The Chicago Cubs received early run support in the top of the third inning on two separate solo bombs courtesy of Chris Coghlan and Dexter Fowler but were unable to maintain the lead, losing 4-3 to the San Diego Padres.
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Both Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro committed an error a piece that later resulted in runs. Jason Hammel and James Shields found themselves in a heavyweight fight, going blow for blow until the Cubs struck first in the third inning. Hammel had himself another stellar outing, working seven innings with two runs (all unearned), and eight strikeouts to drop his ERA down to 2.70 on the year.
Coghlan had himself a decent day in the batters box, finishing 2-for-4 with two home runs and as many strikeouts. Bryant, who played college ball in San Diego, had his family, friends and former coaches in attendance, but had somewhat of a shaky return as he managed to collect just one hit in four plate appearances.
While the Cubs struggled late, the St. Louis Cardinals gained back some ground in the N.L. Central after steamrolling the New York Mets, 10-2 on the road. Right-hander Michael Wacha improved to 6-0 on the year and appears to be stepping up as the Cardinals ace with Adam Wainwright not expected to return until next season.
The last-place Milwaukee Brewers, on the other hand, picked apart the Detroit Tigers, handing them their third straight loss after picking up the 8-1 at home. J.D. Martinez put Detroit on the board first, driving in Ian Kinsler on an RBI single to give the Tigers the 1-0 advantage to start off the game.
Starter Jimmy Nelson handled the Tigers, working eight innings, allowing one earned run on eight hits and a 5/4 K/BB ratio. Milwaukee later exploded for back-to-back-to-back home runs with Ryan Braun leading the way, Adam Lind following with a shot to right field, and former Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez driving one to deep center field.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman, Pedro Alvarez, hammered a pitch to right field that cleared the entire ballpark, and found itself landing inside someone’s boat on the Allegheny river. The Bucs would attempt to fight back after being down 8-1 to the Minnesota Twins, but would fall just three runs short of tying things up.
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