Padres 5, Cubs 4, 11 innings
“When you’re involved in a game like that, it’s kind of emotional as well. We’ve been out here since 10 this morning and it’s lot nicer to be able to take off with a win than a loss,” Greene said after his 11th-inning single sent the Padres past the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday.
The game was delayed twice by rain for a total of 78 minutes on a raw day when the temperature at first pitch was just 60 degrees.
Despite a season-high 18 left on base, the Padres were able to move within a game of the Cubs for the NL wild-card lead.
“It’s going to be a battle until the last week of September. It’s going to go deep in the season before we know who is going to the playoffs,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
“This is a team we will be battling and it’s important we came in here and got a couple of wins.”
With two outs, Greene hit an 0-2 pitch from Ryan Dempster (0-1) through the hole into left field to put the Padres in front. Greene also had two doubles.
“With two outs the crowd really gets involved and I tried to just slow myself down a little bit. That’s why I don’t get too excited when I get a hit because I’m kind of a bit tranquil,” Greene said.
Garciaparra’s homer, which made up for an earlier error, gave the Cubs a lead they couldn’t hold.
Umpire Bruce Froemming ruled a hard-sliding Long safe at second as Garciaparra sidestepped him before throwing the ball past first for an error. Cubs manager Dusty Baker came out to argue, and replays showed that Garciaparra’s foot hit the bag.
And Froemming admitted after the game that he missed the call.
“You don’t like it to happen. On the field I had him coming across the bag, I came in here and looked at the replay. I wanted to know if I had it right. I did not have it right,” Froemming said.
“You don’t like to miss them. But I mean I looked at the replay and it’s clear that he got the bag.”
Told that Froemming admitted making a mistake, Garciaparra said: “I know how I felt. You make your argument and you just keep playing. You try to let it go and do what you can.”
Minutes later, when a close pitch from Jon Leicester to Jay Payton was called a ball, Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild was ejected by plate umpire Tim Timmons, precipitating another argument from Baker.
Payton delivered a sacrifice fly to cut the Cubs’ lead to 2-1 and, after another walk to pinch-hitter Dave Hansen, Greene hit a tying RBI double.
Cubs starter Matt Clement hit a sacrifice fly after Grudzielanek tripled— the first of his four hits—in the second.
Sammy Sosa struck out four times and was booed loudly. … Sean Burroughs (sore knee) and Nevin weren’t in the Padres’ starting lineup, but both entered in the late innings. … Ramirez left after the fourth inning as a precaution and was replaced by Ramon Martinez. Ramirez missed 11 games earlier this season with a groin strain. … Patterson had two singles, a double, two walks and two stolen bases, giving him a career-high 20 steals.