CHICAGO – Starlin Castro was too quick in the field while Scott Feldman was too slow.
Partly because of those problems on defense Thursday, the Chicago Cubs gave away a five-run lead in a 7-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
With runners on first and third and two outs in the fourth inning, Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong hit a grounder to shortstop. Castro rushed the play and botched it, allowing San Francisco to score its first run.
Feldman (0-2) was slow to cover first base on Angel Pagans chopper to the right side, handing the Giants another run on Pagans infield single. Brandon Crawford was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Pablo Sandovals two-run double cut it to 5-4.
Feldman allowed a single to Brandon Belt and walked Gregor Blanco after getting one out in the fifth. Hisanori Takahashi relieved and Nick Noonan singled to load the bases. Vogelsong walked to force in a run and Pagan put the Giants ahead with a sacrifice fly. Crawford then singled in a run to make it 7-5.
The defensive miscues clearly annoyed Cubs manager Dale Sveum, whose team gave up four unearned runs. In addition to Takahashi walking the opposing pitcher with the bases loaded, Feldman twice struggled to cover first base.
Yeah, you spend hours and hours on it for 45 days of spring training and then to have the lapses in games when it counts, Sveum said. It costs you games, it costs you pitches, it costs you not being able to go five innings.
Feldman gave up six runs – two earned – and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.
The offense came out and threw five up there quick for me and I would have loved to keep going and put some zeros up there, Feldman said.
Castros error was his third in nine games.
I feel really bad because thats one of the plays you have to make. Its a routine play and its the pitcher running, Castro said.
Vogelsong (1-1) yielded eight hits and five runs, four earned, in the first three innings before retiring his final 10 batters on a foggy and damp, 40-degree day.