Cubs can’t harness the wind in 10-6 loss to Diamondbacks
The teams combined for 11 home runs on a breezy day at Wrigley Field. But the Diamondbacks hit seven of them — four off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Josh Rojas hit three homers and David Peralta two as Cubs lost their third consecutive game after winning four straight.
Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins was challenged by 25 mph-plus winds during his speech after the unveiling of his statue Friday outside Wrigley Field. It took a little dexterity for the 79-year-old Jenkins to hold down the flapping pages of his speech with one hand while holding the microphone with the other.
But Jenkins — a foremost authority on conditions at Wrigley — knew he didn’t have the biggest problem on this day.
‘‘The wind is blowing out to right field — watch out, boys!’’ Jenkins said to laughter from the crowd at the unveiling. ‘‘Jeez. I pitched many a day coming up Addison and turning on to the ballpark and going, ‘The wind’s blowing out today.’ ’’
Jenkins’ warning proved prescient, as Cubs pitchers allowed seven home runs — including four against starter Kyle Hendricks — in a 10-6 loss to the Diamondbacks before an enthusiastic crowd of 31,235 at the Fergie Jenkins Statue Dedication Game.
The Cubs countered with four homers of their own — from Patrick Wisdom, Jonathan Villar, Christopher Morel and Ildemaro Vargas — but all came with the bases empty.
Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas hit three homers — two against Hendricks and one against reliever Daniel Norris — as the Cubs (15-23) lost their third consecutive game after winning four in a row.
At his best, Hendricks is the pitcher you want on the mound in windy conditions at Wrigley. Not only does he keep the ball down, but he generally isn’t fazed by wind-blown homers. But he had no margin for error in this one.
‘‘I felt pretty good, to be honest,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘Made a lot of good pitches. They put some good swings on a couple of pitches I missed, and that was really it.’’
Rojas came into the game without a homer in 40 at-bats this season and had gone 0-for-3 against Hendricks last Saturday at Chase Field in Phoenix.
‘‘When I got [to the park], everybody was talking about how it was a windy day,’’ Rojas said. ‘‘I went out during [batting practice] to see how it was blowing out pretty hard, so I knew it was going to be a good day to get the ball in the air.’’
Hendricks wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be. He walked Christian Walker and David Peralta to load the bases with two outs in the first inning, and a two-run single by Jake McCarthy put the Cubs in a 2-0 hole.
Wisdom homered and Morel hit an RBI single for a 2-2 tie in the second, but Rojas and Peralta homered in the third to give the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead they would not lose. Rojas added a two-run homer against Hendricks in the fifth to give the Diamondbacks a 6-3 lead.
‘‘He just put a couple of good swings on it — pitches I beat him with in [Phoenix] and in his first [at-bat], too,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘Maybe just pulled it a little more middle with fastballs. Just got to trust my changeup a little more and throw some heaters [inside].’’
Trailing 9-3 in the seventh, the Cubs had a chance to get back in the game. After Morel and Vargas hit back-to-back homers, the Cubs loaded the bases with two outs. But Alfonso Rivas struck out to end the inning.
So if there’s any lesson, it’s that there’s only one Jenkins.
‘‘It’s awesome seeing all the highlights that they’re always showing here,’’ Hendricks said when asked about Jenkins. ‘‘It really set the tone — the way he attacked hitters, not walking guys. That’s kind of what I try and do every time out. Obviously, one of the best ever to do it and so deserving of what he got today. That [ceremony] was a pretty awesome moment.’’