EditorsNote: Name fixes in 4th and 11th grafs; other tweaks throughout
Javier Baez rounded the bases in the top of the 10th on a stolen base and two errors as the Chicago Cubs, who were one strike away from losing in the ninth, defeated the Padres 5-4 in San Diego on Friday night to move into a tie for first in the National League Central.
Baez singled off Padres reliever Adam Cimber with out in the 10th. He immediately took off for second and was successful on his 18th steal of the season. But when catcher Austin Hedges’ throw to second sailed into center, Baez continued to third and he scored when center fielder Manuel Margot fumbled Hedges’ overthrow.
Pedro Stop (4-1) got credit for the win after striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth. Brandon Morrow got his 21st save. Cimber (3-5) suffered the hard-luck loss.
Padres closer Brad Hand retired the first two Cubs he faced in the ninth while protecting a 4-3 lead. But he hit pinch hitter Victor Caratini with a pitch. Anthony Rizzo then drove a full-count pitch into the gap in left-center to drive home pinch runner Jason Heyward to tie the game at 4-4. It was All-Star Hand’s third blown save in his last six opportunities.
The Padres had taken a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Hedges dropped an opposite-field single into right with two outs to drive home Margot with the tiebreaking run. Margot had doubled with two out in the eighth off Cubs’ right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr., who had struck out the first four Padres he faced in relief.
Right fielder Travis Jankowski played a role in each of the Padres’ first three runs.
The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the first when singles by Jankowski and Carlos Asuaje and a walk to Wil Myers loaded the bases with no outs. Jankowski scored on Eric Hosmer’s fielder’s choice, but Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood got out of the inning without further damage.
The Cubs then tallied twice in the second off Padres starter Clayton Richard. Baez opened the inning with a double, and the Cubs loaded the bases on back-to-back, one-out walks to Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist ahead of a two-run single by Ian Happ.
The Padres regained the lead in the bottom of the second when Richard’s two-out single was followed by Jankowski’s second homer of the season — a 410-foot, two-run drive off Chatwood that landed in the stands in right-center.
The Cubs tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth with an unearned run against Richard.
Rizzo singled with one out and was erased at second on a grounder by Albert Almora Jr. But the attempted double-play relay by Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis flew into the camera well behind first, allowing Almora to take second. Kris Bryant, who went to college at the University of San Diego, then grounded an opposite-field double between the first base bag and Hosmer, driving Almora home.
Richard pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and five walks with four strikeouts. Chatwood gave up three runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings.
—Field Level Media