It’s been a miserable season for the Padres and their fan base, and seeing fan favorites like Huston Street and Chase Headley get traded hasn’t been easy. Add to that the multiple injuries on the team, and the suspension of Cameron Maybin puts Buddy Black in a compromising position. For Wednesday’s game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Black pulled up Jeff Francoeur from Triple-A, and started other players who are either new to the organization or pulled up from the minor leagues.
But it got the job done, as the Padres were able to ride timely hitting and solid pitching from Ian Kennedy. New Padres’ infielder Yangveris Solarte tripled to right, scoring Chris Denorfia from first base. Solarte came home on Carlos Quentin‘s sacrifice fly, and the Pads led 2-0 after one inning.
Chris Nelson doubled to right in the top of the fourth, scoring Francoeur, as San Diego extended their lead to 3-0. However, Kennedy made one mistake and Luis Valbuena made him pay for it, crushing a three-run home run that knotted the game at three runs apiece.
The Padres would immediately answer though, as Solarte scored his second run of the game, this time knocked in by a Tommy Medica ground-rule double. A Rene Rivera bases-loaded walk scored Medica, and the Padres took a 5-3 lead after five innings.
Kennedy lasted six innings, allowing three runs, on three hits, and striking out six Cubs. He left with the lead, and it was up to the Padres’ bullpen to deliver him his eighth win of the year. The offense decided to also contribute, scoring three more runs in the eighth inning off a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly.
Dale Thayer came on in the ninth for the Padres, resuming the role of closer he has held when Street’s been injured. With Street gone, the job is his. Thayer struck out Wellington Castro to open up the inning, then got a groundout from former Padre John Baker and ended the game by inducing a fly out from Emilio Bonofacio.
The Padres resume action Thursday against the Cubs at 5:05 pm, with Tyson Ross trying to earn the series win for the road team.