San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Samardzija struck out 10 batters and finally earned his first win of the season as the Chicago Cubs took down the San Francisco Giants, 8-4, in the opener of a three-game set from AT&T Park.
Samardzija (1-4), who entered Monday's tilt with the best ERA (1.46) in the majors, was winless in 10 starts. His first win came despite matching a season-high four runs -- three earned -- on six hits in seven-plus innings of work.
"I think it's a relief for him. Everybody's wanted him to have a victory," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Nate Schierholtz had two runs scored and a pair of hits, including his first home run of the season for the Cubs, who improved to 3-2 on this 10-game road trip. Anthony Rizzo also had two hits and two runs, while Darwin Barney drove in a pair.
Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a homer in defeat, driving in three of San Francisco's four runs. Brandon Crawford had the other RBI, but it came late in the game with a five-run deficit.
Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) surrendered four runs on six hits in five innings for the Giants. David Huff didn't fare much better out of the bullpen, allowing four runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 frames.
Sandoval plated the game's first run with a two-out single to center, plating Angel Pagan. Pagan reached leading off the game on Samardzija's error.
Schierholtz tied it in the top of the third, but Sandoval's two-run blast to right in the bottom of the fourth made it 3-1 in favor of the home team.
It was all Cubs after that. Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo led off the fifth with singles and a fielder's choice on Schierholtz's grounder left runners on the corners and one out. Barney made it 3-2 with a sac fly, Samardzija helped his case with an RBI double to right and Emilio Bonifacio gave the Cubs a lead with his triple to right.
"That kind of broke our back right there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Samardzija's double.
Chicago pushed two more runs across in the sixth and seventh innings to pull away. Castillo's single to left in the sixth plated Rizzo and Barney brought home Castillo two batters later for a 6-3 spread.
Junior Lake singled with one gone in the seventh and moved to third on Huff's error. Rizzo doubled him home two batters later before Valbuena delivered an RBI single to right.
Crawford's single to right in the seventh scored Michael Morse, who tripled to leadoff the frame.