San Diego capitalized on a blown pop fly and a passed ball in the eighth inning, turning a two-run deficit into a 4-2 win and splitting the four-game series.
Travis Wood started for the Cubs and had a 2-0 lead on Scott Hairston’s two-run, seventh-inning home run into the stiff wind.
But miscommunication between Julio Borbon and Darwin Barney on Yonder Alonso’s bloop fly with two outs in the eighth gave the Padres a run and led to Wood’s exit.
A passed ball by Welington Castillo, during which he didn’t hustle after the ball caromed off the brick wall, brought home the tying run and led to boos for Castillo. Everth Cabrera’s RBI single off James Russell gave the Padres the lead, and they added another run on an infield hit by Chase Headley.
Wood retired the first 14 batters before Kyle Blanks singled with two outs in the fifth, and shut out the Padres the first seven innings. He was charged with the loss, allowing three runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings.
Padres left-hander Eric Stults shut out the Cubs on five hits until Hairston’s homer in the seventh.Cubs manager Dale Sveum tinkered with his lineup against lefties, inserting Starlin Castro into the No. 5 hole behind Alfonso Soriano, and moving Cody Ransom up to the No. 2 spot.
Sveum had said last week he was not considering moving Castro down in the lineup into a run-producing spot. But he apparently changed his mind to get Ransom into the two-hole.
“It’s an RBI spot, so you hope those things happen,” he said. “But like I said, you have to be a little creative sometimes with the lineup. You just can’t be so vanilla. If somebody is really hot and they’re hitting home runs all the time off left-handers, you want to make sure he gets three at-bats off that left-handed starter.”
Ransom went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. The Cubs fell to 11-17 with Cincinnati coming to town for a weekend series.