It didn't work, as the Giants broke open a 3-2 game late and won 6-2. Cubs manager Lou Piniella was looking at the overall picture, as he rested many of his regulars: Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley.
The Cubs were coming off a night game Monday, and after Tuesday's contest, they caught a flight for Houston, where they open a two-game series Wednesday before they head to Milwaukee to play another division foe. Second, players such as Theriot and Soriano had started every game, and Piniella said he needed to give them a rest. The Cubs also were on the 15th day of playing 20 games in a row.
Key relievers Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg have been overworked of late. Marmol, the setup man, worked in five of the six previous games, as had Gregg.
"It's not easy," Piniella said. "The day-night, cold, the travel. I said I was going to have to rest this team, and that's exactly what we're doing. (Tuesday), the bullpen just didn't hold the game in check."
GIANTS 6, CUBS 2
Sean Marshall gave up a three-run homer to Bengie Molina in the first inning, but he worked into the eighth. Reliever Jeff Samardzija allowed two inherited runners to score and one of his own. The Cubs' winning streak ended at four.
NOTES, PLAYER NEWS
--2B Bobby Scales, 31, made his major league debut Tuesday and singled in his second at-bat against Lincecum in the fifth inning. The Cubs brought Scales up Monday to replace RHP Carlos Zambrano, who went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Scales has been in pro ball since 1999. He went to spring training with the Cubs as a non-roster man this year and last.
--Zambrano played catch on the outfield grass Tuesday. He has a Grade 2 strain of the left hamstring and is out two to 2 1/2 weeks.
--RHP Randy Wells worked out with the Cubs. He'll be officially recalled from Class AAA Iowa on Friday to start at Milwaukee. At Iowa, he's 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA. He says he has relied more on his four-seam fastball this year in addition to ironing out some mechanical issues.
--Samardzija gave up two hits and one run in the eighth inning and allowed two inherited runners to score. Piniella said Samardzija cannot get by in the big leagues on a fastball alone and that he wants him to work on his secondary pitches during his bullpen sessions. Samardzija worked as a starter with Class AAA Iowa to begin the year before his call-up April 23.
--CF Joey Gathright made his first start of the season. He led off and singled in the first inning against Lincecum. Gathright is batting .154 (2-for-13) and is without a homer or an RBI.
--The Sports XChange
NASHVILLE 8, IOWA 6 (CLASS AAA)
At Des Moines, the Cubs (13-11) collected 10 hits in the loss Tuesday. C Chris Robinson (3-for-4) paced the offense by tying a season-high three hits, including three doubles for four RBI. RF Brad Snyder (2-for-4) hit his sixth double to extend his hit streak to 15 straight games. RHP Mitch Atkins (1-3) was tagged for eight runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in the loss. He struck out four and walked three.
MISSISSIPPI 8, TENNESSEE 1 (CLASS AA)
At Jackson, Miss., the Smokies (12-10) tallied seven hits in the loss Tuesday with seven different players recording a hit. SS Darwin Barney (1-for-4) singled to extend his hit streak to five games. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 contests. RHP Hung-Wen Chen (2-2) started and was removed after just two innings due to a 58-minute rain delay. He suffered the loss, allowing one earned run and three hits.
DAYTONA 3, TAMPA 0 (CLASS HIGH-A)
At Tampa, Fla., the Cubs (12-13) tossed their second straight shutout en route to the win Tuesday. LHP James Leverton (2-2) started and threw five innings, allowing three hits and three walks. He struck out three batters. RHP Jake Muyco tossed three scoreless innings in relief with RHP David Cales closing things out for his fourth save of the season in as many chances. He has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings for a 0.77 ERA. At the plate, 2B Jake Opitz (3-for-4) led the offense with his third multi-hit game in four contests. Since being promoted from extended spring training, he is 8-for-17. LF Tyler Colvin (2-for-4, triple) and SS Starlin Castro (2-for-3, two doubles) each added two hits. 1B Russ Canzler (1-for-1, two walks) drove in two runs and reached base safely in three plate appearances.
PEORIA 7, LANSING 6 (CLASS-A)
At Lansing, Mich., the Chiefs (13-11) collected a season-high 15 hits in the victory Tuesday. LF Josh Harrison (4-for-5, two doubles) led the team with four hits to raise his average to .382. He has hit safely in 14 consecutive contests. CF Drew Rundle (2-for-4, double), SS Junior Lake (2-for-5) and 3B Josh Vitters (2-for-5, solo home run) each added two hits, while 1B Rebel Ridling (1-for-4, four RBI) hit the go-ahead three-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Chiefs the lead for good. He has 24 RBIs through 24 games. RHP Mike Perconte (2-1) got the win in relief, allowing one run and three hits in two innings. RHP Erik Hamren worked a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save – the most in the Cubs' system. RHP Aaron Shafer started and received a no-decision, allowing five runs and six hits in six innings.
Dude, Where's My Lineup?
Northsiders Report Top Stories
Cubs extend Pedro StropCubs signed relief pitcher Pedro Strop to a contract extension with a club option for a second year.
Northsiders Report1:25 PM
Cubs Feb. 23 NotebookChicago announces starting pitchers for spring training games and a rundown of the Cubs minor league affiliates as they prepare for opening day on April 6
Northsiders ReportYesterday at 10:48 AM
Cubs Feb. 21 NotebookGioskar Amaya, Miguel Mejia, Nick Sarianides, Elliot Soto and Cole Brocker are back with the Cubbies
Northsiders ReportTuesday at 3:07 PM
Cubs Feb. 20 NotebookCuba add another arm and a look at the other new minor leaguers in camp this spring
Northsiders ReportMonday at 12:28 PM
Cubs Feb. 19 NotebookSouth Bend promos, Cubs TV schedule, tickets go on sale Feb. 21, and new VP of human resources highlight today’s report.
Northsiders ReportSunday at 8:54 AM