Cubs 4, Tigers 3
It was another difficult day during a frustrating season for the Chicago Cubs. Only this time, it had a happy ending.
Darwin Barney had three RBIs and the Cubs used shortstop Jhonny Peralta's two throwing errors in the eighth inning to push across the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
''It's just nice to get the breaks,'' Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, ''and then a lot of times you'll get errors or miscues by the way you run the bases.''
With two outs and two on, Tony Campana hit a grounder to Peralta, whose throw pulled Ramon Santiago off the bag at second. Starlin Castro then hit another grounder to Peralta and the veteran infielder threw wide of first, allowing Barney to scamper home.
''It's kind of hard,'' said Peralta, who was reinstated from the paternity list before the game. ''When that situation happens, obviously I don't feel good about what happened. I tried to make it the best I could do.''
Tigers reliever Phil Coke (1-3) was ready when reporters entered the visiting clubhouse, showing a replay of Castro's ball that showed Prince Fielder kept his foot on the base when he pulled in Peralta's second errant throw.
''I knew for a fact the guy was out at first base, because there's no way that his body came off the bag with the ball not in his glove,'' Coke said. ''There's no way. He's pushing off of the bag to get to the ball.''
Carlos Marmol (1-2) got the last two outs of the eighth for the victory and Shawn Camp finished for his first save as the Cubs snapped a seven-game losing streak against Detroit in their first matchup since the Tigers swept a three-game series at Comerica Park from June 23-25, 2009.
Barney had a run-scoring groundout and a clutch two-run double, helping the Cubs build a 3-0 lead hours after they fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. James Rowson, the organization's minor league hitting coordinator, was promoted to replace Jaramillo on an interim basis.
''It's unfortunate,'' Barney said. ''You never like to see somebody go, but we want to move forward. We've got to focus on trying to win ballgames, and we're going to miss Rudy.''
Longtime manager Jim Leyland and the Tigers returned to Wrigley Field for the first time since 2006 and found a receptive audience at the cozy neighborhood ballpark. There were dueling chants of ''Let's go Tigers'' and ''Let's go Cubbies'' among the crowd of 41,164, and Detroit jerseys and T-shirts were common in the stands and concourses.
Fielder also played his first game on Chicago's North Side since he signed with the Tigers over the winter. The big first baseman spent his first seven major league seasons with Milwaukee and was reunited Tuesday with Sveum, who agreed to become the Cubs' manager in November after a six-year run on the Brewers' coaching staff.
''He's one of my favorite, if not my favorite guy I've ever coached,'' Sveum said.
With the wind blowing in on an unseasonably cool night in Chicago, Fielder and fellow Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera each received a Wrigley refresher course when their long fly balls in the sixth each died in the outfield. Paul Maholm grinned as he walked off the mound following Fielder's inning-ending drive, but Detroit was just warming up at the plate.
''That's Wrigley Field,'' Leyland said. ''Some days it blows out, some days it blows in. Thursday afternoon it could be blowing out. That's part of the game.''
The Tigers put the first two batters on in the seventh, chasing Maholm from the game. With one out and the bases loaded, pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago hit an RBI single off Casey Coleman and Austin Jackson singled in a pair to tie it at 3.
Jackson's clutch hit was his second in as many games. He also hit a tying two-run double off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Detroit's 7-6 victory at Cincinnati on Sunday.
Maholm allowed two runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked one. The left-hander is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in his past six starts.
Chicago began the day ranked No. 27 in the majors with a .304 on-base percentage. The Cubs also were ranked 27th with 222 runs scored and No. 19 with a .247 team batting average, leading to Jaramillo's dismissal.
''It's not based on results,'' president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. ''We're trying to get a new voice with a new message. We have a certain hitting philosophy we believe in, and we have a lot of growth that awaits us as an organization to try to get there.''
NOTES: The Tigers placed reliever Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and recalled right-hander Luke Putkonen from Triple-A Toledo. The DL stint is retroactive to June 3. ... Two concerts during the Cubs' road trip did quite a number on the surface at Wrigley Field. There was a new section of grass that stretched from center to right field, and a damaged pathway that cut across the middle of the outfield. ... Cubs Cs Geovany Soto (left knee surgery) and Welington Castillo (sprained right knee ligament) are both out on minor league rehab assignments. ''This weekend we'll evaluate, probably Thursday, we'll evaluate and see where they're at, but I know they're both doing pretty well,'' Sveum said. ... Peralta and his wife, Molly, welcomed twin girls Gabriela Rosa and Laina Katherine on Saturday.