Chicago, IL – On the heels of their 12-game skid, the Chicago Cubs have won two in a row.
Alfonso Soriano smacked a solo homer while Darwin Barney added two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored, as the Cubs downed the San Diego Padres, 5-3, in the second installment of a three-game set.
Soriano went homerless over his first 30 games of the season, but has hit seven in his last 13 contests.
"You look up sometimes and they might be struggling for a month and then you look at the end of the year and they have their 30 home runs and their 90-110 RBI," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum of Soriano. "...They've been productive hitters for a reason."
Jeff Samardzija (5-3) fanned eight and surrendered three runs on eight hits and a walk in seven-plus innings.
In his second game as a Padre, Carlos Quentin had three hits, including a solo shot, and two runs scored. San Diego has dropped five straight and eight of its last nine.
Eric Stults (1-1) allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings.
"We've pitched well enough to stay in games. We just haven't generated offensively, the continuous hits," said San Diego manager Bud Black.
San Diego was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position,
The Padres opened the scoring in the fifth frame when Quentin belted a long blast to left-center.
The Cubs, though, took the lead after Darwin Barney ripped an RBI double and Samardzija looped a run-scoring base hit.
Soriano homered to center in the sixth frame for a 3-1 Cubs margin.
The Padres cut the deficit in the seventh inning on John Baker's RBI single through the hole on the left side, but the Cubs got the run back in the home half when Barney, who recorded a one-out double, came home on a passed ball.
San Diego plated a run in the eighth inning on Will Venable's RBI triple, which made it 4-3.
With Venable at third and none away, Chicago escaped the jam. Shawn Camp came on to relieve Samardzija and got Chris Denorfia to ground out, Jeff Baker made a fine diving catch at first base on Yonder Alonso's liner and Quentin flied out to left.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the home half on Baker's RBI single. James Russell registered the final two outs in the ninth inning for his first career save in 145 appearances.
Venable, who went 1-for-4, is hitting .323 over his past 20 games...Chicago was 2-for-8 with RISP and stranded four...Prior to the contest, the Cubs activated catcher Steve Clevenger from the 15-day disabled list...The Padres signed veteran right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis to a minor league contract on Tuesday. He will report to Double-A San Antonio.