Lester hit hard again as Cubs lose 10-6 to Padres
CHICAGO — Cubs ace Jon Lester was hit hard again and the San Diego Padres also battered Chicago’s bullpen on their way to a 10-6 victory Sunday.
Cory Spangenberg put San Diego ahead to stay with a tiebreaking double off Carl Edwards Jr. (3-2) with two outs in the eighth inning. Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run homer and Travis Jankowski added a two-run single in the Padres’ four-run ninth against Randy Rosario.
Renfroe finished with three RBIs, helping the last-place Padres salvage a split of the four-game series after they blew a four-run lead in the finale.
Spangenberg and Jankowski were inserted into the game as defensive replacements in the seventh inning. Craig Stammen (5-1) got the win despite allowing pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo’s tying single.
Lester was tagged for five runs and eight hits in five innings. The All-Star left-hander was 10-2 with a 2.18 ERA after beating the Dodgers on June 26, but has a 6.81 ERA in seven starts since that win in Los Angeles.
One of the biggest problems for Lester has been the long ball, and it hurt him again on Sunday. Freddy Galvis golfed a leadoff drive just over the wall in left in the second, and Franmil Reyes opened the fourth with a massive shot to center that traveled an estimated 477 feet.
The 34-year-old Lester has allowed at least one homer in each of his last seven starts. Getting him back on track could be the biggest key for Chicago as it tries to hold off Milwaukee in the competitive NL Central.
San Diego also got a two-run triple from Eric Hosmer with two outs in the second. Joey Lucchesi struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings after his start was pushed back a day due to an illness.
Javier Baez hit his career-best 24th homer and an RBI double for Chicago, which won five of seven in the season series against San Diego. Ben Zobrist added two hits after beginning the game on the bench, including his eighth homer in the ninth.
The Cubs trailed 5-1 before pushing across two runs in the fifth and seventh. Albert Almora Jr. singled in Zobrist in the seventh. After Baez struck out, Rizzo drove in Ian Happ with a perfectly placed blooper into left field.