Cease, 2 relievers combine on 1-hitter as Padres beat Cubs 3-0

CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Cease struck out 12 and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, and the San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 on Wednesday.

Cease went seven innings in a triumphant return to Chicago after the White Sox dealt him to San Diego in March. He allowed the Cubs’ lone hit when he deflected Yan Gomes' comebacker and the ball ricocheted toward second baseman Xander Bogaerts, whose throw to first was late by a slim margin.

Cease (5-2) walked two and hit a batter while matching a career high with 113 pitches. The right-hander has a 2.19 ERA through eight starts.

“I think this is the best I've commanded the ball ever, really,” said Cease, who struggled last season after finishing second in the 2022 AL Cy Young Award vote. “I think I'm throwing it really well right now.”

As for the rather high pitch total in this game?

“I would say, I just wasted a lot of pitches,” he said. “I think sometimes when you have games where they're close, it's very easy to ... really try to be a little too fine at some points. I think I might have done that a little bit.”

Wandy Peralta got three outs and Robert Suarez worked the ninth for his 12th save in 12 chances, finishing the Padres' second shutout this season.

Luis Arraez singled twice and scored twice, helping San Diego win for the sixth time in eight games.

“You just know he's gonna give a good at-bat,” manager Mike Shildt said. “He's got bat-to-ball skills that are, quite honestly, unparalleled that I've seen. There's not a place to go for this guy. Even if you're trying to get a chase on him, he can barrel up the ball that's out of the zone. It's tremendous to have a guy at the top of the order that can set a tone, and clearly, he did it.”

Arraez has given the Padres the spark they envisioned at the top of the order since he was acquired in a trade with Miami. The two-time batting champion is 8 for 20 with five runs in five games for San Diego.

Arraez got hit by a pitch leading off the game and came home from second on Manny Machado’s two-out single. He also singled and scored in a two-run fifth against Hayden Wesneski. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit an RBI single with two out in the inning, and Jake Cronenworth followed with a run-scoring double.

The Cubs were shut out for the second time this season. Wesneski (2-1) gave up three runs and seven hits, matching a career high, in six-plus innings. He exited after giving up a leadoff single to Ha-Seong Kim in the seventh.

“I thought Hayden pitched well," manager Craig Counsell said. "They got a couple two-out base hits. There wasn’t a lot of traffic, but when they got some guys on, they cashed it in.”

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson was out of the lineup because of discomfort in his right knee. Counsell said the knee has been bothering him since a slide against Houston two weeks ago, and the Cubs opted to give him some extra rest with an off day on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Michael King (3-3, 4.29 ERA) looks to win his second straight start when the Padres open a weekend series at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. King tossed six scoreless innings at Arizona on Saturday. RHP Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 2.70 ERA) starts for the Dodgers.

Cubs: The Cubs open a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Friday, and neither team has announced its starter.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb