The Padres came close to knocking off the best team in baseball Tuesday.
But even an unlikely grand slam couldn’t prevent the Cubs from winning their 8th straight contest, this time by a count of 8-7.
Chicago improved to 25-6, which just so happens to be the best record for any MLB team through 31 games since the Detroit Tigers’ hot start in 1984.
The Padres fell behind 5-0 in the 3rd inning when the top part of the Cubs lineup went to town on young pitcher Cesar Vargas.
Former USD product Kris Bryant smacked a 2-run double and later scored on a single by Ben Zobrist. Zobrist finished 4-for-4 while Vargas only lasted 4 innings and gave up 6 runs on 10 hits.
The highlight of the game for the Friars was a pinch-hit grand slam by Alex Dickerson in the 8th inning.
The Poway native got his team back in the ball game to make it 8-7. But the Padres could not get any closer after that.
"A special moment for me and all the work I've put in to this point," said Dickerson, who was promoted from Triple-A El Paso just last week.
The fact that it happened at Wrigley Field - which opened in 1914 - meant a great deal.
"This is really a historic place," Dickerson added. "A very big spot in baseball, so many famous players have played here and it's such an old park. It's really special to be able to make my mark in my career at a place like this."
Melvin Upton Junior hit a solo homer to give him 3 jacks on the year and Jose Pirela added 2 hits and started at second base.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez also left the game with a leg cramp after hitting a RBI double in the 5th inning, but manager Andy Green said afterwards that Ramirez “gave a thumbs up” at the chance of being in the lineup on Wednesday.
Hopefully that is the case because otherwise San Diego would be without 4 of its infielders. Cory Spangenberg (quad), Yangervis Solarte (hamstring) and Jemile Weeks (hamstring) are all currently unavailable while nursing injuries.
San Diego will send Colin Rea to the mound in game one of the scheduled doubleheader at noon PT. Kyle Hendricks gets the nod for the Cubs.
Game 2 will feature Padres starter Drew Pomeranz against Jon Jay’s former Cardinals teammate John Lackey.