Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Rajai Davis drove in two runs to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 9-5 win over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three- game interleague series at Wrigley Field.
Cliff Pennington scored three runs while Kevin Kouzmanoff posted three hits with two runs scored for the A’s, who halted their three-game skid. Jack Cust scored two runs in the victory. Kouzmanoff extended his hit streak to 15 games.
Trevor Cahill (6-2) earned the win after he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits with five strikeouts. It was his fifth straight winning decision.
Chad Tracy registered two runs scored and an RBI for the Cubs, who have dropped four of their last five games overall. Tyler Colvin homered in the loss.
Carlos Zambrano (2-5) suffered the loss after he surrendered five runs — only two of which were earned — on seven hits in six innings of work.
The contest was delayed 1 hour, 41 minutes due to rain.
In the top of the fourth, the bases were loaded with no outs and Mark Ellis singled to bring home the first run of the game. Cahill then made it safely to first on an error by Derrek Lee, and on the play, Jack Cust crossed the plate. On the next play, another error by Lee when he mishandled a throw allowed both Ellis and Pennington, who reached earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice, to score for a 4-0 Oakland advantage.
“Tonight is not a big league game, we played like a Single-A team,” Lee said. “I set the tone. If I make the plays we get out of the inning and it’s a whole different ball game.”
RBI singles by Zambrano and Starlin Castro allowed the Cubs to cut their deficit in half in the home fifth.
The top of the sixth saw the visitors add another run. Pennington reached with a bunt single and eventually scored on a double by Davis.
“If you don’t play defense it’s tough to win ball games,” Davis said. “Pitching and defense helps you to win ball games. Obviously you have to add some offense to that. They didn’t play what they’re capable of playing and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Chicago continued to chip away in the home sixth. With two outs, Alfonso Soriano singled and raced around to score when Tracy followed with a double to center field.
The A’s put the game away in the seventh. With runners on second and third and two outs, a wild pitch brought home Kouzmanoff and Cust moved to third before a triple by Pennington scored Cust. On the play, a fielding error paved the way for Pennington to come all the way home for an 8-4 advantage.
The scoring for the Cubs was capped by Colvin’s solo homer in the eighth before an RBI grounder by Pennington in the top of the ninth created the final margin.
Andrew Bailey tossed a scoreless ninth to close it out.
The A’s outhit the Cubs, 13-9…The Cubs committed four errors in the contest…Zambrano’s 2010 earned run average is now 5.66… It was Colvin’s seventh homer of the season.