Padres 1, Cubs 0
“There’s really no feeling worse than a defensive play that costs the team,” said Burnitz, who also struck out three times, twice to end an inning with runners in scoring position.
“That’s the worst feeling that there is for me.”
“Eaton was OK with his pitch count, but he worked pretty hard the outing before,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “His spot was coming up in the order and those three guys were fresh and ready to go.”
Eaton wanted to stay in after throwing just 86 pitches, but understood Bochy’s reasoning.
“I wasn’t happy about coming out,” he said. “But I knew those three guys were coming in and you feel pretty good about that one-run lead, especially with the way they’ve been throwing.”
Dempster (0-2) walked three and struck out seven in six innings. He threw 105 pitches in his longest start since July 28, 2003, with the Cincinnati Reds.
“I wanted to get into the fifth (inning), let alone out of it,” he said. “Even though I had a couple of baserunners early, I didn’t feel like I was struggling. I felt like I was in control out there.”
After undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, he signed with the Cubs as a free agent in January 2004. He appeared in 23 games as a reliever last season.
Dempster had the Cubs’ lone hit through four innings, a bunt single in the third, until Derrek Lee singled to right in the fifth.
The Cubs wasted a good opportunity to tie it in the bottom of the sixth after Neifi Perez and Nomar Garciaparra hit consecutive one-out singles. Perez advanced to third when Aramis Ramirez hit into a fielder’s choice, but Burnitz struck out on a full-count changeup from Eaton.
“We didn’t have very good at-bats with guys on base, collectively,” Burnitz said.
Chicago had another chance in the eighth. Corey Patterson led off with a single to right off Otsuka and moved to second on a sacrifice by Perez. Garciaparra then walked on four pitches. Otsuka worked out of trouble by inducing Ramirez to pop out to second and striking out Burnitz.
“We had more chances than they did,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “They have a real good pitching staff and a real good bullpen.”
Khalil Greene made his third error of the season in the fourth inning. … Garciaparra was hitless in 11 at-bats before singling in the sixth. … Mark Prior will make his first start of the season Tuesday. … The Cubs placed Todd Walker in the 15-day disabled list with a sprained medial collateral ligament and recalled Mike Fontenot from Triple-A Iowa. … Patterson has a seven-game hitting streak … Hernandez and Lee were the only players to collect more than one hit, each going 2-for-4.