Cubs Lose a Long, Wild, Ugly Game in San Diego – Cubs 2, Padres 3

Game One Hundred Thirty – Cubs 2, Padres 3 – 15 innings

WP – Dale Thayer (2-3) LP – Hector Rondon (2-1) Save – None

It took five hours, 13 minutes and 15 innings to decide Sunday’s finale in San Diego and the Padres came out on top in a game that neither team appeared to want to win after Nick Hundley delivered a two-out single into center off of Hector Rondon.

Sunday’s game was scoreless into the 13th inning before the Cubs finally put two runs on the board after a bizarre play. With the bases loaded and no outs, Nate Schierholtz (1-for-6) pulled a routine grounder toward first. Schierholtz twisted his ankle and stumbled out of the box. Jesus Guzman’s throw to the plate hit Schierholtz on the helmet. The ball bounced away and Darnell McDonald (1-for-2 with a run scored) scored the first run of the game. Brian Bogusevic (0-for-3, SF RBI and three walks) hit a sac fly to right center that plated Starlin Castro (2-for-6 with a walk and a run scored) and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

But Kevin Gregg could not hold the lead. Ronny Cedeno tripled in Jesus Guzman for the Padres’ first run then scored on wild pitch to tie the game.

The Cubs had plenty of chances to win the game in extra innings. The Cubs managed only eight hits on Sunday but walked seven times and finished the game 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base.

Chris Rusin and Andrew Cashner were both long gone by the time the winning run scored on Sunday. Rusin and Cashner locked in a pitcher’s duel for seven innings. Andrew Cashner did everything he could to stick it to the Cubs but his offense would not corporate. Cashner allowed just two singles, a walk and hit a batter over the first seven innings. Cashner struck out seven while allowing only one runner to reach second base on a season-high 108 pitches.

Chris Rusin matched Cashner nearly pitch for pitch and allowed only three hits, all singles, over 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Rusin was very good once again and did not allow a single runner to reach third base while he was on the mound. Rusin walked four and struck out three on 87 pitches, 47 for strikes.

The Cubs’ pen did their job until the 13th when Kevin Gregg blew his fifth save of the season. Carlos Villanueva, Pedro Strop, Blake Parker, Michael Bowden and James Russell kept the Padres off the board while the offense tried to scratch out a run.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-6 with a walk) and Welington Castillo (1-for-5 with a walk) each collected hits while Junior Lake (1-for-7 with a stolen base) extended his hitting streak to eight games with an infield single leading off the 12th inning.

The Cubs lost both the series (1-2) and the season series (3-4) to the Padres with Sunday’s loss (7-14 in Sundays in 2013).

The Cubs dropped back to 20 games under .500 with a record of 55-75 following Sunday’s defeat.

Chris Rusin and Andrew Cashner locked in a pitcher’s duel on Sunday afternoon. After forcing Andrew Cashner to throw 25 pitches in the first inning, 14 for strikes, the Cubs made it easy on Cashner for his next six innings. Cashner pounded the strike zone while the Cubs’ hitters put up little resistance.

The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the sixth. Rusin was very efficient and needed only 60 pitches, 35 for strikes, to complete his first five innings on Sunday.

A very determined Andrew Cashner led off the sixth with a single to left (2-2 pitch), just the third hit of the game off Rusin. Chris Denorfia rapped into a 6-4-3 double play. Rusin wanted nothing to do with Venable and walked him on four pitches. Rusin caught Jedd Gyorko looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Rusin threw 81 pitches, 45 for strikes, over his first six innings of work.

Andrew Cashner hit Donnie Murphy with one out in the seventh but that was all for the Cubs. Over the seven innings they faced Cashner, the offense managed two singles, a walk and a HBP.

After Rusin retired Chase Headley on a foul out to Rizzo to start the seventh, Rusin issued a four-pitch walk to Jesus Guzman. With Logan Forsythe due up, Dale Sveum went to his pen for Carlos Villanueva. Forsythe singled to left center and put runners on first and second with one down. Ronny Cedeno flied out to center (first pitch) and pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso grounded out to second (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Luke Gregerson replaced Cashner for the eighth. Darwin Barney worked a leadoff walk. Logan Watkins hit for Villanueva and bunted Barney to second … only the second time the Cubs had a runner in scoring position over the first eight innings. Castro grounded out to third for the second out.

Anthony Rizzo stepped in and hit a bullet back up the middle (1-1 pitch). Luke Gregerson stuck out his glove and caught the ball as he fell backwards. Rizzo squared up the ball and did what he was supposed to do, Gregerson just made the play.

Pedro Strop made quick work of Hundley (swinging strikeout) and Denorfia (grounder to second) to start the eighth. Will Venable singled to left center (1-1 pitch) with two outs. Jedd Gyorko then hit a slower roller toward third. Donnie Murphy charged the ball, but bobbled it and did not make a throw. The Padres had two on with two down. Chase Headley smoked a 2-0 pitch right at Darwin Barney to end the inning.

