Padres Breakout In Eighth Inning To Beat Cubs 4-2

The San Diego Padres broke out for four runs in the eighth inning Thursday afternoon to beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2. The win gave the Padres a four-game split at Wrigley Field after sweeping the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.

Eric Stults got the start for the Padres and gave up two runs on seven hits after holding the Cubs scoreless through six innings. He was relieved with two outs in the seventh after giving up a two-run home run to Scott Hairston.

Brad Brach came in for Stults and walked Cody Ransom which led to another change by manager Bud Black. Joe Thatcher was next to take the mound and he struck out Anthony Rizzo with runners on first and second. The Cubs stranded 15 runners throughout the game.

Bud Black’s move to Thatcher paid off as the Padres went through their entire batting order in the top of the eighth. Jesus Guzman began the inning with a single and ended it with a strikeout while the Padres scratched across four runs in the process.

Yonder Alonso, Everth Cabrera, and Chase Headley all had RBI-singles in the eighth while Kyle Blanks scored on a passed ball to give the Padres a 4-2 lead. They failed to add an insurance run in the ninth which gave way to Huston Street for the save.

The 29-year-old Texan made quick work of Darwin Barney and pinch-hitter David DeJesus before Nate Schierholtz laced a ball into the left center gap for a double. It wouldn’t affect Street as he struck out the very next hitter, Luis Valbuena, to end the game.

Both teams are now 11-17 on the season and sit at the bottom of their divisions in the National League. The Padres now move on to a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park while the Cubs welcome the Cincinnati Reds.

San Diego optioned rookie pitcher Robbie Erlin to Triple-A Tucson before the game to make room for righthander Brad Boxberger. Erlin made his Major League debut on Tuesday and sported a 9.00 ERA in two appearances. Boxberger appeared in 24 games for the Padres last season and has an 0-1 record with a 4.15 ERA in 10 games for Tucson this season.

The Padres are off to a slow start in the NL West and will have to pitch better if they hope to contend into September. San Diego has allowed 131 runs in their first 27 games, more than any other team in the National League.

Can the San Diego Padres’ pitching staff hold it together for a full season or will they quickly fall behind in the competitive NL West?

[Image via Creative Commons]

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