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Chi. Cubs (37-21) «0102121007140
San Diego (23-36)300000003680

Cubs shut door on Padres' late rally, win eighth straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Carlos Zambrano leaped in frustration after walking a batter. He snatched a throwback from catcher Henry Blanco with his bare hand. He legged out three hits for the third time this season.

Zambrano put on quite a show, all right -- with his emotions and his bat. His pitching? It was good enough to get the big right-hander through five innings and the Chicago Cubs their eighth consecutive victory, 7-6 against the San Diego Padres.

Coming off a 130-pitch effort against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Zambrano (8-1) allowed three runs in the first inning before settling down.

Manager Lou Piniella had to come out to the mound after Zambrano walked Jody Gerut with two outs in the second inning.

Piniella told Zambrano to relax, concentrate on hitters and stop fighting himself because it was letting the Padres know he was frustrated.

"It's hard enough to be at your best when you're under control," Piniella said.

"I was curious how he was going to bounce back today," the manager said. "He wasn't sharp. Actually, he battled his way through five innings. He fought himself and the other team. But you know what? He got himself a win and we shortened him up and he should be much sharper the next time out."

Zambrano hit a standup RBI triple that tied the game in the fourth, his third career triple. He raised his average to .366.

Zambrano allowed three runs and five hits, walked four and struck out two.

"It was good I came back and did my job, and the offense responded," Zambrano said.

The best team in baseball, the Cubs (37-21) held on to win the opener of a seven-game swing through San Diego and Los Angeles. They were coming off a 7-0 stretch at Wrigley Field, their first unbeaten homestand of at least six games since 1970. It's their first eight-game winning streak since 2001, when they won 12 straight between May 19-June 2.

After playing 17 of 23 at Wrigley, the Cubs began a stretch in which they play 23 of 32 on the road, where they have lost five consecutive series.

"They are on a nice roll here," Padres manager Bud Black said. "They are swinging the bats well. They are playing with a lot of confidence."

The Cubs entered June with the best record in baseball for the first time since 1908, when they last won a World Series.

San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer off Carlos Marmol with one out in the ninth, his 17th. Gonzalez was 3-for-4 and drove in four runs to take over sole possession of the NL lead with 54 RBI.

Kerry Wood got the final two outs for his 15th save in 19 chances.

Zambrano was erratic early, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning after putting four of the first five batters on base. Gonzalez hit an RBI single to right with one out, and Kevin Kouzmanoff followed with a two-run triple to right-center, the deepest part of Petco Park.

Zambrano was entertaining in the second inning.

After missing badly outside to walk Tadahito Iguchi with two outs, the big right-hander leaped in the air in frustration and tucked his legs underneath him as he came down.

When he missed with a pitch to Brian Giles, Zambrano snatched the ball out of the air with his bare hand on the throwback from Blanco.

Blanco's next throwback deflected off Zambrano's glove and rolled a few feet to his right. He picked it up, got back on the rubber, turned and threw to shortstop Ryan Theriot to pick off Jody Gerut, who had walked ahead of Iguchi.

Zambrano "made pitches after that first inning," Gonzalez said. "We had a couple of opportunities we could have capitalized on, but he's a very good pitcher."

The Cubs pulled to 3-1 in the second when Aramis Ramirez reached on a leadoff single, advanced on a single by Kosuke Fukudome -- whom the Padres tried to sign in the offseason -- and scored on Cha Seung Baek's wild pitch.

Fukudome walked opening the fourth and scored on Jim Edmonds' double down the right-field line. With two outs, Zambrano tripled to right-center to bring in Edmonds and tie the game.

"I'm fast, huh?" Zambrano joked. "It was good to help my team."

Zambrano singled leading off the third and beat out a bunt single in the sixth to load the bases, but was stranded both times.

The Cubs went ahead 4-3 in the fifth on Fukudome's sacrifice fly. They added on in the sixth with Alfonso Soriano's sac fly and Theriot's RBI single, before Edmonds hit a run-scoring double in the seventh.

