How it happened: The Cubs couldn’t hold an early lead and fell to the Padres on the finale of the homestand. It was a quick start against former Cub Andrew Cashner, as Chicago got RBI singles in the first inning from Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan. Cubs starter Jon Lester was unable to hold the lead, while Cashner settled in to give up five hits over six innings. Both Cubs runs in the first inning were unearned because of errors from Matt Kemp and Yangervis Solarte.
What it means: Lester, the $155 million addition this past offseason, remains winless after three starts. He was not particularly effective giving up three runs on six hits and a two walks over 5 1/3 innings. He coughed up an early lead in the second inning, when the Padres’ Will Middlebrooks tied it on a two-run home run to deep left field. The left-hander heads into his fourth start next weekend at Cincinnati with a 6.89 ERA
Outside the box: Kris Bryant, playing in just his third game, reached base two more times Sunday. He was hit by a pitch in the third inning and doubled in the fifth. The double, just out of the reach of a diving attempt by Padres center fielder Wil Myers, was his first career extra-base hit. Bryant managed to reach base seven times in the final two games of the series.
Off beat: When things really could have gone bad on a throw to first base, Lester kept his cool. On a hard-hit comebacker in the second inning, Lester couldn’t get the ball out of the webbing of his glove. Instead of taking too long to fuss with it, he ran toward first baseman Anthony Rizzo and tossed the entire glove, with ball attached, in order to get the out. Lester has a history of poor throws to first base on pickoff attempts.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 1.98 ERA) to the mound Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh. The Pirates will counter with right-hander A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.25) in the 6:05 p.m. CST start from PNC Park.