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Saturday, April 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Giants 3, Cubs 2

By Jesse Rogers

Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 3-2 defeat by the San Francisco Giants on Saturday:

How it happened: Wrigley Field produced another pitching duel, this time between Jeff Samardzija and Madison Bumgarner, as neither team scored until the fifth inning. The Giants tallied once each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings while the Cubs finally got on the board on a pinch-hit two-run home run by Dioner Navarro in the bottom of the seventh.

Navarro’s streak: The Cubs' backup catcher has pinch hit home runs on consecutive days from either side of the plate, a feat that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, hasn't been accomplished since Todd Benzinger did it for the Dodgers in 1992. On Friday, he hit a game-tying blast in the ninth inning from the left side and pulled the Cubs within one Saturday with a long ball from the right side. They're the first two pinch-hit home runs of his career.

What it means: The Cubs battled to the end, but the lack of offense against lefties this season has been striking. In three games, Cubs starters have managed one run combined against left-handers. Manager Dale Sveum says he is sticking with righties Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston when a lefty is on the mound, which means sitting David DeJesus and .355 hitter Nate Schierholtz. DeJesus had three hits Friday, including a home run, but was on the bench Saturday.

Defensively, the Cubs continue to be sloppy. They left several double plays on the field, and right fielder Hairston made an errant throw as Bumgarner crossed the plate with the eventual winning run in the seventh.

What’s next: The 4-7 Cubs will try to salvage a split of the series when Edwin Jackson takes the mound Sunday.