Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs fall 4-3, settle for series split with Padres


After five scoreless innings, the San Diego Padres broke out with four runs off Jason Hammel and relievers James Russell and Brian Schlitter in the bottom of the sixth for a 4-3 win and a split in their four-game series at Petco Park Sunday afternoon.

Hammel (5-3) allowed only two hits until the sixth, when pinch hitter Tommy Medica led off with a single then the Padres (23-28) loaded the bases and scored the tying run on Chase Headley‘s sacrifice fly.

The left-hander Russell relieved Hammel, but pinch hitter Carlos Quentin hit an RBI single for an one-run advantage. Schlitter replaced Russell, but Jedd Gyorko knocked a double to score Seth Smith, and a bobble by center field Emilio Bonifacio allowed another run to score for a 4-1 lead.

Starlin Castro snapped a 0-for-17 slump in the second with a leadoff single. After Luis Valbuena walked Kennedy retired 10 of the Cubs’ (18-30) next 11 batters.

Hammel, who pitched with a right hand bruise after taking a ball of his hand in previous start, allowed just one base runner through four before Yonder Alonso singled in the fifth.

Junior Lake hit a solo home run off Ian Kennedy (3-6) in the top of the sixth. The Cubs only had two hits after Lake’s homer, including John Baker‘s lead off ground rule double in the eight, but he was left stranded.

Anthony Rizzo walked and Starlin Castro cranked a two-run home run to center to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the ninth. Padres’ closer Huston Street

Hammel took the loss and allowed three hits, three runs and two walks while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings. Kennedy earned his first win at home this season, after six innings of one run ball on two hits, two walks with six strikeouts. The Cubs have not won a road series since September 2013.

The Cubs continue their 10-game road trip with a three-game set Monday at 3:05 p.m. CT on WGN against the league-leading San Fransisco Giants. Jeff Samardzija (0-4, 1.46 ERA) will look for his elusive first win and will be opposed by Yusmeiro Petit (3-1, 4.76 ERA).

For more Chicago Cubs conversation and updates follow us on Twitter @CubbiesCrib and Like our Facebook page at Cubbies Crib.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Jason Hammel Recaps Starlin Castro