SEATTLE – It didnt matter the Chicago Cubs nearly blew a six-run lead against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
As far as starting pitcher Edwin Jackson is concerned, the only important part was that the Cubs hung on for a 7-6 victory.
An ugly win is better than a pretty loss any day, Jackson said. We were fortunate enough that we had a lot of runs so when they did come back and score there we were still winning. Thats the most important thing, when you come out of the inning that youre still winning, regardless of how they came back.
Chicago led 7-1 after four innings. The Mariners comeback started against Jackson (4-10), who pitched into the seventh inning, allowing three runs and seven hits and striking out six. But it really got going once the game was turned over to the Cubs bullpen, which has blown 16 save chances and gave up three runs in the eighth.
It looked real easy for a while, but we all know thats why we play nine innings, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs tied a season high by hitting six doubles, including two each by Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney. Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs for Chicago, which took two out of three in the series against Seattle.
Kevin Gregg pitched a hitless ninth for his 13th save, a day after blowing his first save chance of the season.
I want to pitch every day, Gregg said. Coming off a blown save yesterday, I want to get right back out there. I dont want to sit on it at all.
Seattle starter Jeremy Bonderman (1-2) was chased after giving up six runs – four earned – in 3 1/3 innings.
The loss was the first for Bonderman since being called up June 2.
Bondermans trouble against the Cubs started in the second inning when the Cubs doubled four times, leading to three runs. Soriano and Rizzo led off the inning with doubles, and with one out Brian Bogusevic and Barney hit consecutive RBI doubles.
Doubles are good. Runs are better, Barney said. Once something good happens, good things start going through your mind, and thats the whole battle in this game.
In the fourth, Barney led off with another double and scored when Welington Castillos grounder to third went past Kyle Seager for a two-base error. Starlin Castros run-scoring single marked the end for Bonderman.
Reliever Blake Beavan gave up an RBI double to Soriano and another run on Rizzos single as the Cubs took their 7-1 lead. That was the end of the offense for Chicago, which managed only one hit over the final five innings.
At this level you cant ever assume, Barney said. Once you start assuming, you start laying down a little bit. Thats just not a luxury we have – or anyone has.