Game One Hundred-Seventeen – Cubs 3 Padres 6
WP – Cesar Carrillo (1-1) LP – Ryan Dempster (6-7) Save – Heath Bell (30)
The Cubs lost for the fifth time this season in San Diego on Tuesday night. In the process they lost the season series to the Padres (3-5) and handed Cesar Carrillo his first big league victory. Lou Piniella’s crew came out flat, with the exception of Derrek Lee, and went through the motions for nine innings.
For the second night in a row, Kyle Banks delivered the knockout blow to the Cubs. After Adrian Gonzalez gave the Padres a 4-3 lead in the fifth with his sixth homer of the year against the Cubs, Blanks hit a two-run inside the park home run in the eighth that gave the Padres a commanding lead … the first inside the park home run in PETCO Park history.
After scoring a total of four runs in their first four games at PETCO Park, the Cubs finally put more than one run on the board in a single game … but it was not enough. Derrek Lee gave the Cubs a one-run lead in the first with a booming shot to left, his 24th of the year, but Ryan Dempster struggled once again and could not keep the Padres off the scoreboard.
Dempster fell to a game under .500 for the year with another inconsistent performance. At times Dempster was dominate and others he was plain hittable. Dempster allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings with three walks and a season-high 10 strikeouts.
Ryan Dempster stepped up at the plate. He drove in one of the Cubs’ three runs with a RBI single in the fourth. Dempster was 2-for-3 at the dish … and finished the night by retiring the last eight batters he faced.
Alfonso Soriano collected the 1500th hit of his career, a bloop single in the top of the fifth that tied the game at three. Soriano is marred in a huge slump, just 4-for-his-last-32. The Cubs offense once again had plenty of chances, especially early on, but could not come through with a clutch hit when they needed one. Lou Piniella’s offense was 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped nine of their last 12 games … and appear to be in a freefall. Of the two teams on the field Tuesday night, the Padres played like the team fighting for a shot to make the post season. Derrek Lee started the night for the Cubs on a very positive note. After two aggressive at bats from Ryan Theriot (who’s nine game hitting streak came to an end on Tuesday) and Milton Bradley, Derrek Lee launched the first pitch from Cesar Carrillo into the second deck above the left field wall.
Ryan Dempster could not hold the lead for an inning and gave the run right back in the bottom half of the first. Dempster walked Everth Cabrera on five pitches to begin his night. David Eckstein then singled off of Aramis Ramirez’s glove. With runners on first and second with no outs, Adrian Gonzalez popped out to Jeff Baker for the first out.
Chase Headley struck out swinging but Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to right and drove in Cabrera with the tying run. The Padres’ third baseman had another huge game against Cubs’ pitching. Kouzmanoff was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Will Venable flied out to deep right to end the first.
Everth Cabrera led off the Padres’ two-run third inning with an infield single. Cabrera chopped a ball high off the plate and reached without a throw from Dempster. Cabrera then stole second and Eckstein grounded out to second … his productive out moved Cabrera to third for Adrian Gonzalez.
The Cubs intentionally walked the Padres’ slugger but Dempster ran the count to 3-2 on Chase Headley. Headley hit a weak grounder to second that the Cubs could not turn two on. Cabrera scored the go ahead.
Ryan Dempster forgot Headley was on first and paid no attention to the Padres’ left fielder. Headley stole second uncontested, which ended up being a big play in the game. Kevin Kouzmanoff then blooped a single in front of Alfonso Soriano in left. Headley scored easily as Soriano bobbled the ball.
Will Venable singled to center but Dempster struck out Kyle Blanks. The Padres led 3-1 at the end of three.
Jeff Baker doubled to right center with one-out in the top of the fourth. Geovany Soto flied out to left center for the second out. Ryan Dempster then delivered his second hit of the game, a single to left that plated Baker with the Cubs’ second run. Dempster advanced to second on Headley’s throwing error … and Ryan Theriot struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs tied the game in the top of the fifth. Derrek Lee walked with one out. Aramis Ramirez grounded out to second, Lee advanced into scoring position on the productive out. Carrillo missed three straight out of the strike zone to Kosuke Fukudome, before issuing ball four intentionally.
Alfonso Soriano then blooped a 1-2 pitch from the Chicago native into left center. Lee scored, game tied at three.
Maybe the Cubs will show up and play ball on Wednesday night …
Rich Harden will face Mat Latos in the final game of the year in San Diego on Wednesday night.