SAN DIEGO -- With the game on the line, Jeff Samardzija came through with a clutch performance.
"I had a couple of tight situations that I kept my cool," Samardzija said. "That's what it's all about."
Samardzija escaped a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the eighth with just one run allowed as the Chicago Cubs held off the San Diego Padres with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 30,870 at Petco Park.
"It made it interesting," Samardzija said of the late jam. "But being efficient early in the game allows you to have that cushion of pitches to work through some of that stuff. They did a good job putting good bats together there and putting guys on. And then that bunt was outstanding. To get out of that felt really good.
"I tip my hat to Barney, too, for giving me those runs."
Darwin Barney homered and drove in two runs, including the game-winner, as the Cubs (55-74) ended a four-game skid and bounced back from Friday night's debacle when they blew a six-run lead and allowed the Padres (58-71) to rally for an 8-6 win.
Barney's RBI double in the seventh inning scored Darnell McDonald, who had walked, to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. With two outs, former Padre Anthony Rizzo singled home Barney against reliever Nick Vincent to make it 3-1.
"[Barney] put a couple of good swings on the ball today, so you have to give him credit for hitting the mistakes, and our guys did a good job of crawling back in there late in the game," said Padres pitcher Eric Stults, who suffered the loss. "But we weren't able to push across the tying runs or go-ahead run."
The Padres loaded the bases after pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay walked, Will Venable singled and Alexi Amarista reached on a bunt that dribbled up the third-base line and stayed fair. Yonder Alonso's sacrifice fly scored Kotsay to cut the Cubs' lead to 3-2, but Samardzija induced Jedd Gyorko to fly out to left and then struck out Logan Forsythe after issuing an intentional walk to Chase Headley.
"That add-on run was huge," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Samardzija, who was coming off a complete-game victory over the Washington Nationals in his last outing on Aug. 19, worked eight innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. Samardzija (8-11) struck out seven and walked two (one intentional).
"To come out of that inning with only one run (was the difference)," Sveum said. "That's why you leave a guy like (Samardzija) in the game."
Kevin Gregg retired the side in order in the ninth for his 26th save.
The hot-hitting Venable, who went 3-for-4, homered for the Padres for the second consecutive game. Venable has hit safely in 19 of the last 20 games, batting .383 during that stretch. He also tied former Padre Adrian Gonzalez for the single-season club mark for homers at Petco with 14. Venable has 19 overall, the most since Mike Cameron hit 21 in 2007.
Stults (8-11) allowed three runs and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Barney drove an 0-2 change-up from Stults over the left field wall for a 1-0 Cubs lead with one out in the fifth.
"I'm just happy to be in the lineup every day," said Barney, a .221 hitter who tied his career best for homers with his seventh.
Venable added to his career high in homers, lining a 2-2 Samardzija slider into the bleachers in right for a 1-1 tie with one out in the sixth.
NOTES: Padres RHP Edinson Volquez was designated for assignment. Volquez was 9-10 with a 6.01 ERA in 142 1/3 innings this season. He was shelled Friday night, lasting just 2/3 of an inning and giving up six runs (five earned) against the Cubs. RHP Brad Brach was recalled from Triple-A Tucson. ... Cubs C Welington Castillo will return to the lineup Sunday. Castillo has missed the last three games with bruised ribs. ... San Diego OF/1B Kyle Blanks will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday with Triple-A Tucson. Blanks has been on the disabled list since July 12 with tendinitis in his left Achilles'. ... Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (8-8, 3.74) will face Cubs LHP Chris Rusin (2-3, 3.08) in the series finale on Sunday.