Cubs pitchers implode; balk, wild pitches lead to Giants' victory

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- It was an unusual way to win but the San Francisco Giants aren't complaining.
Chicago Cubs reliever Shawn Camp gave up the go-ahead run on a 10th inning balk, scoring Giants' catcher Hector Sanchez as San Francisco went on to claim a 10-7 victory on Sunday afternoon in a wild series finale at Wrigley Field.
Camp's balk came with Sanchez on third and Brandon Crawford at first with one out in a game that included a record five wild pitches by Chicago pitchers in one inning.
But it was Camp's miscue that cost the Cubs a chance at victory.
"It was the first time that happened in my career," said Camp, who had contemplated a throw to first when he was called for the costly balk. "I let the team down today and I've got to bounce back and not let that happen again."
The roof caved in from there for the Chicago. Buster Posey followed with a single to center, scoring Crawford with an insurance run. Marco Scutaro then followed with a double to score Angel Pagan for a three-run lead.
The victory gave the Giants the series win, the first time they've taken three of four at Wrigley Field since 1999.
"You had three one-run games going into today and here you're going into extra innings," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Exciting games. I think we all need a day off after that series."
The balk was but one problem on a day that saw the two Cubs pitchers set a dubious record.
The Giants took advantage of Edwin Jackson's and Michael Bowden's lack of control during the Cubs' sixth inning implosion to score four runs to take a 5-4 lead.
The two Cubs pitchers combined for four walks and five wild pitches in the inning as the Giants erased a 4-1 deficit.
Hunter Pence opened the inning with a walk. Jackson promptly threw the first wild pitch of the inning, and Pence took second. Following a walk to Brandon Belt, Blanco doubled Pence home.
Jackson's second wild pitch of the inning sent Belt to third and after he walked Crawford, Jackson's day was over.
Enter Bowden, who was just as wild.
Three wild pitches, one walk and a single later, the Giants had the lead.
"It's inexcusable to let your team down like that when you self-imploded like that and not make an adjustment to regain control of your pitches," Jackson said.
The Giants added a single run in the seventh. Blanco double off reliever Hector Rondon with two out, driving in Brandon Belt for a 6-4 lead.
The Cubs got one run back in the seventh on Gonzalez' first home run of the season, sending reliever Chad Gaudin's first pitch to left and out of the park to Waveland Avenue.
The Cubs rallied with two runs in the eighth to slip ahead of the Giants 7-6 when Alberto Gonzalez' sacrifice to left off Giants reliever Santiago Casilla scored Alfonso Soriano with a go-ahead run.
Earlier in the inning, Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt walked Luis Valbuena to score Anthony Rizzo to tie the game.
But Camp's bid to lock down a win in the bottom of the ninth was thwarted when Pence slammed a two-out solo home run to left, which tied the game at 7.
"I've made that pitch a thousand times in my career and it was just a hanging breaking ball and he hits hanging breaking balls," Camp said. "That situation just can't happen, it's unacceptable and it cost us the game."
The situation couldn't have been more dramatic or desperate for the Giants.
"It's hard to get bigger than that," Bochy said. "We had two outs, two strikes; down to the last strike there and he really delivered. That's our only hope at that point and he really knew it."
Sergio Romo, the last of seven Giants pitchers, earned his seventh save. George Kontos, who worked one inning earned his first win of the season while Camp, the sixth of six Cubs pitchers, took the loss.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum tried to find some positives for a team that has now lost two straight and seven of nine.
"The guys battled. We had the lead, swung the bats good early and got some big hits," he said. "Gonzalez came up big a couple of times. We (had) the lead with two outs with two strikes (in the ninth)."
NOTES: Sandoval was in Sunday's starting lineup despite banging his shin in a ninth inning tumble over a short wall while chasing a pop foul on Saturday ... The news wasn't as good for Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a left oblique strain after striking out to end Saturday's game ... At the same time, the Cubs claimed 31-year-old right-handed pitcher Kameron Loe off waivers from Seattle. He was 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in four relief appearances with the Mariners ... Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney also expected to be activated this week from the 15-day DL. Barney has yet to play after suffering a leg injury in spring training ... DeJesus, the Cubs leadoff batter had five doubles entering Sunday's series finale, tied with five others for the National League lead ... Posey was supposed to have two days off after Bochy opted to sit him Sunday. Posey's hitting just .211 and is hitless in three games, but the Giants manager is not worried. "As you saw last year as the season went he got better and better," said. "As the weather warms up, so does he." Posey entered late in the game as a pinch-hitter ... The Cubs are off Monday then open a three-game home interleague series with Texas with night games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Giants are also off Monday before opening a three-game set in Milwaukee.

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