Game Forty-Nine: Cubs 8, Giants 4
WP – Jeff Samardzija (1-4) LP – Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) Save – None
Everything went the Cubs way on Monday afternoon in San Francisco and Jeff Samardzija picked up his first victory of the season. Samardzija put together another excellent outing on the mound and he helped his own cause by doubling in the tying run fifth inning and scoring the go ahead run on a triple by Emilio Bonifacio.
Jeff Samardzija posted his first win in 17 starts dating back to Aug. 24 of last season in San Diego. Samardzija was 0-6 with 10 no-decisions before Monday’s victory.
After Samardzija served up the two-run homer to Pablo Sandoval in the fourth inning, Samardzija retired the next nine batters he faced. Samardzija struck out the side swinging in the second inning and struck out a total of 10 batters on the afternoon. Monday was the sixth time in Samardzija’s career he struck out double-digit batters in the same game, the first time this season.
Jeff Samardzija allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Samardzija threw 109 pitches, 76 for strikes, in seven-plus innings. Samardzija turned the game over to the pen after facing one batter in the eighth inning.
Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez pitched the final two innings and recorded three strikeouts.
While Samardzija winning his first game of the season will make the headlines, Monday was a total team effort. Half of the Cubs’ runs scored on two-out hits and seven different Cubs drove in runs.
Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored) tied the game at one in the third inning with his first longball of the season (151 at bats). The Cubs scored three runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with two RBI and a sacrifice fly) that plated Luis Valbuena (2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored). Jeff Samardzija (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Schierholtz and scored on a triple by Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a triple, a RBI and a walk).
The Cubs scored two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with a double and a RBI) singled and scored on a two out single by Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) and Barney singled in Castillo two batters later. Anthony Rizzo doubled in Junior Lake (1-for-5 with a run scored) and Rizzo scored on a single by Luis Valbuena in seventh.
The Cubs scored eight runs on 13 hits with two walks and was 5-for-12 with RISP (six men left on base) on Monday afternoon.
With Monday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 19-30 on the season.
The Giants jumped out to a lead in the first inning after Yusmeiro Petit faced the minimum in the first inning. Angel Pagan pulled a 1-0 pitch toward first. Anthony Rizzo made an excellent diving stop toward the hole at second. Rizzo made an on target, over handed throw to Samardzija at first. Samardzija dropped the ball and Pagan reached on E1. Hunter Pence grounded out to short, Pagan advanced to second and held when Samardzija struck out Buster Posey swinging. Samardzija appeared to catch Pablo Sandoval looking at a 1-2 pitch. But Mark Wegner did not ring him up. Sandoval pulled Samardzija’s next pitch to deep right. The ball one-hopped the wall and Pagan scored easily, 1-0 Giants. Samardzija retired Michael Morse on a grounder to short to end the inning. Samardzija threw 19 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes.
At the end of one, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
The Cubs did nothing against Petit in the second and Samardzija struck out the side in order in the second. Samardzija threw 35 pitches, 25 for strikes, over the first two frames.
Nate Schierholtz led off the third with the Cubs down 1-0 and he pulled a 1-2 pitch into the stands beyond the wall in right center. Schierholtz’s first longball of the season tied the game at one. Petit retired Barney (flyout to left), Samardzija (flyout to left) and Bonifacio (pop out to short) in order to end the inning.
Samardzija struck out Petit swinging to start the third, his fourth straight strikeout. Samardzija retired the Giants in order in the third (47 pitches for Samardzija, 34 for strikes) and after three complete, the game was tied at one.
The Cubs went down in order in the fourth and Buster Posey led off the home half with a single to right center. Pablo Sandoval followed and crushed a 2-2 pitch. The ball ended up on top of the wall in right … and the Giants took a 3-1 lead on just the third home run hit off of Samardzija this season. Samardzija struck out Morse swinging, Sanchez lined out to center and Crawford struck out swinging to end the inning. Samardzija needed 70 pitches, 48 for strikes, to complete four innings on Monday.
And after four innings on Memorial Day, the Cubs trailed 3-1.
