CHICAGO – Adrian Morejon started his first major league game while sometimes-starter Cal Quantrill came out of the bullpen.
The strategy worked. And the offense did the rest.
Francisco Mejia homered, Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in three runs and the San Diego Padres avoided the sweep by beating the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Sunday.
Mejia and Tatis had two hits apiece for the Padres, who scored three runs in the ninth and have won just two of their last nine.
Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs in seven innings, and Anthony Rizzo had two hits for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who are 7-2 after the All-Star break.
“I'll sign up for it any day of the week,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the record.
Quantrill (3-2) threw 52/3 scoreless innings of relief, retiring 14 of his final 15 batters. He struck out six and walked none.
“Whatever role we give him: start a game, relief, throw one inning, throw five innings out of the pen,” manager Andy Green said. “He's done it all really well. Yesterday when I talked to him, I told him, 'Hey, your job tomorrow is to get the ball to Kirby (Yates),' and he took it straight to Kirby today.”
Pinch hitter Greg Garcia was hit by a pitch from Carl Edwards Jr. to bring in a run in the ninth after Kyle Ryan gave up a walk and a bunt single. Tatis followed with a two-run single. Edwards was making his first appearance since June 9 after spending time on the IL for a thoracic strain.
Hendricks (7-8) gave up four hits in his longest start since he came off the IL July 2.
“He was good,” Maddon said. “We just didn't score enough runs obviously and it set up the bullpen differently for us at the end of the game.”