Soriano homers again, Cubs beat Padres 5-3
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CHICAGO (AP) - The San Diego Padres continue to look for that one big hit. It's just not coming.
Eric Stults battled through injury and unfavorable conditions, and Carlos Quentin homered among three hits, but the San Diego Padres fell to the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Tuesday, suffering their fifth straight loss.
San Diego fell to 1-8 on the 10-game road trip.
"We've been in games," Black said. "We're just one hit, one pitch away from turning the tables."
The Padres went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, including wasting a leadoff triple in the eighth, still down just one run.
"That's one thing that we hopefully improve on as the season goes," Black said. "I think we've pitched well enough to stay in games, we just haven't generated offensively the continuous hits to score multiple runs."
Stults (1-1) was effective over 6 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with the wind blowing out at 18-mph at first pitch. The conditions were similar to Monday's slugfest where the two teams combined for eight homers.
"On a day like today where the wind is blowing out, you can use the other team's aggressiveness against them," the left-hander said. "They took some big swings and rolled over some pitches."
The Padres training staff worked vigorously over the weekend to reduce the swelling in Stults' left arm after he was struck by a line drive in his last start.
"I didn't feel it at all," he said. "The only thing I can feel now, coming out of the game, is it's stiffened up, but that's to be expected."
Stults has a 2.50 ERA since being claimed off waivers from the White Sox.
Alfonso Soriano hit a solo homer to center field in the sixth. After going homerless in his first 30 games this season, Soriano has seven home runs in his last 13 games.
Jeff Samardzija (5-3) struck out eight - one strikeout from tying his career high. He departed after Will Venable's RBI triple with no outs in the eighth. Shawn Camp kept the lead intact, getting Carlos Quentin on a fly to left to end the inning.
James Russell got the last two outs for his first career save.
Samardzija also singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth on his own bobblehead day.
"You don't want to pitch bad and go outside and see your bobblehead smashed all over the place," Samardzija said. "I wanted to just keep the game close and hopefully people will go put them in their room instead of the trash."
Quentin homered and had three hits for San Diego. His drive deep into the left-field bleachers on the first pitch of the fifth was his first home run as a Padre.
"It's a short look, no doubt about it, but he's a guy who's hit in the past," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We think he's a guy who is going to continue to be productive for us."
The Cubs won their second straight after snapping a 12-game losing streak with an 11-7 win over San Diego on Monday. San Diego dropped a game behind Chicago for the worst record in the National League.
Quentin singled and scored on John Baker's hit in the seventh, but the Padres failed to tie the score when Samardzija struck out pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman with runners on second and third to end the inning.
Samardzija improved to 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in five starts at Wrigley, and looped a 3-2 Stults pitch over a drawn-in infield to score Darwin Barney with the go-ahead run in the fifth.
Samardzija worked around Stults' leadoff double in the sixth, escaping when Soriano made a sliding grab in left to rob Chris Denorfia, then easily doubled Stults off second as he was already halfway between third base and home plate.
Barney doubled into the left-field corner in fifth to score Reed Johnson, tying the game 1-all. Barney also doubled in the seventh. After being balked to third by Stults, he scored on John Baker's passed ball.
NOTES: Padres OF Cameron Maybin missed his third straight game with a sore right wrist. He remains day-to-day. . Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of the day the Cubs made scout Buck O'Neil the first black coach in big-league history. . Padres manager Bud Black said he was "caught off-guard" when he heard the report that golfer Phil Mickelson joined a group hoping to buy the team. "He would make a good best-ball partner," Black quipped.
Updated May 29, 2012