A Raley Night for the Cubs – Cubs 4, Padres 7

Game One Hundred Eight – Cubs 4, Padres 7
WP – Ross Ohlendorf (4-2) LP – Brooks Raley (0-1) Save – Huston Street (20)

The West Coast woes continued Tuesday night in San Diego as the Cubs lost their seventh straight ballgame. The Cubs made a game of it late but the offense could not make up for Brooks Raley’s rough debut.

Brooks Raley barely made it out of the fourth inning after struggling the second and third time through the lineup. Raley pitched from behind in the count for a majority of his short debut (89 pitches, 54 strikes), something the young lefty simply cannot do. After tossing two scoreless innings to begin his night, Raley allowed four runs on four hits with a pair of walks in the third then Carlos Quentin launched a three-run homer off Raley in the fourth that put the game out of reach. Raley allowed seven runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.

The Cubs’ bullpen did its job in relief of Raley and tossed four innings of three-hit ball. Jeff Beliveau surrendered only two hits in his two frames while Alberto Cabrera struck out two of the three batters he faced. James Russell allowed a bloop single in the eighth.

The Cubs’ offense was non-existent against Ross Ohlendorf. Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) collected the first two hits off Ohlendorf and Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and a HBP) drove in Valbuena for the only earned run off the Padres’ starter. Bryan LaHair (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) subbing for the injured Alfonso Soriano reached on a two-base error to start the seventh and scored on a single off the bat of Steve Clevenger (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored).

Josh Vitters pinch-hit for Jeff Beliveau in the seventh and delivered a two-run double. Vitters’ first big league hit cut the Padres’ lead to 7-4 … but the top of the Cubs’ lineup had a horrible night and that was as close as the Cubs would get against the Padres’ pen.

The first four hitters in the Cubs’ lineup went 0-for-15 with two walks Tuesday night and left nine runners on base. David DeJesus (0-for-4 with a walk), Brett Jackson (0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts), Starlin Castro (0-for-4) and Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4) did absolutely nothing … add in Bryan LaHair’s night and the top five hitters in the Cubs’ lineup went 0-for-18 with three walks and a run scored.

Starlin Castro’s slump reached a career-worst 0-for-19 on Tuesday (0-for-17 in May of 2010) and he appeared frustrated after his final two at bats. Brett Jackson struck out three more times Tuesday. Jackson is hitless in his last nine plate appearances with eight strikeouts and a walk.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-65 on the season, 22 game below .500 …

The Cubs did nothing in the first. Ross Ohlendorf threw only 12 pitches, eight for strikes, and Brett Jackson struck out for the sixth straight time.

Brooks Raley began his big league career by striking out Chris Denorfia. Raley walked Logan Forsythe (3-2 pitch). Bud Black called for a hit and run on a 2-2 pitch to Chase Headley. The Padres’ third baseman pulled the ball toward short. Starlin Castro fielded the ball and threw to first. Forsythe advanced to second on the play. Carlos Quentin fouled out to Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Raley threw 20 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second. Ohlendorf needed only 26 pitches (18 strikes) to complete two innings of work on Tuesday night.

Jesus Guzman reached on a slow chopper up the third baseline to begin the second, the first hit off Raley. Cameron Maybin launched a 1-1 pitch to deep left. David DeJesus, playing his first game in left, made a fine leaping catch before hitting the wall. Everth Cabrera flied out to DeJesus in left center and John Baker struck out swinging to end the inning … 37 pitches for Raley after two, 24 for strikes.

Luis Valbuena broke up Ohlendorf’s no-hit bid with a single to left center to start the third. Darwin Barney flied out to center. Brooks Raley could not get a bunt down and ended up grounding into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. With Raley at first, DeJesus grounded out to second to end the inning. Ohlendorf threw only 38 pitches in the first three innings, 27 for strikes.

The Padres got to Raley in a big way in the third … and put the game out of reach. Ross Ohlendorf reached on a broken bat single to center. Raley then walked Chris Denorfia on four pitches. Logan Forsythe dropped a bunt up the third baseline. Raley did not field the ball and by the time Valbuena got to it, it was too late. Forsythe reached and the bases were loaded for Chase Headley.

Brooks Raley fell behind Headley 3-1. Headley pounded Raley’s next pitch back up the middle and into center. Ohlendorf and Denorfia scored, 2-0 Padres. Forsythe stopped at third with no outs. Raley walked Quentin to load the bases.

