Miguel Tejada backs Kevin Correia as Padres win seventh in last eight

CHICAGO -- Kevin Correia knows firsthand how big his RBI double was.

Correia pitched six scoreless innings and hit a rare RBI double, leading the San Diego Padres to a 9-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Miguel Tejada was 4 for 5 with a double and two RBIs and Chris Denorfia added three hits for the NL West-leading Padres, who have won seven of eight and moved four games ahead of second-place San Francisco.

After taking two of three from the Giants last weekend, the Padres won behind another strong showing from of one of their starters.

Correia (10-7) allowed five hits and struck out five with one walk. After giving up four hits in the first two innings, he settled down to retire his last eight batters and became the fourth Padres starting pitcher to win at least 10 games this season.

Correia also gave the Padres a lead that they would never give up.

Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny retired the first two batters in the fifth but allowed a single to Denorfia before Correia helped himself with a double down the left-field line. Denorfia scored from first, just beating the relay throw to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.

"It's a 0-0 game. As a pitcher giving up an RBI to the pitcher when you're about to get out of the inning really hurts. I know the feeling," Correia said.

Correia came into the game with a .108 batting average and only two doubles in 176 major league at-bats.

The right-hander also escaped a major jam in the first and improved to 5-1 since the All-Star break with a 3.00 ERA in six starts.

"I feel like I came back from the All-Star break with a better mental state. Attacking the second half and really going out there fighting. Once I got my fastball command back it's kind of when I started pitching well," Correia said.

The usually dependable San Diego bullpen struggled, however, yielding two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. It took five relievers to secure the win. Mike Adams got one out in the eighth and closer Heath Bell finished up with a perfect ninth.

Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI double in the eighth and Blake Dewitt followed with a two-run homer for the Cubs, who have lost seven of eight at home.

Gorzelanny (6-7) was tagged for five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He didn't allow a hit until a leadoff single by Tejada in the fourth.

"We put so many high hopes on our team in spring, before spring, knowing the talent we have on this team it's tough. This is not what we expected out of this team. This is an unfortunate year but there is still a lot of baseball to be played and there is still a lot of good things that can be done from this team," Gorzelanny said.

The Padres helped Correia in the next two innings. Tejada led off the sixth with a single and advanced to third on Adrian Gonzalez's single. Ryan Ludwick followed with a sacrifice fly.

In the seventh, Tony Gwynn Jr. pinch-hit for Correia and reached safely on a bunt. Gwynn stole second and scored on Tejada's double. Gonzalez chased Gorzelanny with an RBI single. After a walk to Yorvit Torrealba, Cubs reliever Justin Berg gave up an RBI single to Chase Headley that gave the Padres a 5-0 lead.

"I think we've all seen Miggie [Tejada] now. He's a professional hitter. Really knows his swing. He has a great approach. Hits all pitches and hits good pitching," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Kosuke Fukudome had a two-run double for Chicago in the seventh, his third hit of the game.

The Padres got those two runs back in the eighth against reliever Andrew Cashner. Denorfia singled and advanced to third on Gwynn's double. During Tejada's at-bat, Denorfia scored on Cashner's wild pitch. Tejada drove in Gwynn with a single.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella has been irked by his young bullpen. On Sunday, he watched the bullpen nearly blow a 9-2 lead in the ninth against the Cardinals before holding on for a 9-7 win.

"I'll tell you what, these young kids that we have pitching here, they're getting an opportunity of a lifetime and none of them want to step up," Piniella said. "You can't have better opportunities than what we have given them."

Denorfia's two-run triple in the ninth made it 9-5.

Piniella doesn't know if the Cubs have anyone in the minor league system that they can bring up for help.

"I don't know what we have down in the minor leagues or don't. I'm not into that, but I'm talking about the pitchers that we have here right now. We're giving up way too many runs and it doesn't matter who you bring in," Piniella said.

Game notes
RHP Chris Young threw 64 pitches in a bullpen session, according to Black. Young went on the DL on April 12 with a strained shoulder. He had arthroscopic surgery last August and has made only one start this season. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro had the night off. He leads all rookies with a .314 batting average. ... Cubs 1B Derrek Lee missed the game with a bulging disk in his lower back. He is day to day. ... Chicago's bullpen has allowed earned runs in eight of the last nine games.