Game Thirty-Seven – Cubs 11 Giants 4
WP – Ryan Dempster (2-4) LP – Madison Bumgarner (0-6) Save – None
Ryan Dempster put together his third straight quality start after giving up a run in the first inning. Dempster struck out a season-high 11 batters, just one off his career high set on May 15, 2008. Dempster threw strikes but ran up his pitch count and had to leave after the sixth. Dempster gave up two runs on six hits with a walk to go along with the 11 strikeouts. Dempster tossed 114 pitches, 73 for strikes, and put himself in position to win his first game at Wrigley since August 4, 2010.
The Cubs scored their first three runs in the second inning on a safety squeeze bunt by Koyie Hill and two, two-out RBI singles by Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney … following a Ryan Dempster walk. Dempster made the three runs hold up and turned the game over to the pen.
The Giants put the tying run on third with two outs in the seventh thanks to a triple by Andres Torres. Kerry Wood preserved the one-run lead by retiring Freddy Sanchez on a ground out to first.
The Cubs offense turned it on in the home half of the seventh and scored five of their 11 runs off Jeremy Affeldt and Guillermo Mota. After the Giants scored a pair on a two-run homer off the bat of Cody Ross, the Cubs put the game well out of reach with a three-run eighth. The Cubs scored eight runs off the Giants pen, the first runs surrendered by San Fran’s pen in 18 innings (eight games).
Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney led the way Friday afternoon. The trio drove in nine of the Cubs’ 11 runs and Reed Johnson made another highlight reel catch in the second that robbed Mike Fontenot of an extra base hit.
Reed Johnson finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and four RBI … and four runs driven in by Johnson were with two out hits. Johnson’s triple in the seventh cleared the bases and gave the Cubs a little breathing room. Johnson singled in Darwin Barney in the eighth to cap off his afternoon.
“Double Trouble” not only set the table Friday but they cleared it as well. Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI) and Darwin Barney (3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI) finished a combined 6-for-10 with five RBI and four runs scored … nine of the Cubs 11 runs.
Jeff Baker tallied another hit (1-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI) and Marlon Byrd (2-for-4 with a run scored) chipped in a nice afternoon. Byrd extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an infield single in the first inning.
The Cubs scored 11 runs on 14 hits (most allowed by the Giants in a single game this season) and finished the afternoon 7-for-14 with RISP, eight left on base. In the Cubs last two wins they’ve scored a combined 22 runs on 31 hits and no home runs.
It took nearly a month but the Cubs finally started a series with a victory. Prior to Friday afternoon’s game against the Giants, the last time Q’s squad won the first game of a series was back on April 18.
With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 17-20 on the season … three games below the mediocre mark. Ryan Dempster struggled with his command in the opening inning. Dempster labored through a 33-pitch first inning and gave up a run three batters into the game.
Andres Torres singled to center to start the game. Torres stole second with Freddy Sanchez at the plate. Aubrey Huff, who came in with only three hits in his career off Dempster, singled to center and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Dempster struck out Buster Posey and caught a break when Posey interfered with Koyie Hill. Huff broke for second on the 3-2 offering to Posey. Posey swung and missed as Hill threw to second. Huff was safe but had to return to first. Nate Schierholtz followed with an infield single to the hole at short. Dempster uncorked a wild pitch with Cody Ross at the plate that advanced both runners.
With runners on second and third with two down, Dempster struck out Ross swinging to end the inning.
Dempster retired three of the four batters he faced in the second … thanks to a tremendous catch by Reed Johnson. Mike Fontenot led off the inning with deep fly to right. Johnson went into the well and caught the ball as he hit the ivy. Instead of runner on second (or third) to start the inning, it was just a loud out.
The Cubs patience really paid off in the bottom of the second. Two walks led to three runs … imagine that.
Alfonso Soriano led off with a walk and advanced to third on a bloop single to right by Reed Johnson. Following a Carlos Pena strikeout, Koyie Hill dropped a bunt towards third on a 2-0 pitch. Soriano scored as Tejada threw out Hill at first.
Ryan Dempster kept the inning going with a two-out walk.
Starlin Castro then blooped a 1-0 pitch into shallow right. Reed Johnson scored and gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Darwin Barney came through with a single to center that plated Dempster with the Cubs third run of the game.
Walks, two-out hits, hitting with runners in scoring position …
Ryan Dempster kept the Giants off the board again until the fifth.
Andres Torres reached on a one-out bunt single. Torres then advanced to second on a hit and run groundout to short. Aubrey Huff doubled down the left field line and cut the Cubs lead to 3-2. Buster Posey ran the count to 3-2 before striking out swinging to end the inning.
The game remained 3-2 until the bottom of the seventh.
Kosuke Fukudome hit for Kerry Wood and worked a one-out walk. Starlin Castro singled to left. Darwin Barney ripped Jeremy Affeldt’s first pitch into right. Barney drove in Fukudome with his fifth double of the year.
Marlon Byrd was hit to load the bases with one out.
Jeff Baker singled to left on a 3-2 pitch. Castro scored and gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead. With the bases still loaded and one out, Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging for the second out.
Reed Johnson picked up Soriano with a bases clearing triple, his first three-bagger of the season … and gave the Cubs a commanding 8-2 lead. Following a walk by Carlos Pena, Koyie Hill flied out to left to end the inning … Hill made two of the three outs in the five-run seventh.
Cody Ross cut the Cubs lead to 8-4 with his second homer of the year off Sean Marshall in the eighth.
The Cubs went back to work in the bottom of the eighth. Kosuke Fukudome led off with an infield single and scored on a long double to left by Starlin Castro … he just missed a home run. Darwin Barney followed with a single to left … that could have been a double. Castro scored … 10-4 Cubs.
Marlon Byrd singled to right. After a Blake DeWitt flyout and a Tyler Colvin lineout, Reed Johnson singled to left center and plated Barney with Cubs 11th run of the game.
Friday was a good win for the Cubs. They battled back from an early deficit against a very good pitcher, held on to a lead and then hit the ball with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs will play a Saturday night game at Wrigley for the first time since 2002. Doug Davis in his Cubs debut against Ryan Vogelsong.