CHICAGO -- Rodrigo Lopez's outing on Sunday was forgettable but certainly not a first.
The Chicago Cubs right-hander, who was going for his third straight win of the season, instead left with his third straight loss to the Cardinals, this one a 6-2 drubbing.
Lopez, acquired from the Atlanta Braves earlier this season, surrendered 10 hits and gave up four home runs, which he’s done four times in his career.
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols snapped an 0-for-9 skid by belting one of those homers, his third of the season off of Lopez. Pujols hit a game-winner of Lopez in the Cubs’ 10-inning, 3-2 loss on June 5.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said catcher Geovany Soto was set up to pitch Pujols off the plate, but Lopez couldn’t execute.
“I don’t know,” Lopez responded when asked to explain his misfortune against Pujols this season. “He probably figured me out already, making bad pitches like today....The last two hits off me, they were ground balls. He’s Pujols. He’s one of the best hitters in the game.”
Sunday also marked the second time this season that Lopez gave up back-to-back homers, this time to Jon Jay and Yadier Molina in the second. Molina clubbed two homers off of Lopez, the first a hanging change-up and the second a high fastball.
“It’s just tough when you’re a finesse guy,” Quade said. “It was just very little room for error. When you mess up out over the plate it’s tough to compensate for that.”