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Padres edge Cubs to finish off sweep

May 31, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Franchy Cordero hit his first Major League triple and scored on an infield grounder with one out in the eighth inning to lift the Padres to a 2-1 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday at Petco Park, as the defending champs lost their sixth in a row."There's

SAN DIEGO -- Franchy Cordero hit his first Major League triple and scored on an infield grounder with one out in the eighth inning to lift the Padres to a 2-1 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday at Petco Park, as the defending champs lost their sixth in a row.
"There's no magic potion," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We just have to keep going out there and playing, believe in our guys -- which I do, 100 percent. These are good young players. They've shown it in the past. They'll show it to you again. I've been involved in difficult West Coast road trips in the past, and this was another one."

With the win, San Diego won its fourth in a row, its longest streak since winning five straight Aug. 17-22, 2015. It also was the Padres' first three-game sweep of the Cubs at home since August 2012. The loss left the Cubs oh-for-California, as they went 0-6 combined against the Dodgers and Padres.
"Instead of getting like caught up in streaks or stretches, rather, I get caught up more in what you see in young players you can believe in," Padres manager Andy Green said. "They're showing things. Franchy Cordero is showing things. I see him as a guy who's going to impact games in the future."
With the game tied at 1 and one out in the Padres' eighth against Koji Uehara, Cordero tripled into the right-center gap and then scored on Yangervis Solarte's fielder's choice with the infield drawn in. Solarte hit the ball to second baseman Ian Happ, who threw home, but Cordero slid under the tag by catcher Willson Contreras. The hit was big considering Cordero had struck out in his first three at-bats.

"It was impressive," Green said of Cordero's triple. "You know, it's one game so you don't make a lot of it, but he flies. … There's some special tools inside him."
The Cubs will be happy to turn the calendar after going 12-16 in May, their first non-winning month since last July (12-14). It's the first time they've lost six in a row since a seven-game skid in 2014, which means it's the first time the Cubs have lost a half-dozen games consecutively since Joe Maddon took over as manager.
Jacob Arrieta started the Cubs' West Coast trip with a loss to the Dodgers last Friday, and did not get a decision on Wednesday, giving up one run over six innings. That run came on Ryan Schimpf's leadoff home run in the second, which tied the game at 1. It was the 11th homer off Arrieta, who served up 10 total in 2015 when he won the National League Cy Young Award.

Step by step: The Cubs have had plenty of baserunners but not many clutch hits. In the second inning, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the second time in three games, then stole second and advanced on Happ's flyout. One out later, Contreras walked and Rizzo then tallied on Javier Baez's infield single which third baseman Schimpf bobbled. The Padres recovered in time to throw out Contreras at third and end the inning. How frustrating has it been for the Cubs? After Contreras doubled to lead off the fifth, he looked to the dugout, lifted his arms up and shouted, "Let's go!"
"I feel we have to have more fun, like last year," Contreras said. "Last year, we were out there and had fun. It was more about hitting the ball over the fence. We went out there and had good at-bats. That's how I feel -- that's why I did what I did today."

Glove work: With the game tied and one out in the Chicago seventh, Contreras was hit by a pitch and moved up on a wild pitch by starter Luis Perdomo. Padres second baseman Solarte made a sliding stop of Baez's hard-hit ball, and threw him out at first. Perdomo did not get a decision, scattering three hits over seven innings.
"For us, it's just about stringing consecutive games together with good, clean, efficient baseball with good defensive play," Green said. "Solarte goes on the other side of the bag and makes a diving play and saves a run, throws Baez out at first."

"You've got to give their guy credit, Perdomo. He threw the ball well today and had good sinking velocity. He didn't have a lot of strikeouts -- I was [one] of them -- but he forced a lot of weak contact. They were able to make one more play than us today. The ball that Happ caught in center field [in the sixth] was a tremendous play. We played some good defense today. We just weren't able to do quite enough offensively to make a difference in the game. You've got to give their guys credit as well." -- Arrieta

Chicago's Benjamin Zobrist went 0-for-3, which ended his 26-game streak of reaching base safely, dating back to April 26. It was the second longest such streak of his career.
Cubs: After an off-day on Thursday, the Cubs will face their division rivals, the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Friday. John Lackey gets the start in a rematch against Lance Lynn, whom Lackey beat on April 6 at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.
Padres: The Padres will be off on Thursday before starting a three-game series against the Rockies at Petco Park. Clayton Richard, who will start the opener at 7:10 p.m. PT on Friday, is currently second in the Majors with 127 ground-ball outs this year.
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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Ryan Posner is a contributor to based in San Diego.