Jeff Samardzija's first major-league start turned into a disaster in a 12-5 loss to the Phillies as the Cubs lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Making things worse, an obnoxious fan sitting in the left-field bleacher tossed a cup of beer on Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino as he caught Jake Fox's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Veteran right-hander Pedro Martinez notched his 215th career victory in his Phillies debut, allowing three runs over five innings for his first triumph since Aug. 31, 2008, when he pitched for the Mets.
The Phillies rocked Samardzija early and often, then continued to pound left-hander Sean Marshall in an eight-run fourth inning. After Samardzija retired the first batter he faced, he gave up a triple to Victorino, an RBI double to Chase Utley and a run-scoring triple to Ryan Howard. All three hits were pounded into the right-field corner, making it look like Samardzija was throwing batting practice.
After Jeff Baker's RBI single in the second, Victorino's two-run homer in the third made it 4-1 before the Phillies exploded in the fourth. Samardzija gave up three singles before retiring Martinez and left after 74 pitches. But Rollins crushed Marshall's first pitch for a three-run homer, and Marshall served up another three-run shot to Raul Ibanez moments later.
The Phillies wound up sending 13 men to the plate in the inning to take a 12-1 lead.
Things settled down a bit after the big inning until the Cubs began to make some noise in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Victorino got soaked after catching a fly ball on the warning track.
Video replays suggested security guards appeared to remove the wrong fan, though one man was in custody at the end of the game. A Cubs spokesperson said they were working with the Chicago Police Department and planned to prosecute the fan to the fullest extent of the law. The fan's name was not immediately released.
After getting off to a hot start after the All-Star break, the Cubs are reeling against good competition, namely the Rockies and Phillies. Manager Lou Piniella has been taking a beating on talk-radio, causing general manager Jim Hendry to defend his manager before Wednesday's game.
''We're just going through a tough time,'' Hendry said. ''Coming out of the break, everyone was applauding him for getting it turned around the second half. We've lost a lot of games where we haven't knocked in runs with men in scoring position, and we've had a couple where we got kicked, and rightfully so.
''Some of the teams we're playing against like the Rockies and Phillies, are outstanding clubs Â
I think you see the same Lou. When you get beat and expectations aren't being met, that world, whether it's the media, radio or anything else, you're going to get your share of criticism. We all go through it. We're not doing well and it just comes with the territory.''
Note: Phillies RHP Brett Myers threw two simulated innings with no problems in a workout at Clearwater, Fla. Myers, who had hip surgery on June 4, threw 32 pitches. He said he hopes to pitch in a rehab game soon.
Paul Sullivan is a writer for the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
A Cubs Fan Throws a Beer at Shane Victorino
It's hard to say who embarrassed themselves more Wednesday night at Wrigley Field -- the Cubs or one of the left-field bleacher bums. Either way, it was definitely not the Phillies.
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