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San Francisco at Chicago

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San Francisco (85-67)000000000061
Chi. Cubs (69-82) «00101000x250

Giants see bats go cold again, fall into second place

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Trying to stay on top in a tight NL West race, the San Francisco Giants' hitters are giving the pitching staff little room for error.

Randy Wells pitched 7 2/3 innings and Kosuke Fukudome hit a home run to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory against the Giants on Wednesday night.

Postseason Chase

The loss, coupled with San Diego's 3-1 victory against Los Angeles and Arizona's 8-4 victory against Colorado, the Giants dropped out of first place in the NL West. The Padres are one-half game in front of the Giants with Colorado three games back.

The Giants were shut out for the fourth time in their past five losses. It was the eighth time in 11 games they scored two runs or fewer.

The Giants spoiled another impressive outing by starter Jonathan Sanchez.

"We can't just rely on pitching. We're going to have to start swinging and get some runs," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Pretty nice effort he [Sanchez] gave us. Again, we've just got to get these bats going."

The Cubs have won seven of their past eight games, the lone loss 1-0 on Tuesday to the Giants on Buster Posey's home run.

After Wells walked Travis Ishikawa and allowed a double to Cody Ross with two outs in the eighth, Cubs closer Carlos Marmol struck out Freddy Sanchez to end the inning. Marmol struck out the side in the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances.

The Cubs have allowed 15 runs in their past 11 games, throwing four shutouts during that span.

"You like to challenge yourself and you like to compete with guys. You never want to be the guy that's getting beat up while the rest of the guys are throwing good," Wells said. "We try to concentrate and work hard, keep the rhythm going."

Wells (8-13) scattered six hits and struck out six with one walk. In his previous start at St. Louis on Sept. 14, Wells allowed one run, five hits and no walks in eight innings of a 7-2 victory. Wells has won only three times in his 10 starts.

"We're playing some good ball right now, everybody is loose, everybody is having fun. We wish it wasn't too late, but we're trying to build for next year and everybody is responding pretty well," Wells said.

Sanchez (11-9) allowed two runs, one earned, in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two, but also had a costly wild pitch in the fifth inning, resulting in a run. In his past five starts, the left-hander has only allowed three earned runs in 32 2/3 innings.

"It's one of those things when you're not scoring a lot of runs. Maybe we'll come back tomorrow and score 10. We didn't score any tonight, but that's baseball. That's how it goes," Sanchez said.

With numerous reports circulating that Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is interviewing potential candidates to take over as manager in 2011, interim manager Mike Quade is putting on a good showing. He is 18-8 since taking over.

"I think he is doing a pretty good job. If he doesn't get it ... it's not the players' choice. I feel like he's given it a pretty good effort. The guys in the clubhouse enjoy playing for him," Chicago's Koyie Hill said. "Again, it's Jim and this organization's decision. We just play. When it comes down to it we're just fortunate we get to play for anybody and that's how I think we kind of look at it. We wish everybody the best."

Fukudome led off the third inning with his 13th home run for a 1-0 lead.

Sanchez allowed a leadoff double to Hill in the fifth inning. With Wells trying to put down a sacrifice bunt, Sanchez threw a wild pitch and Posey thought he had a chance at throwing out Hill at third, but his throw was wild and the ball rolled into foul territory allowing Hill to score without a throw to make it 2-0.

"When I saw it squib away from me, I just tried to get back to it as quick as I could," Posey said. "I didn't know if he was going to go or not."

After allowing a leadoff double to Jose Guillen in the second inning, Wells retired the next 13 batters. Wells left Guillen stranded by getting Pablo Sandoval to ground out and Juan Uribe and Sanchez to fly out.

Notes

  • Giants CF Andres Torres, who had an appendectomy on Sept. 12, could be ready to play this weekend at Colorado according to Bochy.
  • Giants INF Edgar Renteria missed his third consecutive game with a sore right elbow. He is listed day-to-day and Bochy said he will be reevaluated before Thursday's game.
  • Cubs OF Tyler Colvin was released from a Miami hospital on Wednesday, three days after part of a broken bat punctured his chest. Team spokesman Peter Chase said Colvin will return to his home in South Carolina.
 
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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Aubrey Huff personifies the Giants' frustration -- four of their past five losses have been by shutout.  (AP)
Aubrey Huff personifies the Giants' frustration -- four of their past five losses have been by shutout. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

K. Fukudome
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

R. Wells
IP 7.2
H 6
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Cody Ross, CF4010000 .259
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4020012 .289
Aubrey Huff, 1B4010011 .288
Buster Posey, C4000032 .321
Pat Burrell, LF3010112 .249
    Emmanuel Burriss, PR0000000 .500
Jose Guillen, RF4010022 .265
Pablo Sandoval, 3B2000011 .263
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH-3B1000000 .285
Juan Uribe, SS3000011 .247
Jonathan Sanchez, P2000001 .127
    Chris Ray, P0000000 .000
   b- Travis Ishikawa, PH0000100 .263
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
Totals31060210  
a-grounded out for Sandoval in the 8th
b-walked for Ray in the 8th
Batting
2B - Cody Ross (26, R. Wells), Freddy Sanchez (19, R. Wells), Jose Guillen (22, R. Wells)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Buster Posey (7, Throwing)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathan Sanchez (L,11-9) 5.2421261 3.16
Chris Ray 1.1000220 3.63
Santiago Casilla 1100000 2.02
WP - Jonathan Sanchez (14)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 102-65, Chris Ray 27-16, Santiago Casilla 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 4-7, Chris Ray 1-0, Santiago Casilla 3-0
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 23, Chris Ray 5, Santiago Casilla 4
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Darwin Barney, 2B3000101 .254
Starlin Castro, SS4010000 .304
Marlon Byrd, CF4010022 .294
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000001 .238
Xavier Nady, 1B3000111 .261
Alfonso Soriano, LF3010011 .255
    Sam Fuld, LF0000000 .200
Kosuke Fukudome, RF2111111 .274
Koyie Hill, C3110010 .222
Randy Wells, P2000120 .180
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals2825148  
Batting
2B - Koyie Hill (11, Sanchez)
HR - Kosuke Fukudome (13, Sanchez)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (41)
CS - Kosuke Fukudome (8, 2nd base by Ray/Posey)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Nady, Castro-Barney-Nady
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Randy Wells (W,8-13) 7.2600160 4.28
Carlos Marmol (S,34) 1.1000140 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 91-64, Carlos Marmol 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 8-7
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 28, Carlos Marmol 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37285
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Jerry Layne