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Lee scores go-ahead run as Cubs edge Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

SAN DIEGO -- It might not have been pretty, but any win is a thing of beauty to the struggling Chicago Cubs.

Derrek Lee slid home safely with the go-ahead run on the first of two run-scoring groundouts in the ninth inning and the Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

The Cubs, second in the National League in batting, had scored a total of two runs in dropping the first two games of the series. Coming into the ninth inning Thursday, Chicago had four hits in its last 25 at-bats with men in scoring position.

"Whatever it takes," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "If we can get this darn offense untracked. But it's nice to win a baseball game."

Lee led off with a single off Cla Meredith (1-2) and went to third on a single by Aramis Ramirez. With the Padres' infield playing nearly halfway in, Cliff Floyd hit a grounder to second baseman Marcus Giles, who threw home to try and get Lee. But Giles' throw was slightly high and Lee did a hook slide around catcher Josh Bard to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.

"Unfortunately, the throw was a little higher than I wanted it," said Giles. "I was just trying to get rid of it as quickly as I could. At the same time, Derrek Lee made a pretty good slide."

Padres manager Bud Black defended not playing his infield all the way in.

"We felt a sharply hit ball, we still get the guy at home," Black said. "But the ball wasn't hit all that great."

The Cubs loaded the bases on Michael Barrett's bunt single. After Heath Bell replaced Meredith, pinch-runner Angel Pagan scored on Ryan Theriot's groundout.

"It was close, but no question I was safe," Lee said.

The two runs allowed by Meredith broke a scoreless string of 17 2/3 innings by San Diego relievers.

Bob Howry (2-3) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Ryan Dempster got his 10th save in 11 chances by working a perfect ninth.

Lee, the NL batting leader at .370, got his first hit in 12 at-bats since he returned to the Cubs' lineup on Tuesday. Lee had been out of action since May 13 with neck spasms.

"It feels good to contribute," said Lee. "It's been frustrating because we haven't been doing a good job of making contact."

The Cubs beat the Padres for the only second time in 12 games, dating back to last year, and ended a six-game losing streak in San Diego.

San Diego's Chris Young retired the first 12 Chicago batters until he gave up a leadoff double in the fifth to Ramirez. Barrett followed with a one-out double to tie the score at 1.

The run was only the second earned run allowed by Young in four home starts covering 27 1/3 innings. Young allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He struck out a season-high 10 batters with two walks.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the San Diego second with a double and scored one out later on Josh Bard's single for a 1-0 lead.

Alfonso Soriano tripled into the right-center field gap leading off the sixth. But Young then struck out Mark DeRosa, Lee and Ramirez to get out of the jam.

Jason Marquis matched Young as he allowed up one run on five hits over seven innings. Marquis walked three and had five strikeouts.

Notes

  • The Cubs' victory was their first at Petco Park since June 5, 2005.
  • Padres RF Brian Giles (bruised right knee) missed his fourth straight game.
 
 
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The Cubs' Derrek Lee slides safely and scores the go-ahead run to beat the Padres.  (AP)
The Cubs' Derrek Lee slides safely and scores the go-ahead run to beat the Padres. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

C. Young
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 10
Chicago

M. Barrett
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4020010 .288
Mark DeRosa, 2B4000022 .256
Derrek Lee, 1B4110011 .370
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4120021 .293
Cliff Floyd, RF4001001 .280
    Angel Pagan, PR-CF0100000 .323
Michael Barrett, C3021110 .252
Jacque Jones, CF-RF4000015 .243
Ryan Theriot, SS3001100 .282
Jason Marquis, P2000022 .222
   a- Daryle Ward, PH1000000 .303
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Murton, PH1000012 .283
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
Totals34373211  
a-grounded out for Marquis in the 8th
b-struck out for Howry in the 9th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (7, C. Young), Michael Barrett (7, C. Young)
3B - Alfonso Soriano (2, C. Young)
RBI - Cliff Floyd (18), Michael Barrett (24), Ryan Theriot (15)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Theriot-DeRosa-Lee, Ramirez-DeRosa-Lee, DeRosa-Theriot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis 7511350 2.60
Bob Howry (W,2-3) 1000000 4.37
Ryan Dempster (S,10) 1000000 4.15
IBB - Gonzalez by Jason Marquis
HBP - Kouzmanoff (by Jason Marquis)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 94-55, Bob Howry 12-7, Ryan Dempster 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 9-4, Ryan Dempster 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 27, Bob Howry 3, Ryan Dempster 3
San Diego Padres
Marcus Giles, 2B4000010 .282
Jose Cruz Jr., RF4010010 .273
Mike Cameron, CF4000000 .226
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B2110200 .280
Khalil Greene, SS4000014 .222
Josh Bard, C4011000 .235
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B2010000 .207
Terrmel Sledge, LF2010101 .195
Chris Young, P2000021 .067
   a- Geoff Blum, PH1000001 .185
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Totals2915135  
a-grounded into a double play for C. Young in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adrian Gonzalez (11, Marquis)
RBI - Josh Bard (12)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Gonzalez-Greene
San Diego Padres
Chris Young 73112100 2.70
Cla Meredith (L,1-2) 1422000 3.52
Heath Bell 1000010 1.32
WP - Chris Young (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 93-62, Cla Meredith 24-18, Heath Bell 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 4-6, Cla Meredith 3-1, Heath Bell 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Young 25, Cla Meredith 8, Heath Bell 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32258
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Wally Bell