The Giants have spent most of the season keeping one eye on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s about time they start watching the Cubs, too.
The young group from Chicago took another swing game in the Wild Card race, beating the Giants 7-3 to go 1 1/2 up in the chase for the final postseason spot. The Giants fell to 3-5 on the road trip.
A day after hitting a three-run homer off Chris Heston, rookie Kyle Schwarber got the Cubs going with a first-inning double to left. Chris Coghlan followed with an RBI single off Kelby Tomlinson’s glove. The Giants got the run back in the second when Jorge Soler misplayed a Buster Posey pop-up into a double and Brandon Crawford hit a run-scoring single to right.
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Making his first start July 11, Ryan Vogelsong locked in after the early run and took a tie game into the fifth. That’s when the wheels fell off. Vogelsong put two in scoring position before giving way to Jeremy Affeldt, who was tasked with finding a way to get Schwarber out. He couldn’t do it. The slugger lined another single off Tomlinson’s glove, scoring two.
Yusmeiro Petit entered later in the inning and gave up a two-run double to Soler and then a bloop single to David Ross that dropped a couple feet from Angel Pagan. The Cubs scored five runs in the inning.
Starting pitching report: Vogelsong had good stuff, tying a season-high with six strikeouts in four-plus innings, but he was charged with three runs on six hits and a walk. The veteran likely will get at least one more start with Mike Leake on the DL.
Bullpen report: Josh Osich flashed a good changeup and topped out at 97 mph in an impressive seventh inning. The stuff was the same in the eighth, but he gave up a solo homer to Dexter Fowler. Either way, the rookie looks like he belongs.
At the plate: Nori Aoki entered on a double-switch and hit his fourth homer of the season. He had one homer last year.
In the field: Matt Duffy is significantly quicker than his (now) 28-pound cat. The third baseman made a diving catch in the bottom of the second to rob Addison Russell of a double down the line.
Up next: Matt Cain (2-2, 4.91) takes on fellow righty Kyle Hendricks (5-5, 3.67). Cain is 6-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 15 career starts against the Cubs, and he has a 2.68 ERA in seven career starts at Wrigley Field.