Scott Feldman goes distance for first time

CHICAGO -- It took 106 major league starts for Scott Feldman to throw his first complete game.

The Chicago Cubs' veteran pitcher not only pitched the entire game, he set a career high with 12 strikeouts in a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Feldman, 30, got an assist from manager Dale Sveum after completing the eighth inning.

"Originally, the plan was for me to go eight," Feldman said. "I went back and asked if I could get a crack at a CG [complete game]. I am just glad he didn't take me out after I gave up that home run to [Chase] Headley."

Feldman, who started the season slowly, was in command from the beginning and mostly dominant against San Diego. At one point, he retired 18 straight batters and struck out the side in both the third and fourth innings. Sveum said he felt Feldman's cut fastball was the difference in the pitcher's performance.

"From what I am seeing, there is more arm speed and more velocity on the cutter," Sveum said. "That will always make things a little more crisp. When you add a couple more [miles per hour] things change a little bit. Location and not walking guys is always the formula for pitching [well]. He had a game plan to pitch those lefties in with the cutter and did it all night long."

Feldman retired 11 out of 12 Padres hitters when using the cutter as his final pitch of an at-bat.

After consulting with pitching coach Chris Bosio, Sveum told Feldman to go back out and attempt the complete game.

"He more or less said that he had never pitched a complete game before," Sveum said. "At 100 pitches, I was letting him go hitter to hitter."

Feldman, who threw 114 pitches Wednesday, has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his past four starts.

The Cubs, using a lineup of seven batters who could bat left-handed, helped build an early five-run cushion for Feldman by chasing former Cubs pitcher Andrew Cashner after four innings. Feldman helped knock his opponent out of the game with an RBI double in the second inning. Feldman had only one double and one RBI in his career having played in the American League throughout his career before signing with the Cubs in November. He hit the ball hard three times.

"I pretty much closed my eyes and swung," Feldman said. "That was pretty much my motto. Luckily, tonight I put a couple good swings on. I still wish I had a couple more hits."