Cubs hitters can't catch wind in third straight loss

When Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts took the stage at the Fergie Jenkins statue ceremony and was drowned out by the wind whipping past the microphone, everyone knew it would be one of those days at Wrigley Field.

While the wind threatened to send his notes flying away, Jenkins mentioned that this reminded him of the days when he'd drive up Addison Street and immediately look up at the flags on the days he pitched.

The game turned into a home run hitting contest, with a 25 mile per hour wind blowing straight out, and the Cubs lost.

The final home run tally was 7-4, which pretty much mirrored the final score of Arizona's 10-6 victory on Friday afternoon. The 11 home runs were the most hit in a game at Wrigley since 2006.

Kyle Hendricks had the unenviable task of keeping the ball in the Friendly Confines and did not succeed. He allowed 4 of the 7 home runs as the Cubs lost their third straight game.

"It's frustrating, especially dropping two, you try and stop that skid there, get back on the winning side of things," Hendricks said. "I was down when I kind of had to. A couple balls I did miss up and those were the ones they put good swings on and just caught them."

Arizona third baseman Josh Rojas - who had no home runs this season before Friday - hit 3 in this game. David Peralta added a pair.

If it's any consolation, the Cubs had the three hardest-hit home runs of the day, according to MLB Statcast data, by Patrick Wisdom (108 mph), Jonathan Villar (106) and Ildemaro Vargas (105). But the two relatively softly hit home runs by the Diamondbacks counted just as much.

Most of the Cubs offense came from the bottom of the order. Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Frank Schwindel and Alfonso Rivas in the No. 2 through 5 spots, went a combined 0-for-15. Contreras was ejected by plate umpire Ryan Additon in the seventh inning for arguing a called strike three and did not speak to reporters after the game. According to the broadcast radar, the pitch was slightly inside and off the plate.

Rookie Christopher Morel and Vargas - who both began the season in the minors - hit the first back-to-back home runs by the Cubs this season earlier in the seventh inning. Morel has gone 4-for-11 with 2 home runs during his first week in the majors, while starting at three different positions (third base, second base and center field).

"My teammates give me this confidence," Morel said. "My teammates and coach, David Ross, give me, 'Hey, don't worry, be happy and have fun.'"

Hendricks (2-4) was coming off two solid starts on the road, including a victory over Arizona last week. He's been able to navigate the Wrigley wind as well as anyone, but was tagged for 7 earned runs over 5 innings Friday.

"(The strategy) really is forgetting about it," Hendricks said. "You really just try and focus on making good pitches. If you're trying to go up, just make sure you get it there. If you're going down, just stay there. Don't let pitches creep over the middle of the plate and that's what you try to do on any normal start anyway.

"Maybe it's hypersensitive to those things on a day like this, but overall you make good pitches, you still get good hitters out."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSportsw

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