CHICAGO (AP)—The more the San Diego Padres play together, the more they like their chances in the NL West.
The Padres completed a three-game sweep and finished the season 7-0 against the Cubs. Their last sweep at Wrigley came on Sept. 4-6, 1992.
Brian Giles walked five times, tying a major league record in a nine-inning game for San Diego, which has won 14 of its last 15 games. The Padres also have won eight straight on the road.
After a 9-15 start to the season, San Diego (22-16) has quickly rebounded to become the top team in its division.
“I think we’re starting to become a team. It was a pretty new team coming into spring training,” Hensley said. “A lot of new guys, a lot of new faces. Everybody is starting to come together as a team. Guys are swinging it and our pitchers are doing a good job. It’s all coming together for us.”
Chicago has lost 14 of its last 16 games.
“Guys got to get together and reach back and find that pride and get this thing rolling before it’s too late,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Hensley (2-2) retired 11 straight batters before Michael Barrett’s double in the fifth inning. He threw 92 pitches, with two strikeouts and one intentional walk.
“It feels good. it was a lot of fun. It was a good opportunity to go deep in the game and give the bullpen a break,” Hensley said.
Baker then replaced Hill with reliever Scott Williamson. He allowed a single to Barfield to load the bases, then during Adrian Gonzalez’s at-bat, Williamson threw back-to-back wild pitches allowing Piazza and Vinny Castilla to score, making it 4-0.
“There is no one to blame. It’s definitely not Dusty’s fault that this is going on, or (pitching coach) Larry Rothschild’s fault or any of the player’s fault. It is one of those situations that you get into this rut and sometimes it is really hard to get out of it,” Williamson said.
Hill, (0-3) lasted 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits. He struck out four and walked five.
“This is tough. We can’t beat ourselves today and you can’t let that frustration level get to you and stop believing,” Hill said.
Greene hit his eighth homer of the season with two runners on in the seventh inning to make it 8-0 Chicago.
The Padres only loss this month came last Tuesday in 10 innings to Milwaukee.
“A lot of baseball (left). But we’ve come a long ways. We were having our own struggles not to long ago. I couldn’t be prouder of the club the way they’ve come back. they’ve shown how resilient they are,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
Several players from both teams used pink bats. Major League Baseball granted special permission for players to use pink bats for Mother’s Day. It is part of a weeklong program to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. … RHP Mark Prior pitched in a simulated game Sunday. … The last time a player had five walks in a game was Barry Bonds on Sept. 25, 2004, against the Dodgers.