Raley jammed Jesus Guzman and got him to pop out to Barney in shallow center for the first out. With the bases loaded and one down, Raley struck out Cameron Maybin swinging. After a visit from Steve Clevenger, Raley fell behind Everth Cabrera 3-1. Raley had to throw a strike and Cabrera hit the ball in between Valbuena and Castro. Forsythe and Headley scored, 4-0 Padres. With runners on first and second with two down, John Baker struck out swinging.

Brooks Raley threw 31 pitches in the third (68 for the game, 41 strikes) and allowed four runs on four hits with two walks … and after three, the Cubs were down 4-0.

Brett Jackson worked a walk to start the fourth. Starlin Castro lined out to center for the first out … but Anthony Rizzo hit a bullet toward short that Cabrera snagged and threw to first to double off Jackson.

Brooks Raley retired Ohlendorf and Denorfia quickly to start the fourth. Raley fell behind Logan Forsythe and Raley simply does not have the stuff to pitch from behind in the count. Forsythe reached on a single to the hole at short (3-2 pitch). Castro fielded the ball and made an excellent attempt but he could not throw Forsythe out from shallow left. Chase Headley ripped a 1-0 pitch into center. Forsythe held at second with two down. Raley fell behind Carlos Quentin 2-0 then made an excellent pitch for strike one. Raley went right back with the same pitch (76 mph slider) and Carlos Quentin deposited the ball into the stands in left center … 7-0 Padres. Jesus Guzman grounded out to short to end the inning and Raley’s night.

Bryan LaHair (flyout to right center) and Steve Clevenger (groundout to first) made two quick outs to start the fifth. Luis Valbuena pulled a 0-1 pitch into right for a double, the Cubs second hit of the game. Darwin Barney followed with a double down the left field line (2-1 pitch). Valbuena scored and broke up the shutout. Adrian Cardenas hit for Raley and popped out to Guzman for the third out.

Jeff Beliveau took over in the fifth. Cameron Maybin greeted Beliveau with a bloop single to right. Beliveau struck out Cabrera swinging before giving up a single to John Baker on a 2-2 pitch. Ohlendorf bunted both runners up ninety feet but Chris Denorfia hit a 1-0 pitch back to Beliveau to end the inning.

After five, the Cubs trailed 7-1.

David DeJesus reached on an error by Everth Cabrera to start the sixth. Brett Jackson struck out swinging (1-2 count, seventh pitch) and Starlin Castro popped out to center. Castro’s slump reached a career-worst, 0-for-18 (0-for-17 in May of 2010). Rizzo struck out swinging to end the inning.

Jeff Beliveau set down the side in order in the sixth.

The Cubs took advantage of an extra out in the seventh and tried to make it a ballgame. Bryan LaHair reached on a two-base error by Chris Denorfia to start the seventh. LaHair pulled a 1-2 pitch into right center that Denorfia short-armed and did not catch. Bud Black made the slow walk and replaced Ross Ohlendorf with Brad Boxberger.

Boxberger uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-2 offering to Steve Clevenger. LaHair advanced to third and scored when Clevenger broke his bat and blooped a single into right center. Luis Valbuena struck out swinging for the first out. Boxberger then hit Darwin Barney on a 3-2 pitch. With runners on first and second and one down, Dale Sveum went to his bench for Josh Vitters.

Josh Vitters hit for Beliveau and put together a solid at bat. Vitters worked the count full then got a pitch he could pull. Vitters ripped a 3-2 offering from Boxberger into the gap in left center. Clevenger and Barney scored on Vitters’ first big league hit. Black went back to his pen and brought in lefty Alex Hinshaw to face David DeJesus.

DeJesus walked and Brett Jackson stepped in representing the tying run. Jackson struck out swinging (fourth pitch) for the second out. Bud Black went to his pen again and brought in Brad Brach to face Starlin Castro … Castro struck out swinging and ran his hitless streak to 0-for-19.

Alberto Cabrera retired the side in order with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh.

At the end of seven, the Cubs trailed 7-4.

Luke Gregerson retired Rizzo on a flyout to center for the first out in the eighth. Bryan LaHair worked a one-out walk. Clevenger flied out to center and Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.

James Russell retired John Baker (groundout to first) and pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista (groundout to second) on four pitches to start the eighth. Chris Denorfia blooped a 2-0 pitch into right for a single. Denorfia swiped second on a 0-1 offering to Forsythe. Forsythe popped out to Rizzo (0-2 pitch) for the third out.

The Cubs went to the ninth down 7-4.

The Cubs did nothing against Huston Street in the ninth … Street threw only 11 pitches in route to his 20th straight save.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face lefty Clayton Richard in the series and season finale against the Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

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