the seventh and Cronenworth’s walk in the ninth gave the Padres their only baserunners. Their three hits tied a season low.
“We’ve faced some really, really good pitching,” Cronenworth said. “Especially those Marlins guys. And then Hendricks … he had his best stuff tonight. It’s not 100 and a 93 mph slider, but it’s his spots and one of the best change-ups in baseball, kepeing guys off-balance never throwing the same back-to-back pitch. It’s tough.”