Game Thirty-Four – Cubs 11 Padres 3
WP – Ryan Dempster (3-2) LP – Chad Gaudin (0-3) Save – None
The Cubs improved to a season-high six games over .500 with their first series sweep of the year. The Cubs offense showed a lot of patience early on against Chad Gaudin and actually walked three times before Ryan Theriot recorded the team’s first hit in the third inning. Gaudin walked seven and Bud Black’s staff issued a total of 10 free passes on the afternoon…including the eventual game winner by Geovany Soto that forced in the go ahead run in the fifth. Six of the Cubs’ starting eight recorded at least one free pass on the afternoon.
After Gaudin departed, the Cubs ripped five of their six doubles on the afternoon off the Padres’ bullpen. Bobby Scales extended his hitting streak to six games, just one short of the Cubs record to start a career (Jerome Walton hit safely in his first seven big league games in 1989), with two doubles, two runs scored and a career-high four RBI. Scales finished the day 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, four RBI and two doubles. The Cubs’ feel good story just keeps getting better.
Reed Johnson and Bobby Scales hit the first of the Cubs back-to-back doubles in the fifth that turned a 2-1 lead into a comfortable 6-1 advantage. Ryan Dempster added his first hit and RBI of the year in the six-run fifth inning and added a RBI double of his own an inning later. The Cubs scored 10 of their 11 runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Ryan Dempster pitched seven strong innings and made only one mistake. For some reason the Cubs chose to pitch to Adrian Gonzalez and he hit his fourth home run of the series to start the fourth. The ball ended up on Sheffield and his league leading 14th home run of the year tied the game at one.
Dempster had very good command on Thursday afternoon and avoided the one bad inning that has been his Achilles’ Heal this season. Dempster allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Jose Ascanio gave up the Padres’ third run, a solo homer by Drew Macias with two outs in the eighth. Ascanio struck out three of the seven batters he faced and of the 34 pitches he threw in his two innings of work, 25 were for strikes.
All toll the Cubs scored 11 runs on 11 hits, 6 doubles, and 10 walks…21 total baserunners and they were 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Not bad for a lineup missing several of its regulars. The Cubs won their 20th game of the year with the first series sweep of the Padres at Wrigley since 1999. Chad Gaudin pitched his way in and out of trouble in the first two innings before Geovany Soto put the Cubs on the board in the third. The Cubs need Soto to produce and he has shown signs of turning his season around over the last few games.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the first inning against Gaudin after walks by Ryan Theriot and Micah Hoffpauir. Geovany Soto reached on an error by Edgar Gonzalez at third but Reed Johnson struck out to end the inning.
Bobby Scales led off the second with the Cubs’ third walk of the game. Aaron Miles advanced him to second and Scales went to third on a groundout to first by Ryan Dempster. Alfonso Soriano (0-for-4 with a walk) struck out to end the inning.
Ryan Theriot hit the Cubs’ first double of the game to start the third…Theriot’s double went off the wall in right center. Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) followed with walk. Micah Hoffpauir just missed a three run homer but Theriot advanced to third. Geovany Soto stepped in and did his job and flied out to right…Theriot scored, 1-0 Cubs.
Chad Gaudin walked Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome and Micah Hoffpauir with one-out in the fifth. Bud Black decided he’s seen enough and replaced Gaudin with Luis Perdomo.
Geovany Soto walked on a 3-1 pitch that forced in Theriot with the winning run.
With the bases loaded and one out, Reed Johnson (2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI) followed with a double off the wall in left. Fukudome and Hoffpauir scored. Bobby Scales then lined a double off the wall in right center that plated Soto and Reed Johnson….and extended his hitting streak to six games.
Bud Black went to his bullpen again and brought in Duaner Sanchez. Aaron Miles flied out to left but Ryan Dempster reached on a single to right that plated Bobby Scales with the Cubs sixth run of the inning.
The Cubs tacked on to their lead in the sixth. Kosuke Fukudome singled to center to start the inning but was forced at second on a ground out to first by Micah Hoffpauir…Adrian Gonzalez made a great play to take a hit away from Hoffpauir. After a fly out to right by Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson singled and Bobby Scales drove in two more with his second double of the game to right center.
Aaron Miles doubled in Scales and Ryan Dempster just missed a home run with a double to left center that plated Miles.
Good teams find a way to win games they should win at home…regardless of injuries or the lineup. The Cubs did just that on Thursday afternoon.
Randy Wells is slated to face Brian Moehler in the opener of the three-game series against the Astros on Friday afternoon.