SAN DIEGO — Jason Hammel’s right hand was slightly puffy, and he can only hope the discomfort subsides before his next start.
After throwing four no-hit innings Sunday, Hammel’s hand became fatigued and caught up to him in the sixth inning, when the Padres scored four runs against him and reliever James Russell, leading to a 4-3 loss that prevented the Cubs from winning their four-game series.
Hammel (5-3) said he still is receiving treatment and the discomfort will linger. “But it’s bad timing,” Hammel said.
It was bad timing for the Cubs (18-30), who didn’t generate much offense against starter Ian Kennedy (3-6) but closed the deficit in the ninth when Starlin Castro hit a two-run homer off closer Huston Street.
The Padres’ four-run rally was capped by an RBI double by Jedd Gyorko off Brian Schlitter in which a bobble by center fielder Emilio Bonifacio allowed pinch hitter Tyson Ross to score what proved to be the winning run.
Hammel’s fatigue was evidenced by the fact he didn’t allow a walk until the sixth when he missed high frequently on several pitches that led to walks for Everth Cabrera and Seth Smith to load the bases and set up a game-tying sacrifice fly by Chase Headley.
“That one’s on me,” Hammel said.
The Cubs put only one runner in scoring position before Junior Lake’s solo home run in the sixth off Kennedy. Lake is batting .340 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 12 games.