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Rizzo homers, Cubs beat Padres 5-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2014 at 1:13 am •  Published: May 23, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo was back in San Diego, so he hit the beach.

Rizzo hit a go-ahead, two-run home run into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center at Petco Park against his old team and the Chicago Cubs beat the punchless San Diego Padres 5-1 Thursday night. Rizzo's shot helped back Jake Arrieta, who pitched six strong innings.

The left-handed Rizzo put the Cubs ahead 2-1 in the fourth with a 417-foot homer to center on a 3-1 fastball from lefty Eric Stults. It was his eighth.

"If you hit a ball well, if you get it, you're going to get it here," said Rizzo, who made his big league debut with San Diego in 2011. "But it's nice not having to take batting practice here every day."

Rizzo hit just .141 with one homer and nine RBIs in two stints with the Padres in 2011 before being traded to the Cubs in the deal that sent right-hander Andrew Cashner to San Diego.

Rizzo is hitting .275 this season.

"That ball went to the beach," said Cubs first-year manager Rick Renteria, who spent the past six seasons on San Diego's coaching staff.

Stults said Rizzo homered on a fastball down the middle.

"If I execute the pitch down and away, the worse thing is he probably hits a single," Stults said. "But it was 3-1, nobody out, and I didn't want to put him on base."

Rizzo also had a double.

"He had some good at-bats," Renteria said. "His approach is pretty solid."

Arrieta (1-0) held San Diego to one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He was activated May 3 after beginning the season on the disabled list with tightness in his right shoulder. He lowered his ERA to 2.33. Carlos Villanueva pitched the final three innings for his first save this season.

"Jake did a nice job," Renteria said. "He pushed himself through six and allowed us to get to Villa and he did the rest."

San Diego lost its fourth straight game. It was the 15th time in 48 games the Padres scored one or no runs. The Padres were shut out for the eighth time — most in the majors — on Wednesday night, losing 2-0 to Minnesota.

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