Wada whiffs 9, Bryant drives in go-ahead run in 3-2 Cubs win

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada left a lasting impression with the San Diego Padres even though he didn't last long enough to get the decision.

Wada struck out nine in 4 2-3 innings in his season debut and scored the tying run, and Kris Bryant drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory against the Padres on Wednesday night.

Wada opened the season on the disabled list with a left groin strain and made six rehab starts. He struck out seven of the first nine Padres batters.

"He was outstanding," manager Joe Maddon said. "He had great stuff. He had nine punchouts in 4 2-3, and I'm more about the Cubs winning as opposed to any particular pitcher winning. It's a great game for him to build off of. Very good command, nice composure, as much as you could expect from his first outing."

His only mistake was allowing a two-run homer to Justin Upton to straightaway center field to give the Padres a 2-1 lead with two outs in the fourth. It was his team-leading 11th, and Derek Norris was aboard on a one-out single.

"I wasn't thinking about much," Wada said. "It was the first time pitching in the big leagues this year and I was trying to do my best, and I was kind of following (catcher Miguel) Montero's lead, so there wasn't one specific thing that was working or anything like that."

The Padres "just struggled with timing him up first time through," Upton said. "He's got a little bit of a funky motion. He comes at you pretty quickly, too. The second time through we kind of had a feel for it."

The Cubs retook the lead in the fifth against Tyson Ross (2-4). Wada drew a leadoff walk and scored on Dexter Fowler's triple to right, just beating the relay throw by Jedd Gyorko. Fowler came in on Bryant's sac fly to left.

Wada allowed two runs and four hits.

"We've seen him before, but he was probably tonight a little sneakier than what I remember," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I think the fastball had a little giddy up on it. He was really painting the corners, I thought, early in the game, a lot of called strikes, a lot of called third strikes. A little bit of hop in the hitting area tonight. We knew the mix of pitches that was coming but he was dotting early."

Justin Grimm (1-0) got the win after pitching 1 1-3 scoreless innings. He struck out three and walked two. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances, striking out Abraham Almonte with a runner on third to end the game.

The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bryant singled with one out, advanced when Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch, stole third and scored on Starlin Castro's groundout.

Ross (2-4) allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked three.


Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 5.15) is scheduled to start the finale of the three-game series. He had a no-decision in the Cubs' 7-6, 11-inning victory against San Diego at Wrigley Field on April 18.

Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2, 6.75) gets another chance after allowing seven runs and seven hits in three innings of a 10-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

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