Brian Bogusevic worked a one-out walk against Huston Street in the ninth. Sveum called for a hit and run on a 1-1 pitch to Junior Lake. Lake popped the ball into shallow right and Denorfia doubled off Bogusevic to end the inning.

Blake Parker retired the Padres in order in the ninth … and the game went into extra innings.

After the Cubs failed to do anything against Nick Vincent in the tenth, Mark Kotsay led off the tenth against Blake Parker. Kotsay reached out and poked a 1-2 pitch into shallow left. Jaff Decker ran for Kotsay. Nick Hundley bunted a 1-1 pitch back toward the mound. Blake Parker picked up the ball and threw a strike to Castro to force Decker for the first out. Denorfia flied out to right for out number two.

With Hundley on first and two down, Will Venable struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

And the game went to the 11th, still scoreless.

Brad Brach took over for the Padres in the 11th and issued a one-out walk to Starlin Castro. After Rizzo fouled out to first base, Nate Schierholtz singled to center … the Cubs’ third hit of the game. Castro advanced to third, the first time either team put a runner on third base in the game. Bogusevic lined out to left to end the inning.

Michael Bowden retired Gyorko on a foul out to Rizzo, then walked Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman. With runners on first and second with one out, Logan Forsythe lined a 1-2 pitch at Schierholtz in right for the second out … and Cedeno fouled out to Rizzo to end the inning.

And the game went to the 12th, still zero-zero.

Junior Lake led off the 12th with an infield single up the middle. Gyorko stopped the ball but his throw to first was late. Murphy flied out to right. Lake took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Castillo and slid in safe with his third stolen base of the season. Castillo walked and the Cubs had runners on first and second for Darwin Barney. Barney grounded into a 6-3 double play (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Alexi Amarista led off the 12th with a double down the first baseline off James Russell, the first extra basehit of the game. After Nick Hundley flied out to deep center with Amarista running, Russell intentionally walked Chris Denorfia.

Will Venable stepped in with runners on first and second with one out and pulled a 2-2 pitch toward second. Barney fielded the ball and threw to second to force Denorfia … the ball was not hit hard enough to turn two.

Russell jumped ahead of Gyorko 0-2 with runners on second and third with two down after Venable advanced to second on defensive indifference. Gyorko flied out to deep center to end the inning and sent the game to the 13th inning.

Darnell McDonald hit for James Russell to lead off the 13th inning. McDonald singled to left off Brad Boxberger. Starlin Castro followed and worked a full count. McDonald took off for second on a 3-2 pitch. Cedeno broke for second to cover the bag and Castro hit the ball through the vacated hole at short. McDonald advanced to third with no outs. Rizzo walked to load the bases for Schierholtz.

Nate Schierholtz pulled a 1-0 pitch toward first. Schierholtz twisted his left ankle and stumbled out of the box. When he left the box, he jogged out with his head down and Guzman’s throw to the plate hit Schierholtz in the helmet. McDonald scored the first run of the game on a throwing error by Guzman and the bases remained loaded with no outs.

Brian Bogusevic hit a deep fly to right center that Denorfia caught for the out. Castro tagged and scored, 2-0 Cubs. With runners on the corners and one down, Lake struck out swinging and Murphy flied out to right to end the inning.

Kevin Gregg took the hill for the bottom of the 13th inning with the Cubs up 2-0. Gregg retired Headley on a grounder to first. Jesus Guzman followed with a double to left center. Forsythe grounded out to second and Guzman advanced to third on the play.

Ronny Cedeno drove a 2-1 pitch into the gap in right center. Guzman scored on a triple by Cedeno and cut the Cubs’ lead to 2-1. Gregg uncorked a wild pitch. Castillo could not keep the ball in front of him then lost track of the ball. Cedeno did not break from the plate immediately. Once he saw Castillo was having trouble locating the ball he started down the line. Castillo rushed his throw, the ball went between Gregg’s legs and the Padres tied the game on a wild pitch. Gregg retired Amarista on a flyout to left and the game went to the 14th inning.

Hector Rondon took the hill in the 14th after the Cubs failed to do anything in the top of the inning. Nick Hundley reached on an infield single up the middle to Castro. Castro could not catch the soft liner. Denorfia followed with a bloop single to left center. With runners on first and second with no outs, Venable grounded out to Rizzo. Both runners moved up ninety feet and Dale Sveum brought Junior Lake into the infield with the winning run on third.

Bud Black had Eric Stults hit for Boxberger and Rondon struck him out swinging for the second out. Rondon caught Headley looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the 15th but came away empty. Castro and Rizzo singled then Gillespie bunted both runners up ninety feet. Dale Thayer intentionally walked Bogusevic to load the bases with one down. Lake hit a slow roller up the third baseline. Headley threw out Castro at the plate and Murphy grounded out to third to end the inning.

Rondon stayed in for the 15th and gave up a one-out single to Logan Forsythe. Cedeno grounded out to third, Forsythe advanced to second and Rondon intentionally walked Amarista.

Nick Hundley ended the game with a single to center. Forsythe scored … game over.

The Cubs open a three-game series on Monday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Zack Greinke in game one.

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