A victory is much needed for the ailing Chicago Cubs.
After the one-run walk-off loss on Monday and having lost four in a row, they finally added one to the winning column by defeating the San Francisco Giants 8-6 last night in AT&T Park.
The Cubs came out strong in the first inning, scoring four runs and adding two in the fourth and another pair in the eighth.
Their pitching has been miserable lately; only one pitcher was credited with a win in the last 10 days. That victory belonged to last night’s starter, Ryan Dempster. He pitched well enough, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings to improve his season record to 10-8.
Taking an early lead is a key success against Giants’ ace starter Tim Lincecum (11-8), and that is exactly what the Cubs did last night.
In the first inning, Tyler Colvin led off with a single to the right field. The speedy runner stole second and scored on Starlin Castro’s single. Castro stole second base before Micah Hoffpauir’s groundout.
Then Aramis Ramirez added another single to score Castro. This run was the third baseman’s 1000th RBI in his career.
Kosuke Fukudome connected by sending Lincecum’s 90-mph fastball into McCovey Cove for his 10th dinger of the year.
Castro had a great night, hitting for 2-for-5 and producing three of the Cubs’ eight runs. Apart from his RBI in the first, his ground-ball single to the center field in the fourth inning scored Koyie Hill and Ryan Demspter.
The Cubs’ 6-2 lead after four innings forced Lincecum to make a rare early exit; he was charged with six runs and eight hits.
The Cubs scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth. With one out, Alfonso Soriano singled off reliever Guillermo Mota before Blake DeWitt struck out swinging. Koyie Hill hit another single to advance Soriano to third. Pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot sent a double deep to no-man’s land in the right field to empty the bases.
The Giants scored one each in first and second innings off Dempster. But the hurler settled down and did not concede any other until the Giants’ two-run seventh inning.
In the eighth, Castro made a huge defensive play preventing the Giants from scoring. The shortstop’s diving catch stole a line-drive base hit from Andres Torres to end the inning and to strand runners on first and second.
The Giants finally added two more runs to the board in the ninth, but failed to complete the rally. With Cubs closer Carlos Marmol on the mound, Buster Posey scored Emmanuel Buriss to finish his 4-RBI night and himself tallied the Giants’ last run.
Besides Castro, three other Cubs finished the night with a multi-hit game—Ramirez went 3-for-4, Fukudome 2-for-5, and Hill 2-for-4.
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