SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been a rocky road Monday for Jeff Samardzija, but the Chicago Cubs’ ace earned his first victory since August 24, 2013.
Thanks to a 13-hit attack, the Cubs pulled away to an 8-4 victory and snap Samardzija’s streak of 16 winless starts.
But Samardzija managed to pitch seven-plus innings, striking out 10 and walking none in a 109-pitch outing. This marked the sixth time in Samardzija’s career he has struck out at least 10 and the first time this season.
Samardzija helped his cause by hitting an RBI double during a three-run fifth off starter Yusmeiro Petit that allowed the Cubs to rally to a 4-3 lead.
The Cubs’ rally started when Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo hit consecutive singles. Darwin Barney hit a sacrifice fly before Samardzija ripped a double over the head of right fielder Hunter Pence that tied the game at 3.
Emilio Bonifacio, who led off the game with a single but was thrown out on a steal attempt, pulled a triple down the right field line to score Samardzija and give him his first lead of the game.
That took some of the heat off Samardzija, who dropped a throw from Anthony Rizzo in the first. Samardzija thought he had Pablo Sandoval struck out on a 2-2 pitch that was called a ball by home plate umpire Mark Wegner.
On the next pitch, Sandoval pulled a pitch down the right field line for a single to score Angel Pagan.
In the top of the first, Rizzo was disgusted with a pitch that was called a strike by Wegner before striking out to complete the at-bat, and Renteria had a few words with Wegner.
Sandoval further fueled Samardzija’s frustration by slugging a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.
But the Cubs put some distance between the Giants and themselves by scoring four times in the sixth and seventh.
Rizzo had two hits off David Huff and is 17 for 53 against left-handers.
Nate Schierholtz, who played for the Giants from 2007 to 2012, received warm applause in pregame introductions and in his first at-bat before ripping his homer off Yusmeiro Petit over the center field fence in the third.
Samardzija was pulled after allowing a hit to Angel Pagan to start the eighth, but Justin Grimm struck out two to end the eighth. Neil Ramirez pitched the ninth to secure the win.