Game Thirty-Eight – Cubs 3, Padres 4
WP – Joaquin Benoit (4-1) LP – James Russell (0-1) Save – Craig Kimbrel (11)
The Cubs committed three errors that led to three unearned runs for the Padres as the Cubs handed San Diego the first game of the series on Tuesday night.
After going eight games without being charged with an error and two excellent defensive plays in the first inning, the Cubs defense cost the team a game Tuesday night. Each of the three errors gave the Padres three runs and was the difference in the game. Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro and Addison Russell were charged with the miscues on plays that should be made by Major Leaguers.
Jason Hammel actually outpitched James Shields. The only mistake he made in his seven innings of work was a wild pitch in the seventh inning that allowed the tying run to advance into scoring position. Hammel was perfect through the first four innings and allowed just two hits and not a single walk on the night. But both errors that happened while he was on the mound led to the two unearned runs he was charged with Tuesday.
Jason Hammel received a no decision after allowing two unearned runs on three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Hammel threw 106 pitches, 76 for strikes, in seven innings.
James Russell was hung with the loss after the Cubs third error of the night led to two runs in the eighth. Pedro Strop had another rough outing. Strop served up the two-run double to Derek Norris that broke the 2-2 tie. Strop struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Chris Coghlan (2-for-4 with two home runs) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with a home run) supplied the offense. Coghlan hit two home runs, solo shots in the third and ninth innings. Fowler gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the third with a solo homer.
The Cubs outhit the Padres 7-5 but could not take advantage of opportunities in four straight innings to tack on to the lead. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with RISP and left five men on base. The Cubs struck out 14 times with only one walk.
Kris Bryant (1-for-4), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a double), Addison Russell (1-for-2 with a walk) and Jason Hammel (1-for-3) collected hits. Rizzo’s double in the fourth was the 100th two-bagger of his career.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 21-17 on the season.
Chris Coghlan led off the third inning of a nothing-nothing, hitless game and pulled the first pitch from James Shields over the wall in right center. Coghlan gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with his fifth longball of the season.
After Shields struck out Hammel and retired Russell on a pop out to third, Dexter Fowler provided Hammel with a little breathing room. Fowler hit a longball over the wall in right. The two solo homers put the Cubs up 2-0. Bryant grounded out to third to end the inning.
Jason Hammel struck out two of the three batters he faced in the third. Hammel made 41 pitches, 29 for strikes, in three innings.
The Cubs led 2-0 after three.
Jason Hammel took the hill for the fifth inning with a two-run lead after throwing 58 pitches, 41 for strikes, in the first four innings. Hammel had not allowed a baserunner … 12 up and 12 down.
Justin Upton led off the fifth and pulled a 0-2 pitch down the third baseline. Bryant fielded the ball cleanly but threw high to first. Rizzo tried to stretch and keep his toe on the bag. The ball ended up in the stands and Upton was awarded second base … the Padres’ first runner of the night.
Yangervis Solarte singled to right on a 1-1 pitch, Upton scored and cut the Cubs’ lead in half. Will Venable grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. And Hammel struck out Jedd Gyorko swinging to end the inning … 71 pitches for Hammel after five innings, 51 for strikes.
The Cubs led 2-1 after five innings.
Jason Hammel allowed only two hits through the first six innings and took a 2-1 lead into the seventh. Hammel needed 84 pitches, 61 for strikes, to complete six on Tuesday night.
Matt Kemp led off the seventh and hit a routine grounder to short. Starlin Castro bobbled the ball and had no play. Hammel struck out Upton swinging for the first out. Solarte rolled a 2-2 pitch toward third. Bryant fielded and threw to second to force Kemp for the second out.
The first pitch to Will Venable skipped past Montero. Solarte moved up to second and scored when Venable singled to center. With the game tied at two, Venable swiped second but Hammel struck out Gyorko swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Joaquin Benoit in the eighth. And James Russell replaced Hammel for the eighth inning.
Clint Barmes hit for Alexi Amarista to start the inning and reached when Addison Russell dropped a pop fly in shallow center … the third error of the night for the third different Cubs’ infielder. Abraham Almonte hit for Benoit and failed to get the bunt down on the first three pitches of the at bat. Almonte dropped a perfect bunt on a 1-2 pitch to the third base side of the mound. The Cubs had no play … and the Padres put runners on first and second with no outs.
Cory Spangenberg bunted. Montero picked up the ball and threw to second. Almonte was forced at second for the first out. With runners on the corners and one down, Joe Maddon went to the pen for Pedro Strop.
Derek Norris pulled a 1-0 pitch from Strop into the left field corner. Barmes and Spangenberg scored on Norris’ double, 4-2 Padres. Strop struck out Matt Kemp and Justin Upton to end the inning.
The Padres led 4-2 after eight.
Craig Kimbrel struck out Montero and Soler to start the ninth.
Chris Coghlan drove the second pitch he saw over the wall in center. And Coghlan’s second longball of the night made it a 4-3 game. Mike Baxter batted for Strop and blooped a 2-2 pitch over the mound that Barmes picked up and fired to first to end the game.
Tsuyoshi Wada makes his 2015 debut on Wednesday night (9:10pm CDT) against Tyson Ross in game two.