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San Diego at Chicago

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San Diego «000000013472
Chi. Cubs200001000371

Maddux's gem goes for naught; Padres rally past Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Mike Piazza is having a good time in Chicago.

Piazza hit a three-run homer off Ryan Dempster in the ninth inning, and the surging San Diego Padres rallied for their 13th victory in 14 games, beating the slumping Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Saturday.

"Just elation," Piazza said. "Any time you get a chance to come back, especially in a game that (Greg) Maddux is pitching so well -- we were fortunate."

Piazza wasn't celebrating afterward. He was calm, relaxed. He spoke softly.

He has hit clutch home runs before, and this one came a day after his first four-hit game in about a year. It also upstaged a fine performance by Maddux.

Mike Cameron led off the ninth with a single to center off Dempster, and Brian Giles followed with a base hit to right. Piazza then hit his fourth homer of the season and 401st of his career, pulling an 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall to make it 4-3 and send the Cubs to their 13th loss in 15 games.

The blown save was the first for Dempster (0-1) since July 24, 2005, at St. Louis. He had converted 26 straight, including his first seven opportunities this season.

"We played good baseball," Dempster said. "We played great defense. We pitched well. We moved guys over. Let's not let my one (crummy) inning say what the game was all about."

It was all about Maddux until Piazza's homer.

He allowed an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings, but stayed stuck in 15th place on baseball's all-time wins list with 323 -- one less than Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton. Maddux left to a standing ovation with two runners on and a run in. Scott Eyre relieved, and pinch hitter Eric O. Young grounded into a double play to preserve the lead temporarily.

Piazza simply was looking to keep the ball off the ground. And after a low cutter by Dempster, he got a hanging pitch.

"I didn't try to do too much with it," he said. "I just put the bat on the ball and hit it well enough. We'll take it."

San Diego starter Chris R. Young allowed three runs -- two earned -- and six hits, walked three and struck out four in seven innings. Cla Meredith (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth.

Trevor Hoffman retired the side in the ninth for his seventh save in as many opportunities.

A Cubs offense that has sputtered since Derrek Lee went on the disabled list last month with broken bones in his wrist showed some life in the first inning.

Back in the lineup after a day off, Jacque Jones collected his 1,000th hit when he drove in Ronny Cedeno with a single up the middle with two out. With a .340 average in his previous 14 games, Jones has been one of the few productive hitters lately. The next batter, Jerry Hairston Jr., made it 2-0 with a bunt single down the third-base line that drove in Aramis Ramirez.

Maddux worked a nine-pitch first inning, allowing Cameron's double, and retired the Padres on seven in the second. The 15-time Gold Glove winner ended that inning by racing back for an over-the-shoulder stab of Adrian Gonzalez's chopper and firing to first.

It was vintage Maddux. He changed speeds, hit the corners. And the Padres looked like frustrated weekend golfers, lunging and flailing.

It was a big difference from Maddux's previous two starts against Arizona and San Diego, when he allowed a combined 12 runs in 8 2/3 innings and saw his ERA rise from 1.35 to 3.64.

Maddux was a thorn on offense, too.

He singled with two out in the fourth and then, in a strange play, stole second as Young prepared to deliver his first pitch to Juan Pierre. Young turned and threw to second, but Maddux slid under Josh Barfield's tag for his first steal since Aug. 6 at New York and the eighth of his career.

But afterward, his mind was on Dempster.

"I feel bad for Dempster," Maddux said. "I don't think anybody feels worse than he does."

Notes

  • Kerry Wood, coming back from arthroscopic shoulder surgery, most likely will make his first start of the season Thursday when the Chicago Cubs play the Washington Nationals. He allowed a run on five hits and struck out three in five innings Friday in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa.
  • The Padres placed right-handed pitcher Woody Williams on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf and purchased right-hander Jim Brower's contract from Single-A Eugene on Saturday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Piazza's three-run dinger in the ninth inning negates 7 1/3 solid innings from Greg Maddux.  (AP)
Mike Piazza's three-run dinger in the ninth inning negates 7 1/3 solid innings from Greg Maddux. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Jones
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
San Diego

M. Piazza
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF3000011 .294
   a- Eric Young, PH-LF1000001 .209
Mike Cameron, CF4120011 .269
Brian Giles, RF4110001 .276
Mike Piazza, C4113011 .253
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Khalil Greene, SS4000000 .217
Vinny Castilla, 3B4110010 .241
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000001 .230
Josh Barfield, 2B3021000 .269
Chris Young, P1000000 .176
   b- Paul McAnulty, PH0000100 .000
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
    Josh Bard, C0000000 .233
Totals32474146 
a-grounded into a double play for Roberts in the 8th
b-walked for C. Young in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mike Cameron (5, Maddux)
HR - Mike Piazza (4, Dempster)
SH - Chris Young (2)
RBI - Mike Piazza 3 (12), Josh Barfield (10)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Brian Giles (1, misplayed flyball), Cla Meredith (1, throwing error)
San Diego Padres
Chris Young 7632340 3.47
Cla Meredith (W,1-0) 1100010 0.00
Trevor Hoffman (S,7) 1000010 1.29
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 100-67, Cla Meredith 9-8, Trevor Hoffman 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 4-14, Cla Meredith 1-1, Trevor Hoffman 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Young 31, Cla Meredith 4, Trevor Hoffman 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4000101 .231
Ronny Cedeno, SS4110030 .297
Todd Walker, 1B3000102 .286
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3110101 .220
Jacque Jones, RF4021001 .273
Jerry Hairston Jr., LF3011002 .267
Neifi Perez, 2B4110003 .210
Henry Blanco, C4000011 .063
Greg Maddux, P3010021 .167
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
   a- John Mabry, PH1000000 .222
Totals333723612 
a-grounded out for Dempster in the 9th
Batting
2B - Neifi Perez (4, C. Young)
SH - Ronny Cedeno (7), Jerry Hairston Jr. (2)
RBI - Jacque Jones (17), Jerry Hairston Jr. (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jacque Jones (4), Jerry Hairston Jr. (1)
SB - Greg Maddux (1, 2nd base off C. Young/Piazza)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Walker
E - Jacque Jones (2, throwing error)
Chicago Cubs
Greg Maddux 7.1410130 3.10
Scott Eyre (H,3) 0.2000000 1.89
Ryan Dempster (BS,1; L,0-1) 1333011 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 73-48, Scott Eyre 6-5, Ryan Dempster 20-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 14-5, Scott Eyre 1-0
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 27, Scott Eyre 1, Ryan Dempster 6
Game Information
Attendance - 40095
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 46
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman