SAN DIEGO (AP) — With slugger Carlos Quentin in the lineup, the San Diego Padres have become a productive offensive team.
Quentin hit a three-run homer, Ross Ohlendorf pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Padres ruined Brooks Raley’s major league debut Tuesday night with a 7-4 victory over the floundering Chicago Cubs.
Chase Headley and Everth Cabrera each drove in two runs for San Diego, which has won eight of 10 at home. Quentin, the club’s one true power hitter, made it 7-0 with his 12th homer.
“He’s dangerous every time he steps to the plate,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “He’s a proven offensive player. When he’s in there, he’s an offensive weapon.”
Chicago lost its seventh consecutive game and has been outscored 38-16 during the slide.
Quentin was out until May 28 due to offseason knee surgery. But his big bat has put a charge in a previously powerless San Diego offense that is averaging close to five runs a game over the last month.
Quentin has been batting cleanup behind Headley, which has only helped to give the third baseman a lift.
“Chase has always been a consistent player,” Black said. “He can only improve when he’s surrounded by players like Carlos.”
Promoted from Triple-A Iowa, Raley (0-1) lasted four innings while allowing seven runs and eight hits. The left-hander had four strikeouts and three walks as a replacement for injured starter Matt Garza.
“You’d have to say I was definitely nervous,” Raley said. “It was a good experience, a good one to get out of the way. I learned a lot out there. It didn’t go as I drew it up. I’m going to get better.”
Ohlendorf (4-2) gave up one unearned run and three hits in six-plus innings. He was pulled after Bryan LaHair reached on a two-base error by right fielder Chris Denorfia leading off the seventh.
Huston Street, the fifth Padres reliever, pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save in as many chances.
“It’s been a lot of fun when you have a team that you know is going to score,” Ohlendorf said. “You don’t have to worry about being so fine. It helps.”
San Diego held the Cubs to five hits for the second straight night, including a 2-0 victory Monday.
The Padres teed off on Raley, the Cubs’ sixth-round draft pick in 2009.
Although there were only two baserunners in the first two innings, the rookie threw 37 pitches. Then in the third, Ohlendorf got things going with a leadoff single.
After a walk to Denorfia and Logan Forsythe’s infield single loaded the bases, Headley lined a two-run single to center. After another walk loaded the bases again, Cabrera’s two-out single drove in two more runs.
Raley ran into more trouble in the fourth when he allowed a pair of singles with two outs. He then hung an off-speed pitch that Quentin hit for a three-run homer to left.
Quentin is 9 for 18 with four homers and nine RBIs against the Cubs this season.
“I missed a few pitches here and there,” Raley said. “Quentin made me pay on that one. It was icing on the cake.”
The Cubs scored in the fifth on consecutive two-out doubles by Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney.
Chicago rallied in the seventh after LaHair reached on Denorfia’s error and scored on Steve Clevenger’s single off Brad Boxberger. Barney was hit by a pitch with one out before rookie Josh Vitters hit a two-run double for his first major league hit.
Cubs rookie Brett Jackson, who struck out four times Monday night, whiffed three more times Tuesday. In his first 11 major league at-bats, Jackson has fanned eight times.
NOTES: Raley became the 15th rookie to play for the Cubs this season and the eighth to make his major league debut. … Raley is the 46th player used this season by Chicago, second-most in the majors to the Padres (49). .. Padres 1B Yonder Alonso did not start because of a sore hamstring. … Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano was scratched from the lineup due to swelling in his right hand. Soriano was spiked by Forsythe when he slid into second base in the sixth inning Monday night. … With Garza going on the DL, Chicago has just six players who were with the club to open the 2011 season. … Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37 ERA) will oppose Padres LHP Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01) on Wednesday in the series finale.
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