Bases-loaded walk helps San Diego Padres beat Chicago Cubs

By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange  |  June 21, 2017 at 9:35 PM
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CHICAGO -- A rookie catcher and the San Diego Padres bullpen combined to save the day when a forearm strain forced an abrupt end to the start of right-hander Miguel Diaz on Wednesday.

Five Padres relievers combined to limit the Chicago Cubs to two runs on one hit in the final 6 2/3 innings in a 3-2 victory that salvaged the finale of the three-game series.

"To get that many good innings to keep a good offense down, to give us the opportunity to win a lot of the credit goes to (backup catcher) Luis Torrens," Padres manager Andy Green said. "That's a young kid back there and he's navigating a very difficult lineup. He's calling the right pitches, he's blocking better and better."

Torrens also helped at the plate when he drew an eighth-inning walk with two out and bases loaded off Cubs reliever Koji Uehara to score Wil Myers for the go-ahead run.

"He's grown and for the long run that's really fun to see him take those steps forward," Green said. "He deserves a lot of credit for the win today."

Padres reliever Phil Maton (1-0) worked a scoreless seventh for the victory as the Padres (29-44) broke a three-game losing streak. Reliever Brandon Maurer worked a one-two-three ninth for his career-high-tying 13th save.

Uehara (2-4) took the loss as the Cubs (36-35) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Cubs right-hander Eddie Butler had no decision in his start.

Diaz departed a right forearm strain after working 2 1/3 innings. Albert Almora Jr. was on base following a walk at the time, and Anthony RIzzo was at the plate. Right-hander Craig Stammen entered and got Rizzo to ground to second for an inning-ending double play.

"(Diaz) was having some trouble spinning the baseball, every time he did he could feel it," Green said. "You never feel good when you hear that, but we don't know how severe it is at this time."

Diaz had been limited to no more than 3 1/3 innings in three starts. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two on 43 pitches on Wednesday.

"Their young guy (Diaz) got hurt -- he has a good arm also -- and their bullpen matched up well," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We hit a couple balls fairly good at people but otherwise couldn't mount an attack."

Ian Happ gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the fourth with his 10th homer of the season, a two-out shot off Stammen to right field that also brought home Kyle Schwarber. It was his second homer in two days and third since Sunday.

"I feel like the at-bats are getting better," said Happ, who joined the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa on May 13. "When I go up there I'm just trying to make contact ... Right now it's happening to go out of the ballpark."

Stammen doubled to right to open the fifth and scored on Jose Pirela's single to center. That spelled the end for Butler, who departed with Pirela on second and none out. Cubs reliever Justin Grimm wrapped up the inning with a pair of strikeouts.

Butler threw 92 pitches in his four-plus innings. He allowed one run on five hits, struck out four and walked three.

Padres shortstop Erick Aybar forced a 2-2 tie in the fifth with his one-out solo home run to right off left-handed reliever Brian Duensing. Aybar's fifth homer of the season came on Duensing's 2-0 pitch.

Rizzo went 0-for-4, ending his streak of seven straight games reaching base in his leadoff at-bat.

The Padres swept the Cubs in a three-game series at Petco Park in late May.

NOTES: The Cubs presented 2016 World Series rings to Padres RHP Trevor Cahill and LHP Clayton Richard this week. Cahill spent all of last season with Chicago while Richard was released last August and rejoined San Diego. ... C Luis Torrens started again in place of Austin Hedges, injured in a home plate collision with Anthony Rizzo on Monday. Hedges may return to action on Friday. ... San Diego has Thursday off and opens a three-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers as RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-2, 7.50 ERA) goes against Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer (6-5, 3.45 ERA). ... Several media outlets reported on Wednesday that the wife of Cubs SS Addison Russell is filing for divorce. The report comes in the wake of Melisa Russell's allegations of infidelity and a friend's charge of physical abuse made earlier this month. ... The Cubs hit the road on Thursday for an 11-game trip and send RHP Jake Arrieta (6-5, 4.64 ERA) against LHP Jeff Locke (0-2, 4.58 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series at Miami.

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