Saturday, June 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 5, Cubs 4
By Taylor Soper
Special to ESPNChicago.com
SEATTLE -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 loss in 10 innings to the Seattle Mariners on Friday at Safeco Field:
How it happened: Travis Wood pitched his 15th quality start of the season, but the Cubs bullpen blew its 15th game in 31 chances as the Mariners tacked on four runs in the final four frames. After giving Wood just three runs of support in his past three starts, the Cubs drove in four off Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma on Friday. Wood left in the seventh, allowing two runs and just two hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. But that wasn’t enough. Cubs reliever James Russell gave up two doubles and a triple in the eighth, blowing his fifth save in the process as Seattle knotted the game at four apiece. After Blake Parker allowed two straight leadoff walks in the 10th, Raul Ibanez moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt off Cubs reliever Shawn Camp. An intentional walk to Justin Smoak loaded the bases, then Camp gave up a game-winning single up the middle to M’s catcher Mike Zunino.
What it means: Wood finished with another good outing and another no-decision. Friday night marked the third time he lost what would have been a victory to a blown save. He hasn’t picked up a win since May 30, despite sporting a 3.07 ERA in five starts. … Offensively, the Cubs had a couple bright spots, getting production from Alfonso Soriano and again from Dioner Navarro. Entering Friday’s tilt hitting just .191 in June, Soriano finished 2-for-4 with a solo shot in the seventh inning after sitting for the past two days. Navarro took advantage of his second straight start behind the plate with a big home run to left field just two batters after Soriano’s blast. It will be interesting to see if Sveum gives more playing time to Navarro since the backup catcher is riding a mini hot-streak at the plate with two homers in as many games. Welington Castillo has started 57 games at catcher compared to Navarro’s 21.
Outside the box: The Cubs have an 8-4 record against American League teams this season … Chicago has now homered in a season-high eight consecutive games … Wood has 15 quality starts in his last 16 outings.
Up next: Jeff Samardzija (5-7, 3.39) takes the mound against Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.29) in the second of a three-game set in Seattle at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday.