Four double plays, Lee Smith’s relief pitching and a throwing error by pitcher Bill Laskey made Steve Trout and the Chicago Cubs 3-1 winners over the San Francisco Giants Tuesday.
Trout raised his record to 4-1 despite giving up nine hits in 6 innings. Lee Smith relieved in the seventh and finished the game for his fifth save of the season.
“Rainbow (Trout) went out there with OK stuff,” Chicago Manager Jim Frey said. “He showed he can win when he doesn’t have his super stuff.”
“A few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to win these games,” Trout said. “The results are what count and right now the results look pretty good.”
The Giants got eight hits in the first four innings but three of the Cub double plays ended threats. San Francisco left six men on base, including two on third.
Said Trout: “I got a lot of ground balls. The infield grass is pretty high--that helped.”
Said San Francisco Manager Jim Davenport:. “We hit a lot better; we just hit into too many double plays. The first four or five innings we hit the ball well enough for four or five runs.”
The Cubs got their first two runs in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Ryne Sandberg, the 1984 National League MVP, doubled home Bob Dernier from second base then scored when Laskey (0-3) threw the ball away toward third. Laskey was called for a balk and an error.
Sandberg, who hit .314 in 1984, was hitting .159 before the game but got three hits Tuesday, including two doubles.
“I enjoy playing here and I enjoy playing day baseball, even though I didn’t show it in the first eight games,” Sandberg said. “At the start of the year I was swinging at bad balls. I’m trying to be more patient.”
The Giants pegged Trout with three consecutive singles and one run to start the game. Jeff Leonard’s single drove in Dan Gladden from second base.
The Cubs added a run in the eighth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Ron Cey, driving Leon Durham home from third.
Laskey was knocked out of the game in the fifth inning when he got hit in the knee on a pitch from Trout. Davenport said the knee would be X-rayed to see if there was any damage.