The Giants two-run lead was short-lived. Luis Valbuena led off the fifth with a single. Welington Castillo followed with a single to center and the Cubs had two on with no outs. Petit got the groundball he needed but Nate Schierholtz hustled down the line and kept the Giants from turning a double play. Schierholtz hit a grounder to second (4-6 fielder’s choice). With runners on the corners and one down, Darwin Barney pulled a 0-1 pitch to left. Morse caught the ball, Valbuena tagged and scored, 3-2 Giants. Jeff Samardzija stepped in and drove a 2-0 pitch from Petit to right. The ball one-hopped the wall, Schierholtz scored and Samardzija tied the game with a double. Emilio Bonifacio tripled down the right field line, Samardzija scored and the Cubs took a 4-3 lead. Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs scored two of the three runs in the fifth inning with two out hits and Samardzija took the hill in the bottom of the fifth with a one-run lead. Samardzija pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning and it took him only six pitches to record three outs (76 pitches, 53 for strikes).
After five innings, the Cubs led 4-3.
Lefty David Huff replaced Yusmeiro Petit for the sixth inning and Anthony Rizzo led off the inning with a single to center. Castro grounded out to third, but Rizzo advanced to second on the play. Valbuena lined out to left for the second out. Welington Castillo ripped a single into left. Rizzo scored on another two-out hit and the Cubs took a 5-3 lead. Schierholtz singled to left. With two on and two down, Barney singled to left, Castillo scored and the Cubs took a 6-3 lead. Samardzija flied out to center to end the inning. The Cubs scored two more runs with two outs and Samardzija took the mound in the bottom of the sixth with a 6-3 lead.
Samardzija set the side down in order in the sixth … nine straight retired by Samardzija after the Sandoval home run (88 pitches, 61 for strikes).
David Huff started the seventh for the Giants and struck out Bonifacio swinging for the first out. Junior Lake blooped a single into left. Lake took off for second before Huff delivered the first pitch to Rizzo. Lake left too early and Huff had him picked off. But the Giants reliever airmailed hit throw to first. Lake ended up at third on the error. Rizzo doubled to left center (2-0 pitch), Lake scored and the Cubs took a 7-3 lead. Starlin Castro reached on an error after he pulled a 3-0 pitch into the hole at short. Crawford got a glove on the ball, then bobbled it and the Cubs had two on with one down for Valbuena. Luis Valbuena rolled a 0-1 pitch into right just out of the reach of the Giants’ second baseman. Rizzo scored, 8-3 Cubs. Bruce Bochy went to his pen for George Kontos to face Welington Castillo. Castillo grounded Kontos’ first pitch toward short … 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
The Giants got one of the runs right back in the bottom of the seventh.
Michael Morse led off the seventh with a deep drive to right. Schierholtz got too close to the wall, the ball hit high off the wall and rolled back toward the infield. As Schierholtz chased the ball down, Morse rounded the bases and ended up at third with a triple. Sanchez popped out to shallow right for the first out. Brandon Crawford pulled a 2-1 pitch into right. Morse scored, 8-4 Cubs. Samardzija struck out Hicks swinging and caught pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco looking to end the inning.
At the end of seven, the Cubs had an 8-4 lead.
The Cubs did nothing in the eighth and Samardzija started the eighth after throwing 104 pitches, 74 for strikes, in seven innings.
Samardzija gave up a single to Pagan and Renteria went to his pen for Justin Grimm. An unhappy Samardzija gave his skipper the ball. Grimm struck out Pence swinging for the first out. With Posey at the plate, Pagan stole second on the first pitch of the at bat. The play was close, Renteria challenged the call but it was upheld. Posey popped out to Barney in shallow right. Barney went back too far and made a tumbling catch on a ball that either Bonifacio or Schierholtz should have caught. With Pagan at third, Grimm caught Sandoval looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs put runners on the corners with two out in the ninth but could not push across a run. Neil Ramirez took the hill for the ninth with the Cubs up by four runs.
Ramirez walked Michael Morse to start the inning and he ended up at third with two outs. Ramirez struck out Brandon Hicks swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the game.
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Tim Hudson in game two with the Giants on Tuesday night (9:15pm CDT).