Game Thirty-Nine – Cubs 3, Padres 2
WP – Justin Grimm (1-0) LP – Tyson Ross (2-4) Save – Hector Rondon (9)
Two of the Cubs three runs scored without a hit. Tsuyoshi Wada struck out a career-high nine batters in 4 2/3 innings. And the bullpen kept the Padres off the board the rest of the way as the Cubs took game two in San Diego on Wednesday night.
The Cubs made the most of the limited opportunities they had against Tyson Ross. Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a sac fly RBI, a run scored and a stolen base) singled in the first inning and advanced to second when Ross hit Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a HBP and a stolen base). Bryant and Rizzo pulled off a double steal with Castro at the plate. And Bryant scored when Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) grounded out to short.
The Cubs tied the game and took the lead in the fifth after Tsuyoshi Wada (0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored) walked to start the inning. Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a triple, a RBI, a walk and a run scored) tripled to right, Wada scored and tied the game. Kris Bryant lifted the first pitch he saw from Ross to left center. Fowler tagged and scored the go ahead run.
Tsuyoshi Wada silenced the Padres for three innings. Wada struck out a career-high nine batters in 4 2/3 innings. Seven of the nine strikeouts came the first time through the lineup, five of the seven were called third strikes. The Padres started catching up to Wada the second time they faced him. Justin Upton hit a two-run homer over the center field wall in the fourth that gave the Padres a short-lived 2-1 lead. Joe Maddon lifted Wada with two outs in the fifth inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada allowed two runs on four hits with a walk, a HBP and nine strikeouts. Wada threw 69 pitches, 45 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.
Justin Grimm, Zac Rosscup, Jason Motte, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon covered the last 4 1/3 innings. The Cubs’ pen did the job and made the big pitch when it was needed. The Cubs struck out 15 batters on Wednesday night.
Miguel Montero turned in the defensive play of the game in the fifth inning. With the Cubs leading 3-2, runners on first and second with no outs, Tyson Ross bunted a ball out in front of the plate. Montero picked the ball up with his barehand and fired a strike to Bryant at third to force Will Middlebrooks. The next batter, Abraham Almonte, lined out to center. The Padres would have tied the game at three without Montero’s play.
With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 22-17 on the season.
After Dexter Fowler grounded out to second base to start the game, Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single to center. Anthony Rizzo was hit for the 12th time this season (1-2 pitch). On a 0-2 pitch to Castro, the Cubs pulled off a double steal. Bryant swiped third and Rizzo took second base. Starlin Castro smoked a 2-2 pitch toward short. Clint Barmes picked the ball and looked at Bryant, who broke on contact. Bryant scored as Barmes threw out Castro at first … 1-0 Cubs. Miguel Montero walked and put two on with two down for Jorge Soler. Tyson Ross struck out Soler swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada struck out the side in order in the first inning. It took Wada 17 pitches, 11 for strikes, to strikeout three batters. And after one, the Cubs had a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs were unable to add to the lead in the second, third or fourth inning. Wada faced the minimum the first time through the lineup with seven strikeouts.
Wada struck out Abraham Almonte to start the fourth and tied a career-high with his eighth strikeout. Derek Norris singled to left. Wada retired Matt Kemp on a flyout to right.
Justin Upton stepped in and was sitting fastball. Upton launched Wada’s first pitch over the wall in straight away center … and just like that the Cubs were down 2-1. Wada walked Solarte before catching Jedd Gyorko looking to end the inning. Wada made 57 pitches, 37 were for strikes, over the first four innings.
The Padres led 2-1 at the end of four innings.
Tsuyoshi Wada led off the fifth and walked. Wada did not appear to be ready, or interested in swinging the bat, but Tyson Ross could not throw enough strikes. Addison Russell struck out swinging for the first out.
Dexter Fowler pulled Ross’ first pitch down the first baseline. Wada circled the bases and slid in safe at home with the tying run. Fowler ended up at third with a triple and scored when Kris Bryant lifted the first pitch from Ross to left center … and the Cubs took a 3-2 lead. Rizzo struck out swinging to end the inning.
Will Middlebrooks led off the fifth with a bloop to short right and ended up at second with a double. Wada hit Barmes with a 1-2 pitch.
Miguel Montero made a game changing play when Tyson Ross bunted on a 1-2 pitch. Montero picked the ball up that was near the plate and threw a strike to Bryant and forced Middlebrooks at third. With runners on first and second with one out, Abraham Almonte smoked a liner to center. Fowler caught the ball for the second out. But instead of a runner tagging from third and tying the game, the Padres had two on with two down.
Joe Maddon made the slow walk and went to his pen. Maddon replaced Wada with Justin Grimm.
A wild pitch with Norris at the plate allowed Barmes to move up ninety feet. Grimm ended up walking Norris to load the bases for Matt Kemp. Grimm struck out Kemp swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Cubs led 3-2 after five innings.
The Cubs did not manage other hit until the ninth inning. Jorge Soler doubled with two outs. Kevin Quackenbush intentionally walked Coghlan. Junior Lake batted for Strop and walked to load the bases. Addison Russell struck out swinging to end the inning.
Hector Rondon took the hill for the ninth with the Cubs leading by one-run, 3-2. And Will Middlebrooks led off with a single to left (2-1 pitch). Clint Barmes bunted him to second on what was an adventurous play for Rondon on the first base side of the mound. Will Venable hit for Quackenbush and grounded out to second. Middlebrooks moved to third on the play. Rondon struck out Abraham Almonte swinging on a ball in the dirt … Montero threw to Rizzo, game over.
Kyle Hendricks takes on Odrisamer Despaigne in the series and season finale with the Padres on Thursday night (8:10pm CDT).