Darwin Barney went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, and the Chicago Cubs received a second consecutive lengthy start out of Jeff Samardzija in beating the San Diego Padres, 3-2, on Saturday.
Samardzija (8-11), coming off his second complete game of the season, fired eight strong innings and put the finishing touches on his outing by striking out Logan Forsythe to strand the bases loaded. He allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out seven.
"Like I said last outing, getting strike one for him is huge," said Chicago manager Dale Sveum. "When he gets that, those are usually all his good games."
Kevin Gregg turned in a perfect ninth to notch his 26th save and end the Cubs' four-game losing streak. Anthony Rizzo added an RBI to the victory.
Eric Stults (8-11) was saddled with the loss, charged with three runs on six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
The Padres, who had won four of six coming in, received three hits and an RBI from Will Venable in the setback.
Venable was the second of three straight batters to reach base against Samardzija to start the eighth. The Padres pulled within, 3-2, on Yonder Alonso's sacrifice fly, but failed to tack on more.
Samardzija got Jedd Gyorko to fly out and after intentionally walking Chase Headley to load the bases, he fanned Forsythe on four pitches to escape further damage.
"We were in position but we just couldn't get that one hit to give us the lead," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Barney broke the scoreless tie in the fifth, connecting on his seventh homer of the season with one away in the inning.
Samardzija had retired eight in a row until Venable cracked his 19th homer of the season with one out in the sixth to even the score at 1-1.
The Cubs retook the lead in the seventh. Darnell McDonald walked to start the frame and raced around on Barney's double into left. Forsythe airmailed the relay throw home, allowing Barney to take third. Rizzo then knocked him in with a two-out single to center for a 3-1 Cubs lead.
Prior to the game, the Padres designated pitcher Edinson Volquez for assignment. He made 27 starts for the team this season, going 9-10 with a 6.01 ERA. To take his spot on the roster, San Diego recalled pitcher Brad Brach from Triple-A Tuscon ... Venable has a hit in 19 of his last 20 games.