It’s déjà vu for the Cubs.
The one-run game has haunted the Chicago Cubs as they lost another, 8-7 to the San Francisco Giants, on Thursday afternoon. They have been defeated 30 times out of their 42 one-run games this season.
Young reliever Andrew Cashner gave up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. They left San Francisco on a getaway day having lost 13 of their 16 games and five straight series.
The Chicago Cubs jumped on Giants starter Matt Cain in the first inning. Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro started the game with back-to-back singles. Two outs later, Xavier Nady doubled to drive in both base runners. The Cubs led 2-0.
The Giants cut the lead in half in the second inning. Pat Burrell grounded out but Pablo Sandoval tripled to center field. Juan Uribe, the following batter, brought Sandoval home with a line-drive single.
Randy Wells, the Cubs starter, helped himself to win with his bat.
In the fourth, Blake DeWitt reached second on fielder’s choice before Jeff Baker struck out. Koyie Hill hit a single to advance DeWitt to third. Wells ripped Cain’s first pitch, hitting a left-field double that produced DeWitt’s run. The Cubs restored a two-run lead.
But while on the mound, Wells gave it all back. In the bottom of the inning, he served up back to back solo home runs to lead-off man Pat Burrell (his 11th of the year) and Sandoval (his seventh).
And the Giants knocked him out in the fifth by adding four runs on the scoreboard. Aaron Rowand led off and reached first on third baseman Jeff Baker’s throwing error. He advanced to second on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt. Wells walked both Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey to load the bases.
Pat Burrell stepped up and crushed Wells’ 0-2 count pitch to left field for a grand slam, his second home run of the afternoon. Burrell killed the Cubs in this series. He finished the day going 2-for-4 with 5-RBI, and drove in a total of nine runs in this series, including a three-RBI performance the previous night.
Wells left the game after five innings, allowing seven runs (six earned), eight hits, and three home runs. Marcos Mateo, Casey Coleman, and Sean Marshall shared the relief work, pitching one inning each to shut down the Giants and to keep the game reachable for the Cubs.
The Giants bullpen, however, went the opposite way. After Cain was pulled out after six innings of work, their relievers could not protect their comfortable four-run lead against the hampered Cubs, who have lost a few regulars in their lineup this week.
In the seventh, the Cubs got one off Chris Ray, the first pitcher who replaced Cain. Castro reached first on a single and Kosuke Fukudome drove him home with his 10th double of the year.
The eighth inning was huge for the Cubs as they tied the game 7-7.
Reliever Javier Lopez faced lead-off DeWitt and lost him by walking him. Guillermo Mota came in to replace Lopez and gave up a single to Baker and an RBI-double to Hill. The Cubs made it 7-5.
Sergio Romo, the third Giants’ reliever, got Alfonso Soriano to fly out, then faced Tyler Colvin who hit a RBI-groundout to score Baker from third. Castro hit his fourth single of the afternoon to produce the Cubs’ game-tying run as Hill crossed the plate.
The tie-game did not last long and it was all over for the North Side at the bottom of the ninth.
Cubs’ new reliever Andrew Cashner (1-5) allowed a lead-off single to Aaron Rowand, who moved to second on Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt. He gave Aubrey Huff an intentional walk and lost Buster Posey on another walk.
With the bases loaded and on the 2-0 count, pinch-hitter Andres Torres drove a long walk-off single to center field to score the Giants’ winning run.
Giants closer Brian Wilson (3-1), who blanked the Cubs at the top of the ninth, took the win.
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