CHICAGO - JUNE 20: Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates getting out of an inning-ending jam against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Wrigley Field on June 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Angels 12-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Cubs Swept By Padres For First Time Ever At Wrigley

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Cubs Koyie Hill Explains

In this video clip courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, Cubs catcher Koyie Hill explains precisely what went wrong yesterday when the Padres’ Will Venable scored a run because no one was covering home plate. The Cubs lost 5-2.


Zambrano Throws Six Good Innings, But Cubs Bullpen Blows Game Again

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Will Venable drove in two runs and Mat Latos tossed seven solid innings, as the San Diego Padres defeated the Chicago Cubs, 5-3, to complete a rare four-game sweep at Wrigley Field.

Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ryan Ludwick each had an RBI for the Padres, who had never before swept the Cubs in four games in the Windy City. San Diego did win a four-game series between the teams at Petco Park from May 5-8, 2006.

Latos (13-5) allowed two runs on five hits to improve to 8-1 over his last nine decisions. The right-hander also struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked one. Heath Bell recorded his 37th save of the season despite giving up a run in the ninth.

Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, and Blake DeWitt each drove in a run for the Cubs, who have lost seven of their last nine.

Starter Carlos Zambrano went six innings, giving up one run on four hits. Sean Marshall (6-4) allowed four runs on four hits to take the loss.

The Padres got on the board in the second. Yorvit Torrealba and Venable started the inning with consecutive walks and Chris Denorfia followed with a single to load the bases. Latos popped out for the first out. Hairston then grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the first run of the game.

Chicago failed to advance a runner past first until the sixth. Kosuke Fukudome singled and scored on Byrd’s two-out double to left. Ramirez followed with an RBI two-bagger of his own to make it 2-1.

San Diego responded with four runs in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead. Marshall started the frame on the mound for the Cubs. Miguel Tejada walked and Adrian Gonzalez singled to put men on first and second. Ludwick drove in Tejada with a single. Chase Headley’s base hit loaded the bases then Venable knocked in a pair of runs two batters later with a single to center. Another run scored when Denorfia reached base on a fielder’s choice.

Chicago scored a run off Bell in the ninth. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-out single, moved to second on a defensive indifference, and scored on DeWitt’s base hit. Koyie Hill struck out to end the game.

Game Notes

The Padres have won 10 of their last 11 games…San Diego placed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. To take his spot on the roster, the team recalled pitcher Ryan Webb from Triple-A Portland…The Cubs recalled outfielder Sam Fuld from Triple-A Iowa…Latos improved to 9-3 in 15 road starts this season.


Cubs Try To Avoid Four-Game Sweep By Padres

(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres are pulling away in the National League West and look to further distance themselves from the rest of the division this afternoon, when they shoot for a rare four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs from historic Wrigley Field.

The Padres have never swept the Cubs in four games in the Windy City, but did win a four-game series between the teams at Petco Park from May 5-8, 2006. They've won the first three portions of this set and are coming off Wednesday's 5-1 triumph in which starter Clayton Richard stymied the opposition with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to improve to 11-5 this season.

"You can't look at your opponent -- even if they're struggling -- because everyone is here for a reason," Richard said. "As a pitcher, we have to attack them as the best hitters out there. [The Cubs] deserve respect, they're big league hitters."

Adrian Gonzalez clubbed his 23rd homer and scored three times for the Padres, who have won nine of 10 games and pushed their lead atop the NL West to six games over San Francisco. The Giants dropped their third straight game last night in Philadelphia. Matt Stairs knocked in two runs in a winning effort.

San Diego will pay a visit to Milwaukee following its series in the Second City.

Surprising Padres starter Mat Latos will make his 23rd start of the season today and is 12-5 with a 2.32 earned run average. Latos is 7-1 over his last eight decisions, but did not factor in the outcome of a 3-2 loss at San Francisco last Saturday.

Latos pitched well enough for the win, allowing only one run on five hits through six innings of work. He has pitched at least six innings in three straight and six of his last seven trips to the mound.

The right-hander, who is 8-3 in 14 road starts this season, will face the Cubs for only the second time in his career. Latos lost to Chicago back on August 19 of last season, as he permitted five runs and seven hits in just 3 2/3 frames of a 7-1 loss.

Chicago made some news before losing for the third straight time by dealing two-time All-Star first baseman Derrek Lee to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday for three minor league pitchers. Lee rejected a deal to Anaheim in July, but was willing to join the NL East-leading Braves for a possible run to the playoffs.

"It's tough. That's the hardest part just leaving your teammates, especially having to play against them this weekend," Lee said during a news conference. "I had a great time here. I grew as a player, grew as a person."

Lee also stated how it was disappointing not to win a championship for the title-plagued Cubs and enjoyed playing in front of the Wrigley Field crowd. He also said joining an Atlanta team that is in contention of going to the postseason was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

He will switch dugouts when the Braves land in Chicago tomorrow for a weekend series.

The news of losing perhaps their best offensive player didn't sit well with the Cubs, who got a team-best two hits from Alfonso Soriano. Jeff Baker drove in the team's only run during the second inning and Xavier Nady went 1-for-3 with a double in Lee's spot at first base.

Casey Coleman pitched the first 4 1/3 innings for the Cubs and yielded three runs on six hits and three walks.

"It's a good learning experience, first time out as a starter," Coleman said. "Facing a good team -- first place. It's a team with that lineup [Wednesday] that's going to put pressure on you with all the lefties and speed they had in there. I just have to do a better job of throwing strikes and getting ahead and putting the pressure on them."

Taking the mound for the Cubs this afternoon will be Carlos Zambrano, who is set to start for the third time since his team-imposed suspension. He did not record a decision on August 9 in a loss at San Francisco and allowed two runs in five innings. He last toed the rubber in Saturday's 3-2 road victory over St. Louis and tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball, improving to 4-6 in 27 games (11 starts) to go along with a 5.27 earned run average.

Zambrano has pitched well in his career against San Diego, going 6-2 with a 2.71 earned run average in 10 starts.

The Padres and Cubs are meeting for the first time since San Diego took five of nine matchups a year ago. The Padres had lost five straight at Wrigley Field before winning Monday's opener of this series.

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