Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 6 Padres 2
WP – Rich Harden (4-1) LP – Jake Peavy (2-5) Save – None
Tuesday night was the definition of a team win. After Adrian Gonzalez gave the Padres a 2-0 lead in the first inning coupled with the way Jake Peavy was pitching early on, it looked like the Cubs were on their way to dropping the first game of the series. But they kept patient against Peavy and a leadoff walk in the fifth inning by Geovany Soto led to the Cubs’ first run.
Alfonso Soriano had a big night at the plate. He hit a pair of doubles finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBI. Soriano’s second double in the fifth put the Cubs on the board and seemed to relax the entire team.
If Kosuke Fukudome keeps hitting the way he did on Tuesday he will soon shed his Mr. April nickname. Fukudome equaled Soriano’s 3-for-5 effort with two doubles and was on board for Milton Bradley’s monster shot in the sixth that gave the Cubs the lead…Bradley’s second game winning RBI in as many games. Lou Piniella said following the game that Bradley’s home run to right center was the longest he’s seen hit at Wrigley Field in his two-plus season’s as the Cubs’ manager.
Bobby Scales hit his first career home run leading off the seventh against the organization that picked him in the 14th round of the 1999 draft. Scales’ pinch hit home run gave the Cubs a two-run lead…and could not have come at a better time.
The Cubs tacked on two more in the eighth with a RBI single to right by Alfonso Soriano and a wild pitch by Cla Meredith.
After a rough first inning, Rich Harden settled down and put together five dominant innings of work. Harden served up a leadoff double to Brian Giles and a one-out home run to Adrian Gonzalez but struck out Chase Headley and Jody Gerut to end the inning.
Harden retired 13 in a row following the Gonzalez home run and did not allow another hit until the sixth inning…a one-out infield single by David Eckstein. Harden surrendered a single to Adrian Gonzalez but ended his day by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Chase Headley. Harden struck out five and walked only one on 101 pitches.
The Cubs bullpen pitched three shutout innings and allowed only one hit and a walk. Aaron Heilman worked around a leadoff single by Jody Gerut and Carlos Marmol did not allow a two-out walk to David Eckstein ahead of Adrian Gonzalez to cost his team in the eighth.
Lou Piniella’s crew has won eight of their last 11 after the come from behind victory against Jake Peavy on Monday…wonder if Mr. Peavy sang along with the 39,963 in attendance when the game was over. Jake Peavy was on top of his game the first time through the lineup and showed why the Cubs reportedly pursued him so hard in the off-season. The Cubs’ offense managed only one base runner, a two-out walk by Mike Fontenot through the first 2 2/3 innings.
Alfonso Soriano hit his first double of the night with two outs in the third…but was stranded when Ryan Theriot struck out to end the inning.
Kosuke Fukudome led off the fourth with his first of two doubles on the night and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Peavy. Derrek Lee (0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk in his first game action since May 5) and Milton Bradley struck out swinging. Mike Fontenot put together another solid at bat against Peavy but was robbed of an extra base hit on a diving catch by Kevin Kouzmanoff at third.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the fifth. Geovany Soto walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rich Harden. Peavy had a play on Soto at second but decided against it and got the sure out at first. Alfonso Soriano stepped in and lined a 0-1 pitch from Peavy that rolled all the way to the wall in left center…Soto scored and cut the Padres lead to 2-1. Ryan Theriot lined out to right to end the inning.
Kosuke Fukudome led off the sixth with his second double…on a 3-2 pitch down the line in left. After Derrek Lee struck out looking, Milton Bradley launched a 1-0 pitch from Peavy deep into the bleachers in right center…well over 400′ and both Brian Giles and Jody Gerut stood and watched the ball leave the yard.
Bobby Scales pinch hit for Aaron Heilman in the bottom of the seventh. Scales is making his case for more playing time and he ripped the first pitch from Edwin Moreno into the bleachers in right center. Scales circled the bases with his first big league home run and ‘the veteran-rookie‘ was greeted by each of his teammates in the dugout. It was truly a great scene…with the biggest hug coming from Milton Bradley.
The Cubs added to their lead in the eighth after a leadoff single by Aaron Miles and a pinch-hit single by Micah Hoffpauir. The Cubs’ pinch hitters were 2-for-2 on Tuesday night with two runs scored. With runners on first and third with one-out, Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-2 pitch into right field. Miles scored on a rare opposite field single by the Cubs’ leadoff man.
After a Ryan Theriot ground out put runners on first and third with two outs, Cla Meredith uncorked a wild pitch with Kosuke at the plate that allowed Micah Hoffpauir to score the Cubs’ sixth and final run of the night.
While the Padres have trouble scoring runs, Jake Peavy is still one of the best in the league. They fought back on a night that Peavy had dominated them early on…without one of their big bats.
Ted Lilly will face Derrek Lee’s old buddy, Chris Young, under the lights Wednesday night.