Defensive miscues loom large in loss to Padres

Defensive miscues loom large in loss to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant overthrew Anthony Rizzo at first base. Starlin Castro muffed a ground ball that he normally catches. Addison Russell was aggressive but couldn't catch a fly ball in shallow center.

Three errors, and all three led to unearned runs to help the Padres beat the Cubs, 4-3, on Tuesday. Chicago's streak of errorless games was snapped at eight.

"To have three really pedestrian plays beat us, it's tough," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Jason Hammel could not have pitched better than he did tonight. It's impossible. He was outstanding and kept getting better and kept making pitches. Without the errors, he could've pitched a complete game based on the number of pitches thrown after the mistakes."

Hammel fans eight over seven

Instead, Hammel did not get a decision, departing after seven innings with the game tied at 2.

"We gave them that game, we should've won that game," Hammel said. "Everything we did tonight, there's no way we should've lost that game."

Defensively, the Cubs had started well as Dexter Fowler made a great running catch of Cory Spangenberg's fly ball to start the Padres' first and Bryant made a nice stop on Derek Norris' hard-hit ball for the second out of the inning.

Upton reaches on Bryant's error

But Bryant's miscue came in the fifth when he fielded Justin Upton's grounder and sailed his throw over Rizzo. Upton eventually scored. In the seventh, Matt Kemp was safe on a fielding error by Castro, and one out later, Yangervis Solarte reached on a fielder's choice. Solarte ended up scoring the tying run on Will Venable's single.

"The only thing I can say is I have to make that play," Castro said. "It's not easy but I have to make that play. It's a routine ground ball. ... I think that's a play I make all year."

With the game tied at 2 in the eighth, pinch-hitter Clint Barmes reached on Russell's miscue, and then crossed the plate along with Spangenberg on Norris' double.

"I thought I had a pretty good read on the ball," Russell said. "I saw the ball off the bat pretty well. I thought I had a chance to get it. I got a good read, a good bead on it. It kept drifting away and drifting away, and no one else really called it, so I tried to do my best to catch the ball."

Russell, who is learning how to play second base at the big league level, said if Castro felt he could get the ball, he would've called for it.

"The person who is more aggressive on calling the ball, they have the best shot," Russell said. "At that time, I thought I had the best shot. It was catchable, I think so. It just played out the way it played out.

"For me, I think it was a good stepping stone," he said. "I was more vocal, more aggressive to that ball. Those are the steps I'm going to have to make playing second base."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.