Coming off a victory Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs looked to seal the series against the San Diego Padres.
Jon Lester was on the mound for the Cubs on Sunday afternoon. Lester has been the only solid starter for the Cubs this season. Lester has a 12-4 record, with a 3.22 ERA. As for the Padres, they sent Joey Lucchesi to the mound. Luchessi is sporting a 5-6 record, with a 3.74 ERA.
The Padres were looking to jump on the Cubs early. The very first batter Lester faced, Manuel Margot singled to center. With a groundout & a wild pitch, Margot was sitting on third with only one out. Hunter Renfroe hit a sacrifice fly to Ian Happ to take an early lead, 1-0.
The Padres would add on to their lead in the top of the second, with a solo shot from Freddy Galvis. Lester really struggled in the second inning, allowing two base runners. Eric Hosmer tripled to center, scoring two more runs, making it 4-0 now.
The Cubs would finally get on the board in the bottom of the 3rd, thanks to Javier Baez, making it a three-run game. But things only kept getting worse in the top half of the 4th, as Franmil Reyes homered off of Lester to lead off the inning, extending the Padres’ lead to 5-1.
It was only until the bottom of the 5th, the Cubs finally figured out Lucchesi. A catchers interference allowed Tommy La Stella to get on, with one out. Albert Almora Jr. singled to left field, due to a throwing error by Renfroe, La Stella was able to score & Almora was able to take third. Red hot Javier Baez, doubled Almora home, making it 5-3.
No more action would take place until the bottom of the 7th. With back to back to back singles by Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ & Albert Almora Jr. the Cubs were just trailing the Padres by one, due to Zobrist scoring off of Almora’s single, it was now 5-4. With two outs, Anthony Rizzo singled on a fly ball to left field, tying the game at five.
Through the first few innings, it looked rough from the Cubs perspective. But, as the Cubs have proved to us many times, they love being the underdog and coming back to win ball games.
Jon Lester’s day was done after completing 5 innings. He allowed 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, and only struck out 1 batter. This outing raised his season ERA to 3.44. As for Lucchesi, he went 5.2 innings, allowing 7 hits & 2 earned runs. He finished with a whopping 9 strikeouts.
Carl Edwards Jr. has been a solid relief pitcher for the Cubs this season, despite his arm injury. In the top of the 8th, he got the first two men out but allowed Travis Jankowski to walk. With a stolen base, Cory Spangenberg doubled, scoring Jankowski to break the tie. The Cubs would go down quietly in the bottom half of the inning.
Randy Rosario took the mound in the top of the ninth with the simple task to now allow any more runs. Except, he did the total opposite. He got Margot to strike out, but allowed Eric Hosmer to get on base by a single. Renfroe mashed Rosario’s pitch into center field, extending the lead to 8-5. Two more would come across the plate in the inning, making it 10-5 now.
Ben Zobrist led off the bottom of the 9th with a home run, giving the Cubs hope, as they now trailed by four runs. That run would be the only run the Cubs would get in the inning as they split the series with the Padres.
This was a tough game to swallow for Cub fans, especially since the worst team in the league just took two out of four from us.
The Cubs will head to Kansas City, to take on the Royals Monday night. Cole Hamels will be on the mound for the second time as a Cub. Hamels has a 6-9 record on the year with an ERA of 4.53. As for the Royals, Jakob Junis will be on the mound. Junis has had a bad season, a 6-11 record and an ERA of 5.12.
Follow Tianna on Twitter: @TiannaFarias –Feature Photo Credit: Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune