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Chicago at San Diego

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (61-57) «0131020007100
San Diego (51-71)000000001130

Harden has solid outing as Cubs avoid sweep at Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN DIEGO -- The Chicago Cubs perked up in time to avoid an embarrassing sweep in San Diego.

Rich Harden held the Padres to one hit over seven innings and the Cubs came alive offensively for a 7-1 victory Wednesday night, snapping a six-game losing streak at Petco Park dating to June 4, 2008.

Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez homered for the Cubs, who had 10 hits after looking flat in losing the first two games of the series. Ramirez also had a two-run double.

"We swung the bats really well tonight," manager Lou Piniella said. "We swung them aggressively, we hit the ball for power. That's what our team is built for. Tonight we did it, and we won a ballgame rather convincingly."

Piniella remarked before the game how lethargic the Cubs looked in the first two games.

"When you swing the bats and put runs on the board, and people are running around the bases, you don't look flat," he said. "When nothing's happening, you have a tendency to feel that way. We're not the quickest team in baseball, you know, so we've got to hit. We've got to hit the ball in the gaps and those sort of things. Today we did, and we looked like a really good baseball team."

The Cubs remained six games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and five games behind Colorado in the wild-card race.

The Cubs were swept in a three-game series here in late May.

"Give San Diego all the credit in the world. The other five games, they held us to what, seven runs total?" Piniella asked.

Harden (8-7) was well-rested. He had been scheduled to start Sunday, when the Cubs were rained out at home against Pittsburgh. He struck out eight and combined with two relievers on a three-hitter.

"Harden really pitched well, seven really good innings," Piniella said.

"I felt all right," Harden said. "Really, I was getting behind a lot of hitters, kind of felt a lot better later in the game. I got locked in and started finally getting ahead. That's kind of where I want to be, just getting that feeling. It's almost what, seven days, I think?"

The Padres had three of their five baserunners in the first inning yet failed to score.

Harden hit leadoff batter Everth Cabrera, who was doubled off on David Eckstein's fly to right field. Adrian Gonzalez singled and Chase Headley walked before Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out.

Harden walked Henry Blanco in the second inning, retired the Padres in order in the next three innings, then walked Eckstein in the sixth.

"He did a good job of throwing strikes," Headley said. "He really didn't have his good changeup early on. But when a guy like that gets an early lead, it's going to be an uphill battle."

Sean Marshall allowed two hits in the ninth, including Headley's two-out RBI single.

The Cubs already led 5-0 when Bradley and Ramirez homered off reliever Luis Perdomo in the sixth. It was Bradley's ninth and Ramirez's 10th.

Bradley apparently was being heckled by some fans. After he touched home plate following his homer, he motioned toward the seats near the Cubs' dugout as if to say, "Keep yapping."

Padres rookie Mat Latos (4-3) had the shortest of his seven starts, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing five runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked four.

Latos was chased after giving up Derrek Lee's RBI double that gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.

"Today was absolutely horrible," Latos said. "I let the team down by letting some calls affect me. I start to worry about things that I can't control. I didn't control myself and control my actions. It led to a couple of big innings."

Said manager Bud Black: "Every inning he had to work awfully hard."

Koyie Hill hit an RBI single in the second. Ramirez had a two-run double and Kosuke Fukudome an RBI single in the third.

Notes

  • Green Day drummer Tre Cool threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Green Day plays at San Diego State on Thursday night.
  • Bill Murray sat in the first row to the left of the Cubs' dugout.
  • Harden improved to 38-0 in 49 career starts when his team has scored four or more runs while he was in the game.
  • Padres INF Edgar Gonzalez started a rehab assignment at Single-A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday night, going 1 for 3 with a three-run homer. He's been on the DL since suffering a concussion on July 18 when he was hit in the head with a 93-mph fastball from Colorado's Jason Hammel.
 
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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It's a good night at the plate for Aramis Ramirez, who homers and also knocks a two-run double. (AP)
It's a good night at the plate for Aramis Ramirez, who homers and also knocks a two-run double. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

R. Harden
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 3
K 8
 
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4220100 .300
Milton Bradley, RF2211310 .261
Derrek Lee, 1B5011024 .294
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5223013 .324
Kosuke Fukudome, CF5011020 .271
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010021 .243
    Sam Fuld, LF0000000 .318
Jeff Baker, 2B4110002 .289
Koyie Hill, C3011120 .231
Rich Harden, P3000023 .216
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000010 .224
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
Totals367107513  
a-struck out for Harden in the 8th
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (26, Latos), Aramis Ramirez (11, Latos), Jeff Baker (8, Latos)
3B - Alfonso Soriano (1, Perdomo)
HR - Milton Bradley (9, Perdomo), Aramis Ramirez (10, Perdomo)
RBI - Milton Bradley (31), Derrek Lee (83), Aramis Ramirez 3 (37), Kosuke Fukudome (44), Koyie Hill (16)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (31), Aramis Ramirez (17), Koyie Hill (8)
SB - Ryan Theriot (16, 2nd base off Latos/Blanco)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Milton Bradley 1
DP - Bradley-Lee, Lee-Theriot-Harden
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden (W,8-7) 7100380 4.04
Aaron Heilman 1000000 4.55
Sean Marshall 1211010 4.42
HBP - Cabrera (by Rich Harden)
WP - Sean Marshall (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 103-62, Aaron Heilman 11-9, Sean Marshall 26-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 5-6, Aaron Heilman 1-2
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 24, Aaron Heilman 3, Sean Marshall 5
San Diego Padres
Everth Cabrera, SS3110010 .273
David Eckstein, 2B3000101 .258
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4010002 .276
Chase Headley, LF3011110 .259
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4000033 .262
Will Venable, CF3000010 .261
Kyle Blanks, RF3000010 .246
Henry Blanco, C2000110 .236
Mat Latos, P1000001 .077
    Luis Perdomo, P1000010 .000
    Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH1000000 .277
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
Totals2813139  
a-grounded out for Webb in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Chase Headley (46)
2-OUT RBI - Chase Headley (24)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Kouzmanoff-Eckstein-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Mat Latos (L,4-3) 3.2755450 4.82
Luis Perdomo 3.1322132 4.47
Ryan Webb 1000020 6.23
Joe Thatcher 1000030 3.23
IBB - Hill by Luis Perdomo
Pitches-Strikes - Mat Latos 92-54, Luis Perdomo 59-34, Ryan Webb 18-11, Joe Thatcher 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mat Latos 3-2, Luis Perdomo 5-2, Ryan Webb 1-0
Batters Faced - Mat Latos 21, Luis Perdomo 14, Ryan Webb 3, Joe Thatcher 3
Game Information
Attendance - 18012
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Jim Wolf