Padres overcome Valbuena's 3-run HR, beat Cubs
CHICAGO – Tommy Medica hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning, Ian Kennedy pitched six strong innings, and the San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 on Wednesday night.
On a cool, unseasonably summer night in Chicago, Kennedy (8-9) won his third straight decision. He allowed three runs, three hits, while striking out six and pitching around a season-high five walks. He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning.
Medica finished with three hits and drove in two runs for the Padres, who came into the game with baseball's worst batting average at .215.
Luis Valbuena hit a three-homer for the Cubs, who have lost 12 of its last 15 games.
Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in four-plus innings. It was his second career start after receiving a no-decision against the Reds on July 8.
After a leadoff walk in the first inning, Yangervis Solarte hit an RBI triple to right. Solarte then scored on Carlos Quentin's sacrifice fly to give the Padres an early 2-0 lead.
The Padres added on in the fourth inning. Jeff Francoeur, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A El Paso before the game, singled in his major league season debut, then scored from first on Chris Nelson's double. He finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk a sacrifice fly.
Kennedy was unable to hold the 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. He allowed a pair of walks, then with two outs, Valbuena drove Kennedy's 0-1 pitch into the right-field bleacher to tie the game. It was Valbuena's sixth of the season.
Wada, who struggled with his control the entire night, walked the first two batters in the fifth. His night ended when Medica hit an RBI ground-rule double in the left-field ivy. Reliever Brian Schlitter continued with the control problems for the Cubs. He walked Rene Rivera with the bases loaded to give the Padres a 5-3 lead.
With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Kennedy struck out Anthony Rizzo and got Starlin Castro to ground out to end the inning.
Pinch-hitter Seth Smith and Medica had RBI singles in the eighth for the Padres and Francoeur added a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: On Monday, the Cubs promoted OF prospect Jorge Soler to Triple-A Iowa. Soler will join infielders Kris Bryant and Javier Baez in Iowa. "Our last big call was around the All-Star break. With Soler, we talked about the fact that he really looked like he was on a mission. He came off the DL (hamstring injury) without missing a beat. It was remarkable for him not to show any signs of rust, in fact the opposite. And he said, now is my time," said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. ... Francoeur took outfielder Cameron Maybin's spot on the roster. Maybin was suspended 25 games Wednesday for testing positive for amphetamines.