- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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The Chicago Cubs rallied late, putting the tying run at third base in the ninth inning, but didn’t have enough and fell 4-3 to the San Francisco Giants on Friday in the opener of a four-game series and a 10-game road trip.
How it happened: Alfonso Soriano made things interesting for the Cubs with a three-run home run in the ninth inning, but they couldn’t overcome an early deficit. The Cubs got two more hits after Soriano’s home run, but pinch runner Ian Stewart was stranded at third base when pinch hitter David DeJesus flew out to end the game. Paul Maholm gave up a pair of runs in the first and third innings, giving up at least four runs for the third time in the last four games.
What it means: Not all losing streaks were put to an end during the three-game sweep at home against the San Diego Padres. With the defeat to the Giants on Friday, the Cubs have now lost their last eight consecutive road games. The last time they won away from Wrigley Field was on May 14 at St. Louis. The Cubs fell to 6-18 on the road, third worst in baseball to Houston’s 6-19 mark and San Diego’s 5-19 record.
Outside the box: Wednesday’s hero Darwin Barney keeps on doing his thing, getting three hits one game after his game-ending home run against the Padres. Over the last five games, Barney is 9-for-17. After batting just .121 (4-for-33) over a 10-game stretch from April 24-May 5, Barney is batting .333 (26-for-78) over his last 22 games since May 6.
Off beat: It’s been a season of two completely different Sorianos. Over the first month and a half there was the singles-hitting Soriano that seemed content with protecting the plate. Now there is the power hitting Soriano, who is following a career pattern by delivering long balls in bunches. Soriano has now hit eight home runs over his last 15 games after not hitting a home run over his first 30 contests.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Matt Garza (2-3, 4.22 ERA) in the second game of the series in San Francisco. The Giants will have right-hander Matt Cain (5-2, 2.79) on the mound in the 6:15 p.m. start from AT&T Park.