Since the September call-up, the Cubs rookie outfielder Brad Snyder has had the privilege of enjoying two double-RBI games in his first eight major league games. On Thursday afternoon, he reached another level of enjoyment by hitting out first game-winning RBI.
His single in the ninth inning generated the winning run for the Chicago Cubs who took the four-game series finale with a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in PETCO Park. With the win, the visitors snapped their two-series losing streak and dimmed the Padres’ chance to make the playoffs.
Both teams’ pitching staffs performed creditably, especially for both starting pitchers, Tom Gorzelanny and Jon Garland who formed an outstanding pitching dual witnessed by a crowd of 28,576 in the last getaway day of the 2010 season.
Gorzelanny returned to his top form after a few disappointing recent outings. The southpaw tossed six scoreless innings scattering three hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
A couple of great defensive plays helped him to pass through those innings clean.
In the second, Yorvit Torrealba led off with a single but with one out, Gorzelanny picked him off, and threw him out at second in a base-stealing attempt. He gave up another single to Chase Headley, but stranded him at first.
In the sixth, the hurler gave up back-to-back walks to David Eckstein and Miguel Tejada. He then forced Adrian Gonzalez to hit a 6-3 double play which crossed out Tejada at second. Moving to third, Eckstein became the only Padre who reached as far as third base in the game. But he was not sent home after Ryan Ludwick hit an inning-ending fly-out to center-field.
The other game starter, Garland, pitched hard to help his team to close gap with the NL West leaders, the San Francisco Giants who procured their fourth victory in a row against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the same day.
Garland had already recorded a win against the Cubs in Wrigley Field on August 17, when he pitched seven scoreless innings. He had the similar line today but did not get the win for his team.
Since allowing a single to lead-off Blake DeWitt in the first, he retired 14 consecutive Cubs before issuing a walk to Alfonso Soriano in the fifth. He left the game after blanking the Cubs in 6.1 innings on four hits and striking out eight with a walk.
The Cubs scored the game-winning run in the ninth.
The Padres closer, Heath Bell (6-1), replaced Mike Adams and gave up a lead-off single to Aramis Ramirez who was then substituted by pinch-runner Darwin Barney. Xavier Nady followed with a sacrifice bunt which sent the potential go-ahead run to second. Having struck out twice in three previous at bats, Snyder hit a high-bound groundball that passed between shortstop and third base to left field to tally Barney.
Sean Marshall (7-5) who relieved Andrew Cashner in the eighth inning was credited with the win. Carlos Marmol retired the side in the ninth including striking out Gonzalez and Ludwick for his 37th save of the year, his 15th straight in as many save situations.
The Cubs left San Diego after the game for Houston where they will play their last series of the year against the Astros. Meanwhile, the Padres will start their do-or-die series tomorrow in San Francisco as they skid to three games behind the Giants in the NL West standings.
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