SAN DIEGO -- When Clayton Richard saw Padres manager Bud Black come out of the dugout in the ninth inning, he thought the worst.
But Black surprised Richard by leaving him in the game to complete a five-hitter and give the San Diego Padres a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and a sweep of the three-game series.With closer Huston Street, perfect in 20 save chances this season and ready to go in the bullpen, most expected Black to lift Richard with one out and a runner on first base.But Black said he wanted to look in his eyes, and he liked what he saw."I told him, 'You're throwing the ball great. Let's get a ground ball. This your game," said Black, who added he had no intention of pulling Richard."When he came out of the dugout, it was something I was dreading," catcher John Baker said.This was the third time this season Richard pitched into the ninth inning before he finally got his third career complete game and his first since September 2010."I was hoping he wouldn't take me out," Richard said. "I'm glad to get that opportunity to finish it out. You never want to come out in that situation."The loss was the eighth straight for the Cubs.Richard (9-11), coming off one of his better starts of the season, held the Cubs to five singles and pitched out of trouble three times."He had command of the bottom of the strike zone," Baker said. "He made the Cubs react to how he was pitching."Richard struck out five, walked one and hit a batter as the Cubs had a runner reach third base three times.The lefty has two career shutouts.San Diego's runs came on Will Venable's RBI double in the second inning and Yonder Alonso's run-scoring single in the eighth.Chicago scored four runs -- all in Tuesday night's 7-4 loss -- and had 15 hits in the three-game series."A lot of guys are going to be cutting their teeth against some good teams," losing pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. "We know it's not going to be easy but we are also not here to make excuses."Samardzija (7-10) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two."I felt I managed their lineup all right," Samardzija said. "I kept the walks down. I thought all my pitches were working."In his last start, Richard gave up one run and scattered eight hits over seven innings in Friday's 3-1 win over the New York Mets.San Diego scored the game's first run when Chase Headley led off the second with a double and scored one out later on Venable's double.Chris Denorfia doubled with two outs in the eighth and went to third on first baseman Anthony Rizzo's error before Alonso blooped a single to left.Chicago's Starlin Castro singled in the sixth to snap an 0-for-19 drought. Castro's single sent Alfonso Soriano to third after he was hit by a pitch with two outs and stole second. But Welington Castillo grounded out to end the inning.Samardzija struck out swinging to end the seventh inning and snapped his bat in two over his right leg.
San Diego's sweep was its first at home since taking four straight from the Marlins last August. ... The sweep was the Padres' third this season. ... The clubs evened the season series at 3-3. ... The last time Chicago won the season series against San Diego was in 2005. ... Cubs manager Dale Sveum gave struggling rookie OF Brett Jackson the day off. Jackson has struck out eight times in his first 11 major-league at-bats, including four on Monday and three more on Tuesday. "I'm not surprised that he's had some strikeouts. We knew that was going to happen," Sveum said. "It basically comes down to swinging at strikes. It's not like he's swinging through anything, balls in the strike zone. Right now, he's just swinging out of the strike zone." Jackson was promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. ... Padres 1B Alonso (sore hamstring) and Cubs LF Soriano (swelling in right hand) were both back in the starting lineup after missing one game. ... Reds RHP Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51 ERA) will face Cubs RHP Chris Volstad (0-8, 7.22) to start a three-game set Thursday in Chicago. San Diego is off Thursday before opening a seven-game trip at Pittsburgh on Friday.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 8: Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs pitches during the second inning of of a...