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Cubs 7, Padres 6: Extra innings go badly

The Padres pulled off an amazing four-run comeback in the ninth inning, but faltered in extra innings.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It's round two in Wrigley Field. The Padres started out on top after yesterday's early day game, with Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers going yard for a collective 5 runs. James Shields had a tough start, but came around to punch out enough Cubs to collect 9 strikeouts. Today, Tyson Ross took the mound against the Cubbies' Kyle Hendricks. In Ross' last start against San Francisco he wrung up 8 strikeouts.

Against the Cubs, Tyson was on point. Hitting his spots all game, Ross was peppering the outside of the plate and dropping in his signature slider. The Cubbie hitters were extremely patient, but by the end of his start Ross collected 9 strikeout skulls on his hip while issuing 5 walks. Some earned (and arguably unearned runs on an Alonso error) kept things close, and Brandon Mauer would eventually relieve him in the bottom of the 6th.

But the Padres like striking early. With the first four batters of our Padres lineup currently sitting on an above .300 average, it's hard not to. Myers attacked first, getting on base via a booted Kris Bryant routine ground ball. Yonder Alonso would then ping out a single, and Myers tried stretching himself to third base, but was thrown out. Which was too bad, because what happened next was beautiful.

You can watch Matt Kemp's bomb into the barren left field bleachers as much as you want. It's beautiful. Recommended viewing: 50-60 times.

Matt Kemp's first home run as a San Diego Padre put the Friars up 2-0. A lead that would remain until the 5th inning on an ugly inning that was fueled by a missed tag from Jedd Gyorko on an stolen base, and a misplayed grounder to Alonso. The Cubs evened things out 2-2, and then climbed on top 3-2 with a solo home run from Miguel Montero.

Maurer came in for the relief role, and was picked on early after putting two on. A flashy retribution double play from Gyorko would cut off some of the RISP, but a windy slicing single into left would get the Cubs in a 4-2 lead. So then we brough in Chris Rearick, and another home run was given up to Montero to put the Cubs up 6-2.

A season ago, that kind of deficit would have looked hopeless, but these are not the 2014 Padres. Alonso and Kemp led off the top of the ninth with a pair of singles off Phil Coke. That was enough to scare Joe Maddon into sending in his closer, Hector Rondon. It didn't do him much good. Justin Upton drove a liner into left, scoring Alonso and bringing the tying run to the plate. Down 6-3, Middlebrooks hit a soaring fly ball to right field.

It looked like it might go out, but bounced off the wall for a double. Upton held up at third, leaving the Padres down 6-4. Gyorko once again failed to get a hit, but his ground out to third was productive enough to bring the team within one at 6-5.When Alexi Amarista struck out, it was up to pinch hitter Yangervis Solarte to keep the Friars alive. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Solarte battled back to a 2-2 count before ripping a single between first and second, tying the game at 6-6. Derek Norris's pinch hit single kept the rally going, but Myers would ground out to end the inning. Dale Thayer retired the Cubs in order in the bottom half of the inning to send the game to extras.

The tenth inning was a story of stranded runners. The Padres left a man at second after Upton hit a two-out double. On the Cubs side of things, Matt Szczur hit a one-out single (that Gyorko almost snagged) and stole second. But a pair of easy flies to left field ended that threat. It was the eleventh that was the Padres undoing. After going down in order in the top of the inning, the Padres ran out of juice in the bottom half. Anthony Rizzo drew a one-out walk off Craig Kimbrel and then stole second. Bryant followed up with an infield single to put Cubs on the corners with one out. Kimbrel issued another walk to pinch hitter David Ross, and then Bud Black had the defense shift to a five man infield configuration with the hope of turning a double play. Unfortunately, Starlin Castro knocked a single past Middlebrooks, giving the Cubs a 7-6 victory.

Andrew Cashner will take the mound tomorrow as the Padres try to win their third straight series. First pitch at 11:20 AM.

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