Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 6 Padres 4 – 8 innings
WP – Ted Lilly (5-2) LP – Chris Young (2-2) Save – Carlos Marmol (3)
The Cubs and Padres game was called after the top of the eighth inning following the third rain delay of the night. Ted Lilly picked up his fifth win as the Cubs moved to a season-high five games over .500.
After a 37-minute delayed the start, Wednesday night began for the Cubs the same way as the first game of the series. After a leadoff double by Scott Hairston, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to left center in nearly the same location as the one he hit off Rich Harden Tuesday. Ted Lilly made only a few mistakes in his 6 1/3 innings of work and two of them were to the Padres’ first baseman. Gonzalez hit his second home run of the game, and third of the series, in the sixth off Lilly…all three of his dingers in the series have been opposite field shots over the left centerfield wall.
Ted Lilly allowed three runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
The Cubs played longball on Wednesday against Chris Young. The Padres’ righty had allowed only one home run all season before his start against the Cubs. Ryan Theriot recorded the second multi-home run game of his career and Alfonso Soriano tied Craig Biggio for second on the All-Time list with the 53rd leadoff home run of his career. Soriano passed Jimmy Ryan (1885-1889, 1891-1900) on the Cubs’ All-Time list with the 21st leadoff home run in a Cubs’ uniform. Soriano and Theriot went back-to-back in the first inning to tie the game and it was the first time a team led off a game with consecutive home runs against a Padres’ pitcher in the history of their organization.
After reportedly speaking with Henry Blanco before Wednesday’s game, Geovany Soto put together his best game of the year offensively. Soto drove in the eventual winning run with a two-out RBI single in the first inning. Then in the third Soto gave his team a little breathing room.
Milton Bradley reached on a bunt single up the third base line. With two outs on a 1-0 pitch from Chris Young, Geovany Soto hit his first long ball of the season…halfway up the bleachers in left center.
Every home run Ryan Theriot hits for the remainder of the year will be a new single-season career high. Theriot added his fifth off of Young in the fourth inning as the rain began falling at Wrigley. Of the four home runs hit by the Cubs on Wednesday night, only Theriot’s second was blown out of the park.
Angel Guzman picked up his fourth hold with an impressive outing. Guzman replaced Ted Lilly with one on and one out in the seventh. After a single by Scott Hairston put runners on first and second with one out, Guzman retired David Eckstein but fell behind in the count to Adrian Gonzalez, 3-0. Guzman ran a slider in on the hands of Gonzalez and induced an inning ending ground out to second.
Carlos Marmol struggled with his command in the very wet eighth inning. Marmol issued the Cubs only walks of the night and gave up a run on two hits. A baserunning gaffe by Brian Giles ended the inning…and the game.
On a crazy, rain delayed night at Wrigley with the wind blowing out, Ted Lilly did his job and the Cubs improved to 9-3 in the month of May…. The Padres out hit the Cubs on Wednesday but Lou Piniella’s crew left only four runners on base and was patient early on against Chris Young. The Cubs sent eight to the plate in the first, ran up his pitch count and seemed to take control…then held on and waited for the rain.
Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot became the first Cubs to hit back-to-back home runs to begin a game since Eric Young and Ricky Gutierrez took Jose Lima deep at then Enron Field in Houston on April 27, 2000.
Soriano’s shot that cut the Padres lead in half was a no-doubter that ended up on Waveland. Ryan Theriot followed and hit Chris Young’s next pitch over the wall just to the left of straight away center…so not only did Soriano and Theriot hit back-to-back-jacks they were hit on consecutive pitches.
After Kosuke Fukudome (1-for-4) struck out and Derrek Lee (0-for-4) struck out, Milton Bradley and Mike Fontenot reached on two-out walks. Geovany Soto ripped a 2-1 pitch into left and Bradley (1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored) scored the go-ahead and eventual game winner.
Milton Bradley jump started the offense again in the third with a perfectly placed bunt single up the third base line…the Padres let the ball roll and it never went foul. After Mike Fontenot struck out, Geovany Soto gave his team a 5-2 lead.
If the Cubs can get Soto on the right track, the inconsistent offense will have another weapon. For the second night in a row a couple of players came through with the big hits when they needed to but it was a solid team effort for the third game in a row.
Ryan Dempster will face former Cub Chad Gaudin on Thursday afternoon in the series finale.