Samardzija Can’t Snap Cubs Skid – Cubs 0, Padres 2

Game One Hundred Nine – Cubs 0, Padres 2
WP – Clayton Richard (9-11) LP – Jeff Samardzija (7-10) Save – None

Jeff Samardzija did just about all he could to end his team’s losing streak on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs could not string together any hits and lost their eighth game in a row. The Cubs finished the six-game West Coast trip 0-6 and for the season, the Cubs are 0-13 on the road against teams in the NL West.

Jeff Samardzija more than bounced back from his rough outing in Los Angeles. Samardzija allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings. Samardzija walked two and struck out six on 112 pitches (66 for strikes), one off his season-high. Samardzija actually surrendered one less hit than Clayton Richard but the Cubs offense hit singles while the Padres hit doubles. Samardzija showed his frustration when he broke his bat over his knee after he struck out to end the seventh inning.

The Padres scored the second run off James Russell in the eighth. Russell gave up a two-out bloop double to Chris Denorfia. An error by Anthony Rizzo extended the inning and Yonder Alonso singled in Denorfia with the game’s second run.

Clayton Richard had a good game and picked up the second complete game shutout of his career.

The Cubs were shutout for the second time in the last three games and the offense managed only eight baserunners on Wednesday afternoon … five singles, two walks and a hit batsman. David DeJesus (2-for-4) notched two of the Cubs’ five hits. Starlin Castro ended his 0-for-21 slide with a sixth inning single and finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) and Welington Castillo (1-for-4) recorded the Cubs’ other two hits. Dale Sveum’s team was 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base on the afternoon.

Over the last eight games, the Cubs have been outscored 40-16.

The Cubs finished the season series 3-3 against the Padres … and with Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-66 on the season …

The Cubs did nothing in the first. Clayton Richard threw only 14 pitches in the first, eight for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order on 10 pitches, eight for strikes, in the first.

The Cubs wasted an opportunity to jump out to an early lead in the second inning. Alfonso Soriano worked a leadoff walk. Starlin Castro advanced Soriano to second with a swinging bunt. Welington Castillo pulled a 2-2 pitch off Headley’s glove and into left field. Soriano held at third with one down. Josh Vitters popped the first pitch into shallow right. The ball was not hit deep enough for Soriano to tag. Joe Mather fouled out to Yonder Alonso to end the inning … Richard needed 33 pitches, 19 for strikes, to get through two innings.

Chase Headley drove Samardzija’s first pitch of the second inning into right center for a leadoff double. Mark Kotsay grounded out to first (3-2 pitch) and Headley advanced to third with one out. Will Venable did what he does against the Cubs … he hits the ball and drives in runs. With the infield in, Venable pulled a 2-2 pitch past a diving Rizzo into right for a double. Headley scored easily and the Padres took a 1-0 lead. Venable swiped third on a 1-1 pitch to Logan Forsythe. Sveum pulled his infield in and Forsythe worked a full count. Samardzija struck out Forsythe swinging and retired John Baker on one pitch. Baker popped out to left center to end the inning … 30 pitches for Samardzija after two, 19 for strikes.

The Cubs had a chance to tie the game in the third but could not come up with a clutch hit. After Samardzija popped out to shallow right to start the third, David DeJesus singled to center (3-2 pitch). Darwin Barney fouled out to Forsythe for the second out. Anthony Rizzo ended his 0-for-9 slump with a single to right. DeJesus ended up at third but Alfonso Soriano flied out to right (2-1 pitch) to end the inning. Richard threw 49 pitches in the first three innings, 29 for strikes … and the Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four on base in their first three at bats.

Samardzija set down the side in order in the third … 44 pitches for Samardzija, 31 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Starlin Castro grounded out to short to begin the inning and ran his hitless streak to 0-for-21. Richard needed 61 pitches to get through four innings, 38 for strikes.

Samardzija retired the side in order in the fourth. Samardzija threw 61 pitches, 42 for strikes, over four innings of work.

The Cubs started swinging at everything Richard was throwing near the plate in the fifth. Richard set down the side in order on just seven pitches (68 for the game, 44 for strikes).

Will Venable walked to start the fifth. Logan Forsythe flied out to deep center for the first out. Samardzija fell behind John Baker 2-1. Bud Black called for a hit and run. Baker lined out to Soriano and Venable was doubled up to end the inning (7-6-5). Samardzija faced the minimum and his pitch count remained low after five innings (71 pitches, 46 for strikes).

Darwin Barney (tap back to Richard) and Anthony Rizzo (swinging strikeout) made two quick outs to begin the sixth. Richard then plunked Soriano. Alfonso Soriano took off for second on the first pitch to Castro and got into scoring position. Castro broke his 0-for-21 slide with a single to right. Soriano was held at third with two outs. Welington Castillo grounded the first pitch to Chase Headley to end the inning. Richard was cruising at that point, just 78 pitches after six, 50 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija struck out two of the three batters he faced in the sixth … 86 pitches for Samardzija after six, 55 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh. Jeff Samardzija struck out swinging to end the inning and showed his frustration … Samardzija broke his bat over his knee.

Samardzija labored through his last inning of work. Samardzija appeared to have trouble refocusing after losing his temper in the top half. Yonder Alonso led off the seventh with a single to right. Chase Headley lined a 3-2 pitch into left. Soriano tried to make a shoe-string catch. The ball hit off his glove and he overran the ball. Alonso advanced to third on the play. Samardzija fell behind Mark Kotsay 3-0. Black gave Kotsay the green light and the veteran hit Samardzija’s next pitch toward first. The ball led Rizzo to the bag. Rizzo stepped on first as Alonso broke for the plate. Alonso stopped, Rizzo ran him back to first then threw to Vitters. Vitters’ throw to Castillo was a little high. Castillo caught the ball and ran Alonso back to the bag. Headley already made his way to third … 3-5-2 double play. Samardzija then walked Will Venable.

On a 0-1 pitch to Logan Forsythe, Venable stole second. Samardzija focused and struck out Forsythe swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning … and his outing.

With the Cubs down 1-0, David DeJesus led off the eighth with a single to left. Darwin Barney tried to bunt DeJesus to second but Richard would not throw him a strike. Richard got the call on a 3-1 pitch. Instead of a walk and runners on first and second with one out, Barney lined Richard’s next pitch toward third. Headley snared the ball and threw across the diamond to double off DeJesus. Rizzo grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Padres tacked on a big run in the eighth against James Russell. John Baker (groundout to second) and Clayton Richard (groundout to second) made two quick outs to begin the eighth. Chris Denorfia hit for Alexi Amarista and blooped Russell’s first pitch into shallow left center. Soriano could not make the catch. Castro picked up the ball and threw a strike to Barney. The ball beat Denorfia to the bag and Barney appeared to get the tag down but Denorfia was called safe. Everth Cabrera then hit a grounder toward the hole at second. Rizzo fielded the ball, then dropped it. Barney picked up Rizzo’s miscue and threw late to first. Denorfia stropped at third with two outs.

Yonder Alonso popped a 3-1 pitch into shallow left. Denorfia scored, 2-0 Padres, but Cabrera tried to advance to third but stopped and he could not get back to second. Cabrera was thrown out at second to end the inning (7-5-4).

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 2-0.

Starlin Castro worked a one-out walk against Clayton Richard in the ninth … but Welington Castillo flied out to center (0-1 pitch) and Josh Vitters grounded out to second (first pitch) to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a seven-game homestand Thursday night with the first of four against the Reds. Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Mike Leake in game one.

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