Morel's 1st career grand slam carries the Cubs to a 5-1 win over the Padres

SAN DIEGO -- — Christopher Morel hit his first career grand slam and Yan Gomes also connected for the Chicago Cubs, who beat Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Tuesday night.

Unlike Monday, the Cubs held on. They blew an 8-0 lead in a 9-8 loss in the opener of their three-game set at San Diego.

“Look, it counts as one,” manager Craig Counsell said. “But obviously last night's a tough game so it's good to bounce back and get the W.”

Right-hander Ben Brown pitched well in his first big league start but not long enough to get the win. He was pulled after 4 2/3 scoreless innings and 77 pitches, with the bases empty. He allowed three hits while striking out five and walking one.

“I thought his fastball was excellent tonight,” Counsell said. “Certainly for the first couple of innings it was better and you saw that the hitters had to cheat to get to it. That made a big, big difference.”

Center fielder Cody Bellinger helped Brown settle in by catching Fernando Tatis Jr.'s fly ball and then throwing out Xander Bogaerts trying to advance from second after his leadoff double.

“It's sick,” Brown said. “That's super cool. He's awesome. He's a Gold Glover, MVP, he does it all. That was really awesome and that picks me up big time, especially when the game can speed up on you a lot in that situation."

Musgrove (1-2) was pitching on the third anniversary of throwing the first no-hitter in Padres history in just his second start with his hometown team.

Musgrove's outing soured when he failed to get an out in the fifth. Gomes hit a leadoff homer to center, his first, before Musgrove loaded the bases on a walk, single and a hit batter.

Rookie right-hander Stephen Kolek served up Morel's 431-foot slam on his third pitch, an 84-mph sweeper. Morel celebrated with a sweet little bat flip.

“He laid off a couple sinkers to start the at-bat," Counsell said. "Looks like he tried to throw a strike slider and he put a great swing on it. It was well-timed and a huge hit. One of those off the bat that you know it's a homer.”

Musgrove allowed four runs and five hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked three.

San Diego's Eguy Rosario connected for a pinch-hit homer leading off the sixth against Drew Smyly (2-1), his second.


Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 11.74 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday's series finale against Padres RHP Dylan Cease (0-1, 3.38 ERA).