Samardzija Snaps Cubs Skid – Cubs 3, Padres 2

Game One Hundred Twenty-Nine – Cubs 3, Padres 2

WP – Jeff Samardzija (8-11) LP – Eric Stults (8-11) Save – Kevin Gregg (26)

wflag-pubJeff Samardzija put together an excellent outing, Darwin Barney drove in two of the Cubs’ three runs and the Cubs ended their four-game losing streak on Saturday night in San Diego.

Jeff Samardzija picked up where he left off against the Nationals and limited the Padres to two runs on seven hits in eight innings. Samardzija was both effective and efficient on Saturday night and that paid off late in the game. Three of the last six outs Samardzija recorded with the game on the line were swinging strikeouts. Samardzija needed only 28 pitches to complete three innings and took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning. Will Venable tied the game at one in the sixth with a solo homer off Samardzija.

Jeff Samardzija pitched out of a bases loaded no out jam in the eighth by allowing only one run and stuck out Logan Forsythe swinging to end the inning. A very excited Samardzija pumped his fist after getting Forsythe to swing and miss at a 95 mph fastball.

Kevin Gregg pitched a clean ninth to close out the Cubs first victory in San Diego in two years.

Jeff Samardzija pitched a good game, and the key was throwing strikes. Samardzija did not walk his first batter until the eighth and the free pass scored the second run of the night. Samardzija allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks, a hit batsman and seven strikeouts. Samardzija threw 106 pitches, 66 for strikes.

The Cubs need for Jeff Samardzija to finish the season on a positive note, and he has really stepped up over his last two outings. With his eight innings on Saturday night, Samardzija has pitched a career high 176 1/3 innings this season.

Darwin Barney (3-for-4 with a home run, a double, two RBI, two runs scored) had one of his better games of the season. Barney not only drove in two of the Cubs three runs but he scored the third, which ended up being the difference in the game. Barney tied his career-high in homers (7) with his third career home run outside of Wrigley Field in the fifth inning. Barney gave the Cubs a one-run lead in the fifth when he took Eric Stults deep then doubled in Darnell McDonald (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with the go ahead run in the seventh. Barney scored the Cubs third run on a single by Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a RBI).

The Cubs outhit the Padres 10-7 on Saturday night but managed only two walks and went 1-for-7 with RISP and left eight men on base.

With Saturday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 55-74 on the season.

Jeff Samardzija and Eric Stults allowed four hits combined and only two to position players over the first four innings. Samardzija was efficient and it took him only 37 pitches, 24 for strikes, to complete four frames on Saturday night.

Darwin Barney stepped in with one out in the fifth after Stults struck out Cole Gillespie swinging to start the inning. Barney lifted a 0-2 changeup out to left. The ball carried over the wall and Barney’s seventh longball of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Stults struck out Samardzija and retired Castro on a grounder to short for the third out.

Jeff Samardzija put together a 1-2-3 fifth inning …and at the end of five complete, the Cubs led 1-0.

The Cubs put two on in the sixth after Dioner Navarro and Donnie Murphy reached on back-to-back singles with one out. Junior Lake rapped into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Eric Stults flied out to left to start the sixth. Will Venable stepped in and pulled a 2-2 pitch down the right field line. The ball left the park and Venable’s 19th home run of the season tied the game at one. Samardzija struck out Alexi Amarista swinging before Yonder Alonso doubled. Samardzija retired Gyorko on a grounder to Castro to end the inning.

At the end of six, the game was tied at one.

Darnell McDonald walked to start the seventh and held at first when Gillespie flied out to right. Darwin Barney pulled a 1-1 pitch from Stults to deep left. The ball just missed leaving the park, it one hopped the wall and McDonald scored all the way from first. Logan Forsythe airmailed his throw to the plate but Barney was only awarded third after the umpires ruled that Barney had not reached second yet when the ball left the playing field. Barney’s 22nd double of the season gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

Bud Black went to his pen and replaced Stults with Nick Vincent.

Vincent struck out Samardzija for the second out but plunked Castro in the left hand with a 1-2 pitch. Rizzo stepped in with runners on the corners and two down.

Anthony Rizzo delivered his first hit with runners in scoring position since August 9. Rizzo singled to left center, Barney scored … 3-1 Cubs. Navarro grounded out to second for the third out.

Samardzija took the hill in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run lead and Chase Headley greeted him with a double to center. Forsythe flied out to left for the first out. Samardzija then struck out Nick Hundley and Jeff Decker swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs were not able to add to their lead in the eighth despite collecting two more hits. Junior Lake doubled to left center with one out but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple. Darnell McDonald followed Lake with a two out single. Gillespie struck out swinging to end the inning … and the game went to the home half of the eighth with the Cubs up by two runs.

Jeff Samardzija issued his first walk of the game to pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay to start the eighth. Will Venable singled to right. Kotsay held at second with no outs. Alexi Amarista reached on a bunt. Amarista dropped down a perfect bunt that simply would not go foul.

Yonder Alonso stepped in with the bases loaded, no outs and his team down by two runs. Alonso lifted a 0-1 pitch out to left that McDonald hauled in for the first out. Kotsay tagged and scored, 3-2 Cubs. Gyorko flied out to left for the second out.

Samardzija fell behind Chase Headley 2-0 before Navarro did not catch the third pitch of the at bat. Both runners moved up ninety feet on the passed ball and Samardzija issued ball four intentionally to Headley to load the bases.

Jeff Samardzija blew a 95 mph fastball past a swinging Logan Forsythe to end the inning. Samardzija pumped his fist before leaving the field.

At the end of eight complete, the Cubs led 3-2.

The Cubs could not take advantage of a single by Barney to lead off the ninth, his third hit of the game. Jeff Decker made an excellent diving catch in left center to rob Brian Bogusevic of extra bases. And with Barney at second after Castro grounded out to short, Rizzo lined out to left to end the inning.

Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game.

Chris Rusin and Andrew Cashner wrap up the three game series on Sunday afternoon.

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