Rapid Reaction: Cubs 11, Padres 7
May, 28, 2012
By Doug Padilla | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs put an end to their 12-game losing streak, winning the opener of a brief three-game homestand with an 11-7 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday.
How it happened: With the wind blowing out, the Cubs found some offense and held on in a rare shootout. Backed by a 24-mph wind to dead center, each team hit four home runs with the Cubs doing just a little more with their long balls. The Cubs scored seven runs on their home runs, while the Padres had six. Alfonso Soriano, Ian Stewart, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro all hit home runs for the Cubs. Castro, Soriano and Stewart each drove in three runs.
What it means: Wind-aided or not, it was a welcome sight that the 12-game losing streak ended largely because of the work of the offense. It was the first time all season the Cubs reached double digits in runs. Over the last six games of the losing streak they had 12 runs combined. On a day when the ball was flying out of the park, it sure made Joe Mather's first-inning sacrifice bunt out of the No. 3 hole seem a little odd, but the Cubs eventually scored a run off that play too.
Outside the box: LaHair recorded his third game of at least three hits this month, with the last being his four-hit game on May 14. It was also the third game of at least three hits for Soriano this month with his last one coming on May 19. It was the first time they have each recorded a three hits on the same day. It also was the most combined hits this season for the middle-of-the order duo. They combined for five hits on May 14 and April 24.
Off beat: That was some fancy footwork by Cubs third baseman Stewart in the seventh inning to not only field a ball and make an on-time throw to cut down a runner at the plate, he also avoided a bird resting on the infield. A bird nestled into a cool spot on the grass and didn’t move even when Stewart made a run-saving play around it. Had this had been a playoff game workers would no doubt be sewing together the first batch of Cubs Rally Birds.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 3.86 ERA) to the mound Tuesday on his own bobblehead day. The Padres counter with left-hander Eric Stults (1-0, 1.54) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.