Baek (1-1) was starting in place of Shawn Estes, who broke his left thumb on Friday night when he fell on the tunnel stairs between the team's clubhouse and dugout Friday night in San Francisco.

Baek allowed four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out two and walked one. He lasted only 4 2/3 in his other start this year, April 13 against Anaheim while with Seattle.

Notes

  • Edmonds, released by the Padres on May 9 after his batting average had fallen to .178 -- more than 100 points below his lifetime mark -- hit two RBI doubles and scored one run for the Cubs.
  • The Cubs are 15-2 against the NL West.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Carlos Zambrano struggles on the mound but not at the plate, where he finishes 3-for-3.  (AP)
Carlos Zambrano struggles on the mound but not at the plate, where he finishes 3-for-3. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

A. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Chicago

J. Edmonds
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4001012 .280
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
Ryan Theriot, SS5131000 .325
Derrek Lee, 1B5010022 .293
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5120011 .315
Kosuke Fukudome, RF2211210 .305
Jim Edmonds, CF4122012 .208
Mark DeRosa, 2B4110003 .297
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Reed Johnson, LF0000000 .261
Henry Blanco, C4110013 .333
Carlos Zambrano, P3031000 .366
    Jon Lieber, P0000000 .000
    Mike Fontenot, 2B1000000 .247
Totals37714627  
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (17, Baek), Jim Edmonds 2 (6, Baek, Adams)
3B - Carlos Zambrano (1, Baek)
SF - Alfonso Soriano (3), Kosuke Fukudome (2)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (36), Ryan Theriot (14), Kosuke Fukudome (22), Jim Edmonds 2 (13), Carlos Zambrano (5)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Zambrano (2)
SB - Kosuke Fukudome (5, 2nd base off Adams/Barrett)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-DeRosa-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,8-1) 5533420 2.51
Jon Lieber (H,3) 1100010 3.41
Neal Cotts 1000120 0.00
Michael Wuertz 0.1000200 2.96
Carlos Marmol (H,17) 1233111 2.43
Kerry Wood (S,15) 0.2000010 2.87
HBP - Giles (by Carlos Zambrano)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 96-52, Jon Lieber 12-8, Neal Cotts 13-7, Michael Wuertz 11-3, Carlos Marmol 24-16, Kerry Wood 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 7-4, Carlos Marmol 1-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 23, Jon Lieber 4, Neal Cotts 4, Michael Wuertz 3, Carlos Marmol 6, Kerry Wood 2
San Diego Padres
Jody Gerut, CF2210300 .250
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4000112 .257
Brian Giles, RF3210103 .295
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4234111 .298
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3012003 .273
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
   a- Scott Hairston, PH0000100 .220
    Carlos Guevara, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Clark, PH1000010 .245
Michael Barrett, C5010021 .182
Khalil Greene, SS3000112 .207
Paul McAnulty, LF4010013 .211
Cha Seung Baek, P2000001 .000
    Justin Hampson, P0000000 .000
    Edgar Gonzalez, 3B2000003 .241
Totals3368687  
a-walked for Adams in the 8th
b-struck out for Guevara in the 9th
Batting
2B - Michael Barrett (2, Lieber), Paul McAnulty (5, Zambrano)
3B - Kevin Kouzmanoff (2, Zambrano)
HR - Adrian Gonzalez (17, Marmol)
RBI - Adrian Gonzalez 4 (54), Kevin Kouzmanoff 2 (25)
PK - Jody Gerut (1, Zambrano)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Iguchi-Gonzalez, Iguchi-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Cha Seung Baek (L,1-2) 4.1944120 5.60
Justin Hampson 1422000 18.00
Mike Adams 2.2111130 2.53
Carlos Guevara 1000020 0.00
WP - Cha Seung Baek (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Cha Seung Baek 70-51, Justin Hampson 22-14, Mike Adams 35-25, Carlos Guevara 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cha Seung Baek 4-6, Mike Adams 3-1
Batters Faced - Cha Seung Baek 22, Justin Hampson 7, Mike Adams 9, Carlos Guevara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30259
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Brian Knight