The Chicago Cubs’ losing streak reached seven games Tuesday after a 7-4 defeat to the San Diego Padres.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Cubs rookie Brooks Raley was rocked in his major league debut, giving up seven runs over four innings. The left-hander gave up a pair of two-run singles and a three-run home run by Carlos Quentin. The Cubs managed to make things interesting as Josh Vitters delivered a two-run double in the seventh inning for his first big league hit, but the rally fell short.
WHAT IT MEANS: Manager Dale Sveum suggested that he intended on keeping Raley on the roster the remainder of the season so his rough debut might not earn him a trip back to Iowa. If he does keep his spot in the rotation for one more outing he would be scheduled to pitch again Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Reds.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Starlin Castro is starting to take things out on his equipment as the pressure looks to be mounting during his current dry spell. Castro slammed his helmet and bat on separate at-bats as he is now 0-for-19 on the road trip. After Brett Jackson struck out in the seventh inning as the tying run, Castro followed with his own strikeout.
OFF BEAT: Jackson continues to be a strikeout magnet just as he was in the minor leagues. Coming to the plate in the seventh inning as the tying run with the bases loaded, Jackson chased a slow breaking ball off the plate for strike three. He struck out in three of his first four plate appearances Tuesday and has whiffed in eight consecutive official at-bats going back to Sunday.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the finale of the three game series at San Diego and the last game of the six-game road trip. The Padres will counter with left-hander Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01) in the 5:35 p.m. CST start from Petco Park.