SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs left San Diego for their bus ride to Los Angeles at an hour in which traffic wasn't bad. That doesn't mean the ride wouldn't be a long one.
Their Sunday had the potential to be much better. Chicago broke open a scoreless game with two runs in the 13th inning, but San Diego got even in its half, and the Padres escaped with a 3-2 victory with a run in the 15th.
The Cubs have lost 11 of 14, including an 8-6 defeat on Friday in which they squandered a 6-0 lead.
One positive from Sunday was the performance of starting pitcher Chris Rusin. The lefty was long gone when San Diego walked off with a win. He spent most of the afternoon watching the game on TV in the clubhouse, as his teammates failed to put away the Padres.
But that didn't overshadow his latest fine outing. Rusin pitched 6 1-3 innings and allowed three hits and four walks. He made the key pitches when he needed to, and kept his record at 2-3 while lowering his ERA to 2.64. He is 0-2 in his last three starts despite a 2.00 ERA.
"My offspeed and fastballs today were good," Rusin said. "I could throw them at any count, and that's what helped me get through the game."
Rusin continues to be a road highlight for a team that is under .500 away from Wrigley Field. He has thrown 19 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road, spanning three starts. According to STATS, he is the first Cubs rookie starter since day-to-day data became available in 1974, to put together a scoreless away streak as long.
"He was great," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He kept the ball down and there was not a lot of hard contact."
The Cubs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the 13th thanks in part to Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman hitting Nick Schierholtz's helmet with a throw after Schierholtz left the batter's box on what looked to be a potential bases-loaded, double play.
"I've never seen that one before," Sveum said.
Schierholtz said he got out of the box in an awkward manner because he tweaked his back on the swing. Then he got plunked by Guzman.