Contreras 2 HRs as Hamels, Cubs beat Trout-less Angels
- Jan-Jaap Abbink
Willson Contreras homered twice on a blustery day at Wrigley Field as Cole Hamels and the Chicago Cubs stopped the Angels’ six-game win streak Friday with a 5-1 victory over short-handed Los Angeles.
Anthony Rizzo and David Bote also connected to help Chicago win for the third time in four games on its first homestand of the year. Hamels (2-0) pitched eight crisp innings in his second straight victory, improving to 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 12 career starts against Los Angeles.
The Angels played without star center fielder Mike Trout, who missed his second straight game after he strained his right groin during the team’s last homestand. The two-time AL MVP visited Dr. Steve Yoon in Los Angeles, and Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Trout will be re-evaluated on Sunday — taking him out of the series in Chicago.
Albert Pujols went deep for Los Angeles in its first trip to Wrigley since 2016. It was Pujols’ 57th homer in 183 career games against Chicago, second only to his 58 long balls against Houston.
But the Angels were unable to overcome a rough outing for Tyler Skaggs (1-2), who surrendered three long home runs in his four innings.
After Kris Bryant singled with one out in the first, Rizzo drove Skaggs’ next pitch to the back of bleachers in right. Rizzo’s third homer of the season traveled 472 feet, according to Statcast.
Contreras hit his fourth homer with two down, making it 3-0 with a drive to left that made it to Waveland Avenue.
Bote added his first homer of the season in the fourth, and Contreras went deep again in the sixth. Contreras’ second homer of the day also reached the street beyond the wall in left.
The Cubs paid tribute to Tommy La Stella with a pregame video in his return to Chicago after he was traded to Los Angeles in November. The 30-year-old infielder played for Chicago for four seasons, helping the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.
“I had a lot of great times here with some really special people, so it’s cool to be back and play here,” La Stella said.
La Stella pinch-hit for Skaggs in the fifth inning and lined out to center.
Angels: Manager Brad Ausmus said he thought Shohei Ohtani was going to hit off a machine Friday. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year had Tommy John surgery last October. Ohtani has been taking batting practice for a couple weeks. “It’s a baby step up,” Ausmus said. The 24-year-old Ohtani isn’t expected to pitch this year, but he could return to the Angels’ lineup in May.
Cubs: C Victor Caratini was placed on the 10-day injured list after a CT scan confirmed he broke a bone in his left hand during Thursday night’s victory over Pittsburgh. He is scheduled for surgery on Monday and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks. C Taylor Davis was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the roster. ... LHP Mike Montgomery (mild left lat strain) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Saturday. He likely will need at least one minor league rehab appearance before returning to the Cubs. ... LHP Xavier Cedeño (wrist inflammation) was slated to pitch in an extended spring training game on Friday. ... RHP Tony Barnette (shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to throw live batting practice on Friday.
Right-handers Chris Stratton and Kyle Hendricks get the ball on Saturday afternoon. Stratton (0-1, 6.48 ERA) picked up a no-decision in his second start for Los Angeles, allowing two runs in four-plus innings in the Angels’ 7-2 victory over Texas on Sunday. Hendricks (0-2, 6.48 ERA) struggled in each of his first two outings, yielding 18 hits in 8 1/3 innings.