Cubs cap off series in San Diego with wacky game

Cubs cap off series in San Diego with wacky game
August 25, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Cubs vs. Dodgers, 8:30 p.m.
on Comcast SportsNet

On the hill: Jake Arrieta (1-0, 3.71 ERA); Zack Greinke (6-7, 4.02 ERA)

Arrieta vs. Dodgers (Career): 0-1, 11.25 ERA, 6 K's, 5 Walks, 4 IP

Greinke vs. Cubs: 3-2, 4.45 ERA, 43 K's, 10 Walks, 30.1 IP

Dodgers at at a glance: 76-54 (1st in National League West)

Cubs need a change vs. Dodgers As the Cubs arrive in Los Angeles, they'll be looking to avoid their eighth consecutive loss to the Dodgers. But with Zack Greinke on the mound, the North Siders will have a tough job ahead of them.

Dodgers pitching leaders: Wins - Clayton Kershaw (13); ERA - Kershaw (1.72); Strikeouts - Kershaw (188); Saves - Kenley Jansen (22)

Dodgers batting leaders: Average - Adrian Gonzalez (.297); Home runs - Gonzalez (17); RBIs - Gonzalez (81); On-base percentage - Andre Ethier (.352)

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Tony Andracki

In a way, it's fitting how the Cubs' series with the Padres ended up.

After scoring six runs before an out was even recorded in the opener, they couldn't score at all until the 13th inning in the finale. They wound up losing both games.

When the Cubs did eventually score Sunday, closer Kevin Gregg blew the save in the bottom of the 13th and the Padres walked it off in the 15th inning with a crazy 3-2 win after five hours and 13 minutes of game action.

[RELATED: Samardzija ready to make his final push]

"It's kind of a broken record," manager Dale Sveum said. "These kinds of games just get away from us. We played hard, obviously battled, got a big, huge break there and then just couldn't hold on."

The Cubs scored their first run when right fielder Nate Schierholtz hit a ground ball to Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman with the bases loaded and nobody out. Guzman came home on the play, but the ball struck Schierholtz on the helmet instead, leading to an unearned run.

"Never seen that one before," Sveum said.

[WATCH: Cubs let another one get away

Schierholtz tweaked his back on the play, which he said may have led to him falling out of the box and inadvertently running into Guzman's throwing lane.

"It was just a nightmare of a play," Schierholtz said.

But his injury could have been a lot more serious. The ball just missed hitting Schierholtz in the face.

"I got lucky, I guess," he said. "It glanced off my bill and hit me in the shoulder.

"Luckily, I turned my head just a little bit. It wouldn't have been fun to take it right in the face. Could've been worse, I guess."

There were some weird moments all afternoon/evening at Petco Park.

[MORE: Javier Baez impressing the Cubs' front office]

There was former Cub Ronny Cedeno as the momentary hero, driving home one run in the 13th and then scoring the game-tying run on a wild pitch less than a minute later.

There was almost a position player sighting on the mound, as Sveum indicated outfielder Brian Bogusevic would've gotten the call when Hector Rondon's day was done.

There were some positive signs from Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, who combined to go 3-for-4 with two walks in extra innings.

There was a child that won the hearts of the WGN audience back in Chicago who finally came away with a souvenir baseball.

But before all that, there was some stellar starting pitching, featuring Cubs surprise lefty Chris Rusin and former Cubs first-round pick Andrew Cashner.

Cashner backed up his loaded comments prior to the game and though he didn't quite "shove it up [the Cubs'] a--," he was still dominant, allowing just two hits and one walk in seven innings, while striking out seven.

[RELATED: Cashner out to prove Cubs wrong]

The Cubs unloaded Cashner because they felt he was nothing more than a bullpen arm, but the 26-year-old righty proved them wrong Sunday by setting a new career high with 108 pitches. His 144.1 innings this year eclipses his total from the previous three seasons combined.

Rusin, meanwhile, continues to impress in his late-season audition. He pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and four walks, lowering his ERA to 2.64 in the process.

[MORE: Scott Baker still shooting to join the Cubs' rotation]

The 26-year-old lefty doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he has surrendered just four earned runs over his last 24 innings as he bids for a spot on next year's Opening Day roster.