Cubs 4, Padres 1
CHICAGO (AP)—A couple of Wrigley Field’s passionate fans made it stressful for the home team Friday, reaching over the ivy-covered walls for balls that were in play.
“When you come to the ballpark to watch the game, if the ball goes over and you catch the home run, that’s a home run,” said Chicago right fielder Cliff Floyd, who missed a leaping catch Friday because he said a fan touched the ball.
“If it stays in the ball park, you got to get the opportunity to catch the ball, especially your home boys,” Floyd said. “If it’s them, maybe you reach over. But if it’s us, I need the opportunity to catch the ball. It hit me in the shoulder. I’m glad it didn’t hit me in the face.”
Both plays recalled the 2003 NL championship series, when fan Steve Bartman interfered with a foul ball in the eighth inning of Game 6, the Cubs collapsed and went on to lose the series to the Florida Marlins.
Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who was 4-for-4, hit a long liner to left in the fifth that bounced off the fence on top of the wall as a fan stretched for the ball. Replays were inconclusive if the fan had touched the ball and Lee headed into second with a double. Piniella came out to argue for a home run, but after the umpires conferred, Lee remained at second. Wells then retired the next two batters.
Umpires said after the game that Lee’s ball did not clear the wall.
“I didn’t know whether the fan touched the ball or not. And so I left it in play. And then looking at the replay, the guy touched it,” second base umpire Paul Naubert said. “Lou thought it was gone.”
San Diego tied the game 1-1 in the top of the sixth. Hiram Bocachica doubled and scored when Adrian Gonzalez hit a high fly to right that Floyd leaped for but couldn’t catch when the fan reached over the wall before the ball landed in the ivy.
Gonzalez made it to third with a triple and both Piniella and Floyd argued. But Gonzalez remained at third. The fan was escorted from his seat before Ted Lilly (5-4) retired the next two batters.
Floyd said he expressed his displeasure to the fan. “I talked to him and let him know it’s not right,” he said. “If they get more runs than that, we’re in a hole.”
First base umpire Mike Everitt did not rule fan interference because he did not see the fan touching the ball. After watching the replay, it still wasn’t clear.”
“Cliff was telling us that the fan interfered with it and he could have caught the ball. He wanted spectator interference and a catch on the ball. There is no way he could have caught the ball,” crew chief Gerry Davis said.
Asked why some fans still reach out for balls, Piniella said; “You know what? Did you ever have a couple of beers and catch a ball? What can I say?”
The Padres had some problems earlier this season when umpires changed an apparent homer by Josh Bard to a double.
“If you watch enough baseball this happens across the landscape of the game,” Padres manager Bud Black said
Lilly, who was ejected after two-thirds of an inning in his previous start against Atlanta for hitting Edgar Renteria with a pitch, allowed six hits over eight innings.
Ryan Dempster worked the ninth for his 15th save in 17 opportunities.
Wells (3-4) went six innings, giving up 10 hits and four runs.
Fontenot hit a two-run homer and two outs later Soriano connected on a long solo shot, his 11th of the season. Soriano watched the ball sail out and went the first couple of feet up the base line backward.
Wells wasn’t watching Soriano, but said he would look at the tape to see just what he did after the homer.
“I hope he didn’t do it. If he admired it, file it. I don’t show people up,” Wells said.
Mark DeRosa, who made two standout defensive plays in the top of the fourth, led off the bottom half with a double. Michael Barrett’s single moved him to third and Fontenot put the Cubs up with a sacrifice fly.
Lee’s three doubles were a career high. … Geoff Blum started at second for the Padres because Marcus Giles was ill. … Chase Headley was called up from Double-A San Antonio and started at third base for San Diego.