A surprisingly solid effort from Cubs starter Ray Burris, coupled with a 4-for-5 night from Manny Trillo and a few too many debilitating walks delivered by Padres pitchers, helped the Cubs to a convincing 6-2 victory over the first-place Padres at their home park in San Diego.
Things fell apart for the Padres in the third when, with two out, Fernando Gonzalez booted a hard grounder off the bat of Bill Buckner, which bounded into right field and allowed speedy Rodney Scott to race home from second with the visiting club’s first run of the game. Manny Trillo then doubled to the gap, scoring Buckner all the way from first with the game-tying tally.
The next three Chicago runs all came courtesy of the walk: in the sixth, Padres starter Eric Rasmussen’s base on balls to Gene Clines was followed one out later by another double from Trillo (the third of his four hits in the game), giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead, then in the seventh, a pair of walks issued to Scott and pinch-hitter Jerry White resulted in two more Chicago runs when Dave Kingman and Clines lined back-to-back singles, good for an RBI apiece. The Cubs rounded out their scoring in the ninth, with a sacrifice fly by relief pitcher Donnie Moore, who stayed in the game to pitch the final frame and earn his third save of the season.
Burris, who entering tonight’s contest was 0-3 for the month of July with 13 earned runs allowed in just ten innings of work, kept San Diego in check during his six-inning stint, spotting the Padres a 2-0 lead—the first run coming on a Jerry Turner fielder’s choice groundout, the second on a Turner double that scored Gene Richards from third—before Chicago’s bats came alive and battered five San Diego pitchers for their six runs and 14 hits, the most runs the Cubs have scored in a game since before the All-Star break.
The loss knocked the Padres out of a first-place tie with the Dodgers in the NL West, while the Cubs improved their record to 47-48 and remained 11½ games behind the front-running Phillies in the East. The two teams will wrap up their three-game set with an afternoon match-up tomorrow at San Diego Stadium.
Click here for a summary of the game and a spot to leave comments.