San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tsuyoshi Wada struck out nine batters in his season debut to guide the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
Wada threw 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes, tossing just 4 2/3 innings in his first major-league action of the season. He was charged with two runs on four hits and a walk.
The Cubs gave Wada an early run, with Kris Bryant racing home on Starlin Castro's groundout to shortstop. Bryant singled earlier in the frame, advanced to second when Anthony Rizzo got hit with a pitch and stole third.
Wada struck out the side in the first and third innings and faced the minimum in the second by getting Jedd Gyorko to ground into a double play after Yangervis Solarte singled.
The Padres finally got to Wada in the fourth inning. Derek Norris singled with one out and Justin Upton made it 2-1 with his 11th home run of the season. Wada still fanned two in the frame to give him his nine strikeouts.
Chicago quickly answered Upton's home run with two runs in the top of the fifth to go back in front. Wada led off the inning by working a walk and scored on Dexter Fowler's triple to right. Bryant plated Fowler with a sac fly.
Tyson Ross (2-4) was responsible for all three runs on four hits over seven innings to absorb the loss. Ross struck out eight and walked three.
"The key to any winning streak is good starting pitching," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It's been our variable this year. It's coming. These guys are good pitchers."
Five relief pitchers were used by Chicago after Wada departed. Justin Grimm (1-0) picked up the win after tossing 1 1/3 innings and Hector Rondon finished the game, pitching around a leadoff single to record his ninth save.
Rizzo stole his ninth base of the season. He had five in 140 games last season ... The Cubs have won seven of nine ... The Padres finished 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight. Chicago went 0-for-4 with RISP and left six on base.