Anthony Rizzo officially found his groove as reigning MLB World Series champions the Chicago Cubs edged the San Francisco Giants 5-4.
Rizzo went three for three while clobbering two solo home runs, and last year's National League Cy Young contender Kyle Hendricks allowed just two earned runs while striking out five batters in seven innings on Wednesday.
Wade Davis provided the only nervous moments for Cubs fans. The team's new closer -- brought in to replace Aroldis Chapman -- served up two runs in the ninth inning thanks to a Mac Williamson home run.
Before Wednesday, Rizzo had produced just one multi-hit game since April 26th. That is astonishing coming from a guy who received MVP votes last season. But Rizzo has now hit four home runs in his last four games, bringing his season total up to 11 for the season.
The Minnesota Twins topped the Baltimore Orioles 4-3, the Miami Marlins lost 4-1 to the Oakland Athletics, the Cincinnati Reds were too good for the Cleveland Indians 4-3, the Washing Nationals eased past the Seattle Mariners 5-1, the San Diego Padres trumped the New York Mets 6-5, the Boston Red Sox upstaged the Texas Rangers 9-4 and the Los Angeles Dodgers were no match for the St Louis Cardinals 6-1.
In other results, the Toronto Blue Jays accounted for the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago White Sox 8-6, the Colorado Rockies saw off the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2, the Pittsburgh Pirates crushed the Atlanta Braves 12-5, the New York Yankees blanked the Kansas City Royals 3-0, the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Los Angeles Angels 5-2, while the Houston Astros suffered a 6-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
GRAY BACK TO HIS BEST
Athletics ace Sonny Gray returned to dominant form against the Marlins. The former All-Star allowed just one run in seven innings while racking up 11 strikeouts to improve to 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA this season. At the plate, Jed Lowrie led Oakland with four hits, a run scored and two RBIs.
Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez went three for five with a home run and three RBIs in a win over the Phillies. Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out eight batters.
Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. burst out of a slump to jack two home runs with three RBIs, while Yankees starlet Luis Severino tossed eight scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
QUINTANA AND COLLMENTER DISAPPOINT
Jose Quintana has looked like a shadow of the pitcher that broke out last season. The White Sox hurler gave up eight runs off eight hits in just over four innings. Quintana is now 2-6 with a 4.82 ERA this season.
Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered seven runs in the 10th inning of Atlanta's loss to the Pirates. Over Collmenter's last six appearances, spanning eight innings, he has allowed 15 earned runs and five homers. Collmenter's ERA has now ballooned to 9.00 in 11 appearances this season.
RENFROE GOES LONG
Padres outfielder Hunter Renfroe hit a towering shot deep into the seats against the Mets. Renfore's 450-foot home run was the longest of his career.
More majestic: The swing or the shot? pic.twitter.com/UZ8rRYUi4a-- MLB (@MLB) May 25, 2017
GIANTS AT CUBS
Struggling Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 4.57 ERA) will tote the rubber for San Francisco on Thursday, while the Cubs counter with 26-year-old Eddie Butler (1-0, 2.00 ERA). The Cubs have now won six of their last eight games after a brutally slow start. Joe Maddon never seemed too worried. Fans should now get to enjoy similar form that year's World Series-winning crew provided.