Chicago, IL – Scott Hairston and Cody Ransom smacked back-to- back home runs in the second inning and the Chicago Cubs defeated the San Diego Padres, 5-3, in the first of a four-game series on Monday.
Ransom and Darwin Barney drove in two runs apiece for the Cubs, who have won six of their last seven games against the Padres at home.
Starter Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs on four hits and four walks in five innings in a no-decision. Michael Bowden (1-1) pitched a perfect sixth to get the win while Kevin Gregg set down the final four batters to notch his fourth save.
"Too many walks, you know you can't that put many guys on for free ... makes it harder on yourself," said Samardzija. "It was nice to have that lead, allowed me to go out there an attack the zone a little bit."
Yonder Alonso had two RBI for the Padres, who saw starter Clayton Richard (0-3) surrender five runs on seven hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings.
"We just couldn't seem to cash in when we had a couple guys on," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We got the runners in scoring position a couple times, just couldn't get the big knock."
Samardzija walked Everth Cabrera to start the game. After a fly out by Chris Denorfia, he allowed a single by Chase Headley. With Carlos Quentin batting, he threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance. Three pitches later, he threw another wild pitch striking out Quentin, but Cabrera reached home.
Hairston and Ransom's back-to-back shots gave Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Barney drove in his first run in the fourth, a two-out double that plated Welington Castillo.
Alonso singled with two outs in the fifth, scoring Cabrera and Denorfia, tying the game at 3-3.
In the sixth, Ransom hit a liner to center, scoring Soriano, who singled to lead off the inning. Anthony Bass came into replace Richard, but a double by Barney brought Ransom home.
The Padres squandered an opportunity to come back in the eighth. With two outs, Kyle Blanks singled and Cabrera doubled to place the runners in scoring position. Gregg replaced James Russell and Denorfia hit a grounder towards him to end the frame.
In the ninth, Gregg struck out Headley and Quentin and got Alonso to ground out to end the game.
The Cubs were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while the Padres were 1-for-10 and left 11 men on base ... Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro recorded his fifth error ... The Cubs have seen all 25 games this season decided by four runs or less, extending a franchise record and are tied with the 1918 St. Louis Cardinals for the second-longest streak in major league history. The 1914 Detroit Tigers are the only team with a longer streak, with 33.