National League Game Summary - San Francisco at Chicago
(Thursday, April 11th)
Final Score: San Francisco 7, Chicago 6
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan each drove in a
pair of runs to help the San Francisco Giants to a 7-6 come-from-behind
decision over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a four-game series.
Nick Noonan went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in his first major league start
for San Francisco, which rallied from a 5-0 deficit after three innings at
a chilly and soggy Wrigley Field to register a fourth straight victory.
"I can't say enough about what these guys did today," Giants manager Bruce
Bochy said afterward. "That's a tough travel day, it was cold and raining out
there, we got little sleep and you get down five runs. It was easy to lay down
at that point, but they fought back hard and that's a great comeback for us."
Ryan Vogelsong (1-1) rebounded from a shaky showing early on to notch his
first win of 2013, while Sergio Romo earned his MLB-leading sixth save by
protecting the Giants' one-run lead in the ninth.
Vogelsong surrendered five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits in six innings
of work, but struck out five batters and held the Cubs scoreless over his
final three frames.
Cubs starter Scott Feldman (0-2) took the loss after permitting six runs --
though just two were earned due to an error by Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro
that opened the floodgates in a four-run top of the fourth -- in 4 1/3
Anthony Rizzo had a two-run homer and Brent Lillibridge added a two-RBI single
in the loss, Chicago's fifth in six games, while ex-Giant Nate Schierholtz
finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored against his former team.
Chicago reached Vogelsong for four runs in the bottom of the third to put the
Giants at a sizeable deficit, but San Francisco struck four times in the
fourth before moving in front with a three-run fifth.
The comeback began when Castro booted Vogelsong's two-out grounder to short to
let in the Giants' first run and extend the top of the fourth. Pagan followed
with an infield single that brought home Noonan, and after Feldman hit Brandon
Crawford to load the bases, Sandoval delivered an opposite-field double into
the gap in left center that plated two runs and pulled San Francisco within
Feldman departed after walking Gregor Blanco following a one-out single by
Brandon Belt in the fifth, with Noonan greeting Hisanori Takahashi with a base
hit before the Chicago reliever issued a free pass to Vogelsong to force in
the tying run. A sac fly off the bat of Pagan gave the Giants the lead, and
Crawford made it a 7-5 game with a single to left that knocked in Noonan.
Vogelsong settled down to keep the Cubs off the board over the remainder of
his stint, but Chicago threatened against the Giants' bullpen in the eighth
after an Alfonso Soriano double off Jeremy Affeldt and Schierholtz's
infield hit put runners at the corners with none out.
Santiago Casilla then relieved Affeldt and induced a double-play grounder from
Welington Castillo that brought the Cubs within a run, but prevented any
further damage. Romo surrendered a one-out double to David DeJesus that placed
the potential tying run in scoring position in the ninth, but fanned Castro
and Rizzo in succession to preserve the win.
"I just tried to make quality pitches," Romo said. "[Rizzo's] a good hitter,
he's a dangerous guy. "He's in a position where he could have possibly won the
game for his team."
After Crawford's throwing error with two on in the top of the second enabled
the Cubs to score the game's first run, Chicago hit Vogelsong hard in the
third to build a seemingly comfortable 5-0 advantage.
Rizzo followed a Castro double by socking a first-pitch changeup into the
left-field bleachers to put the Cubs up by a 3-0 count.
"You go up there looking for a pitch to hit and just being selectively
aggressive," Rizzo said of the blast. "Hopefully they keep throwing me first-
Chicago later loaded the bases on singles by Schierholtz and Castillo
along with a walk, and Lillibridge snapped an 0-for-18 skid to start the
season with a bloop base hit to right that led to another two runs.
After scoring a total of 19 runs in their first seven games of the season, the
Giants have totaled 26 in their last three victories ... Vogelsong has now won
each of his last three starts at Wrigley Field and improved to 4-1 over his
last five overall encounters with the Cubs ... Feldman fell to 0-4 in five
lifetime appearances (three starts) against San Francisco ... Schierholtz, who
spent six seasons with the Giants before being dealt to Philadelphia last
July, faced his ex-club for the first time since the trade.