Petco Park is known for being a hitter-friendly ballpark. Hitters for both the Padres and the Cubs took note of that Friday night, as the pair clawed and slugged their way to the finish, with San Diego coming out on top, 8-6.
The go-ahead run came around in the bottom of the seventh inning against southpaw reliever James Russell (1-5) via a home run off the bat of Will Venable, his 18th on the year, making it a 7-6 ballgame.
San Diego starter Edinson Volquez was chased before he could make it out of the top of the first inning. Starlin Castro led off the inning, reaching on a throwing error by Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley. Anthony Rizzo and Dioner Navarro followed with back-to-back singles, scoring Castro. Nate Schierholtz followed with a three-run home run, his 19th on the season, giving Chicago a 4-0 advantage.
Junior Lake then singled before Donnie Murphy was hit by a pitch. Brian Bogusevic laced a triple, plating both runners, and extending the early lead to 6-0. All of this took place before Volquez managed to record an out.
The final line for Volquez read as follows: 2/3 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, o K. Right-hander Tim Stauffer came on in relief of the right-hander in the first, beginning a very long night of work for the Padres’ bullpen.
And what a night it was.
San Diego relievers combined to throw eight-plus shutout innings, allowing the offense to claw its way back inning-by-inning as the night progressed.
Jedd Gyorko hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning off Cubs’ starter Edwin Jackson, bringing the Padres within three runs, before the club added two in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, to complete the comeback from down 6-0 early on.
Jackson struggled as the night went on, finishing the night with six runs allowed, five of which were earned, on ten hits in six innings of work. The right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out four on the night.
The Padres scored a run in every frame from the fourth to the eighth, with the final run coming via Gyorko’s second home run of the night – his sixteenth on the season.
After a five-hit first inning that resulted in six runs, Cubs hitters managed just four hits the rest of the night, leading to another frustrating loss riddling with inconsistency.
These two teams will do battle again tomorrow evening, when the Cubs turn to right-hander Jeff Samardzija (7-11, 4.12 ERA) to counter Padres’ Eric Stults (8-10, 3.70 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. CDT at Petco Park.