SAN DIEGO - Jameson Taillon pitched effectively into the sixth inning, Dansby Swanson homered among his three hits, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Friday night in the opener of a four-game series.
"That is the best I have seen him I think since spring training - on the attack," Cubs manager David Ross said of Taillon. "I thought he did spectacular - it is as good as I've seen him."
Taillon (1-3), who came in winless over his previous eight starts with an 8.04 ERA, kept the Padres batters off-balance twice through their lineup and earned the win. He gave up three hits and one run in a season-high 5 2/3 innings.
"Been grinding, working really hard with everyone behind the scenes. It is nice to get the results," Taillon said. "I haven't felt like a huge part of what we are doing yet just because I haven't been pulling my weight, so it is nice to contribute and be part of a win."
Padres starter Michael Wacha (5-2) struggled with control, issuing five walks in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs and three hits while striking out eight.
Chicago took the lead with a fielder’s choice ground ball by Ian Happ to score Nico Hoerner from third in the third inning. