Yet again, Jeff Samardzija turned in a dominant outing, this time tossing six scoreless frames, but yet again, the right-hander – who has emerged as the true ace of the Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff this season – was denied a win after Atlanta scored twice in the late innings to down Chicago.
Pinch hitter Ryan Doumit lined a go-ahead RBI single off right-hander Brian Schlitter (2-1) with two men on in the bottom of the seventh, breaking a scoreless tie. Atlanta added one more against Schlitter after a bunt off the bat of Tyler Pastornicky plated an insurance run to make it 2-0.
Both starters – Samardzija for the Cubs and Ervin Santana (4-0) for the Braves – were in complete control Saturday night at Turner Field, combining to toss 13 innings of scoreless ball, scattering just seven hits between the two of them. However, once again, Samardzija left without a lead, and was saddled with a no-decision, despite lowering his earned run average on the season to a minuscule 1.45.
Cubs outfielder Ryan Kalish paced the Chicago offense with a pair of base hits in the loss, while four other players tallied one base hit apiece, including a double by Starlin Castro, who is now hitting .275 on the season.
Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel came in to shut the door on the Cubs, one night after blowing a lead. He notched two strikeouts, en route to his tenth save of the season.
These two teams will meet again tomorrow in Atlanta, with first pitch slated for 12:35 p.m. CT. Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.57 ERA) will look to build off his best start of the season, taking on veteran right-hander Aaron Harang (3-3, 2.98 ERA) who has pitched well for the Braves early on this season.