CHICAGO – When asked through a translator if he was nervous in his second big-league start, Tsuyoshi Wada said simply, “Yes.”
It showed as Wada (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss to San Diego on Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old Japanese left-hander seemed shaky from the opening pitch in his first appearance at Wrigley Field, after allowing just one unearned run in a no-decision at Cincinnati on July 8.
The Padres scored two runs in the first, using a four-pitch walk to Chris Denorfia, triple by Yangervis Solarte and sacrifice fly by Carlos Quentin. Even if Chicago briefly tied the game at 3-3 on Luis Valbuena’s three-run homer in the fourth, San Diego chased Wada in the next inning.
“I didn’t have the control and overall wasn’t as good as in Cincinnati,” Wada said.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria saw pretty much the same thing.
“It seemed like he just didn’t get into a rhythm,” Renteria said. “When you watched him on the mound today, he was constantly fidgeting.”
Tommy Medica hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning and Ian Kennedy pitched six strong innings as the Padres rolled to the win.
On a cool, unseasonably summer night in Chicago, Kennedy (8-9) won his third straight decision. He allowed three runs, three hits, while striking out six and pitching around a season-high five walks. He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning.
“You’ve just got to tip your hat to (Kennedy), Renteria said. “We just weren’t able to put enough together to win that ballgame.”
Medica finished with three hits and drove in two runs for the Padres, who came into the game with baseball’s worst batting average at .215.
The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 15 games.
San Diego added on to its early 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Jeff Francoeur, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A El Paso before the game, singled in his major league season debut, then scored from first on Chris Nelson’s double. He finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
Kennedy was unable to hold the 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. He allowed a pair of walks, then with two outs, Valbuena drove Kennedy’s 0-1 pitch into the right-field bleachers to tie the game. It was Valbuena’s sixth of the season.
Wada, who struggled with his control the entire night, walked the first two batters in the fifth. His night ended when Medica hit an RBI ground-rule double in the left-field ivy.
Rockies 6, Nationals 4
In Denver, Jorge De La Rosa struck out a season-high 11 as he pitched efficiently into the eighth inning and the wobbly Colorado bullpen held off Washington’s late rally, helping the Rockies snap a seven-game.
LaTroy Hawkins got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to protect De La Rosa’s fine effort.
De La Rosa (11-6) was one strikeout away from matching his career high set in 2009. The hard-throwing lefty allowed two runs — one earned — before being lifted for a reliever with one out in the eighth.
Stephen Strasburg (7-8) settled in after a shaky start, giving up four runs — three of which were in the first — and nine hits over 5⅓ innings.
Brewers 5, Reds 1
In Milwaukee, Mark Reynolds homered twice and the Brewers completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati.
Kyle Lohse pitched 6⅔ innings to hand the Reds their sixth straight loss since the All-Star break.
Lohse (11-4) walked two, struck out three and allowed four hits.
Braves 6, Marlins 1
In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer and Ervin Santana won his second straight start for the hosts.
Freeman, an All-Star first baseman, broke out of a slump in the season series against the Marlins, ending a 2-for-44 stretch by hitting his 14th homer as the Braves took a 5-0 lead in the four-run third inning.
Giants 3, Phillies 1
In Philadelphia, Hunter Pence drove in all of San Francisco’s runs with a double in the ninth and Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings.
Bumgarner (12-7) gave up five hits while striking out six and walking none in a pitchers’ duel with A.J. Burnett.
It was the sixth win in seven games for the first-place Giants, who moved two games ahead of Los Angeles in the NL West.
Pirates 6, Dodgers 1
In Pittsburgh, Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs as the Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in the win.
Pittsburgh batted around in the first against Haren, who has lost four consecutive starts. The right-hander settled down to get through five innings.
Haren retired the last 10 batters he faced but fell to 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA in July.