Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/6/24): Padres 6, Cubs 3 – Steele Sharp in Return, 6th Inning Dooms Cubs

The Cubs welcomed ace Justin Steele back from the injured list Monday night as the Padres came to Wrigley for three games. Steele pitched well but one bad inning from Chicago’s bullpen put them in a hole that a late rally could not overcome and they went down to defeat.

The Cubs lefty showed no signs of rust as he pitched into the 5th inning, allowing just three hits and a walk. Old friend Yu Darvish was locked in as well and kept the home team off of scoreboard in his five frames of work.

Things went sideways in the top of the 6th when reliever Richard Lovelady gave up a pair of soft singles and a double steal that put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jurickson Profar then rolled a single through the drawn-in infield to put San Diego on top 2-0.

Daniel Palencia entered for Lovelady and gave up an RBI single to Donovan Solano before loading the bases with still nobody out. Catcher Luis Campusano promptly cleared the bags with a double into the right field corner that put the Padres ahead 6-0.

Christopher Morel got two of the runs back in the bottom of the frame when he hit a home run off Yuki Matsui. Yan Gomes took Enyel De Los Santos deep for a solo shot in the 7th to reduce the Cubs’ deficit to 6-3.

Chicago had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 8th inning when they filled the bases with nobody out. That’s when San Diego called in their terrific closer Robert Suarez, who made quick work of the final five outs of the game to seal the 6-3 victory for his team. (Box score)

Key Moment

Pete Crow-Armstrong faced former Cub Jeremiah Estrada with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 8th. PCA was unable to make contact as he struck out, then Suarez came in and struck out Gomes before getting Nico Hoerner to pop out to escape the jam with no one scoring.

Why the Cubs Lost

This was a very evenly matched contest except for the one bad inning by the home team. The failure of the offense to come through in a couple of big scoring chances also proved costly.

Stats That Matter

  • Nothing to complain about with Steele’s performance: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 K, and 1 BB.
  • Mike Tauchman got on base three more times Monday with two hits and a walk.
  • Morel did it again with a walk and a home run, which is very to see.

Bottom Line

A win would have been great but the return of what appears to be a healthy Justin Steele is much more important for the season as a whole. It should help the bullpen by pushing the electric arm of Ben Brown into short relief. Next up is the return of Cody Bellinger, which will make the lineup much longer.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 6:40pm CT. Shōta Imanaga gets the nod against Randy Vásquez with a broadcast available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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