CHICAGO (AP) — Manny Machado lined a single for his 1,500th hit and hit a two-run homer in a four-RBI night to help the San Diego Padres beat the reeling Chicago Cubs 19-5 on Wednesday night.
Machado was one of five Padres with three hits as San Diego routed the Cubs for the second straight hot night at Wrigley Field. Jorge Alfaro added a two-run homer and three RBIs as San Diego improved to 40-24 in winning its third straight and seventh in nine.
“It’s a great milestone to accomplish,” Machado said. “I just go out there and play baseball. Obviously winning ballgames is most important thing to me and the milestones will come with winning baseball games.”
And what about someday joining the elite group — currently 33 — who have reached 3,000 hits? Machado is only 29 years old.
“I haven’t even thought about that yet,” Machado said. “Obviously that’s everyone’s goal. If I’m healthy, anything is possible.”
That sounds like a mantra for the suddenly hot-swinging Padres, who are on the tails of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Jake Cronenworth and Jurickson Profar each doubled twice and had three hits for the Padres, who remained percentage points behind the Dodgers. Luke Voit hit a solo homer off Frank Schwindel, mopping up in the ninth, for his third hit.
“I think it’s just when guys are having their name called in in the lineup, no matter whether it’s to start or pinch hit, they’re getting huge hits in big spots,” Cronenworth said. “In the first two months it was Hos (Eric Hosmer) and Manny who were carrying the team. Now I think everyone has come around and we’re playing as a group, which is pretty dangerous.”
Rookie Christopher Morel had a solo shot and three RBIs for the Cubs, losers of nine straight. San Diego has outscored Chicago 35-11 in the…