CHICAGO (AP) -- Shawn Estes had some serious doubts if he was ever going to get his 100th career victory.
Khalil Greene hit a three-run homer to help Estes reach that milestone and win his first game since 2005 with the San Diego Padres' 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.Estes pitched 5 1/3 innings and the Padres' bullpen secured the win with 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in nine chances. It was the 531st save of his career.Estes (1-0), who pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief on Thursday, only made one start in 2006 for the Padres and missed the 2007 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He replaced Justin Germano in the rotation."I didn't think I was going to make it back last year. I was going through a lot of pain in my elbow again," said Estes. "I came into spring training having to deal with the mental side of pitching again and having to make a team and having to swallow my pride a little bit and going back to Triple-A to get things right."Alfonso Soriano led off the first inning with a home run and Reed Johnson had a two-run double for the Cubs.Cubs starter Jason Marquis (1-3) couldn't hold an early 3-0 lead. He gave up back-to-back singles to Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Hairston in the fourth inning before Greene's homered onto Waveland Ave. to tie the game.With two outs, Marquis gave up a single to Estes, who moved to second base on a wild pitch then scored on Jody Gerut's double to give the Padres a 4-3 lead.Marquis pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up four runs and nine hits."He had five good innings and one bad inning and it cost him a ballgame," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella.Estes showed a little rust early, giving up Soriano's homer and Johnson's double in the second inning. Estes allowed three runs, two earned on seven hits. He struck out two and walked one."Soriano's first at-bat wasn't a very good greeting for a guy who hadn't [started] in two years in the big leagues but I was able to make pitches after that and settle down," said Estes.Soriano now has 45 leadoff homers, passing Brady Anderson for third most in major league history.The Cubs couldn't take advantage of a strong wind blowing out to left as Estes was able to locate and mix his pitches after the second inning and keep the Cubs off-balance."I think he just settled into a rhythm and he was throwing a lot of strikes and he was going after guys. He fell behind some big hitters in big situations and came right after them," said Johnson.
Padres 3B Edgar Gonzalez, older brother of Adrian, made his first big league start. ... Cubs RHP Sean Gallagher will make his second start of the season on Friday against the Pirates. Gallagher pitched 4 1/3 innings in a no decision against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Gallagher made a spot start for Carlos Zambrano, who was a late scratch because of wet weather. ... The game was played through steady rain.