Run production from the bottom of the order and solid bullpen pitching is rarely the formula for Cubs success but it was on Monday night as the Cubs welcomed the San Diego Padres. After taking three of four in Miami this past weekend, the Cubs returned to Wrigley looking to fight back towards a .500 record. Another solid start from Jeff Samardzija and big night from Cody Ransom got the Cubs their fourth victory in five days.
After a good outing in Cincinnati on Wednesday, Samardzija looked to build on that performance on Monday night. Although he didn’t have his best stuff, he was able to get his team in a position to win. The first inning was rough as Samardzija he walked a batter and then had a few wild pitches then got the Padres off to a 1-0 lead. He was then able to settle down and only gave up two more runs after Yonder Alonso hit a single that scored two. Despite it being his shortest outing of the season, he was still able to strike out eight.
The Cubs got some much needed run production from the bottom of the order tonight as their big hitters were silent again tonight. At the top order the order, Dave Sappelt, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo combined to go just 1-12. Scott Hairston sparked the Cubs offense with a two run homer of Clayton Richard. Then Cody Ransom followed up with a home run himself against his old team. Darwin Barney extended the Cubs lead to 3-1 with an RBI double.
The Padres were able to tie the game up in the fifth but the Cubs answered quickly in the sixth. Ransom and Barney came up clutch again as both drove in their second runs of the night. And that was all the Cubs would need as the bullpen shut the down for four innings.
Kevin Gregg picked up his fourth consecutive save without giving up a run. James Russell also looked strong in his inning and a third of work as he pitched the Cubs out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh. The Cubs improved their record the 10-15.
The Cubs and Padres game 2 will be tomorrow night at 7:05P.M. Edwin Jackson will be on the mound for the Cubs against Edison Volquez.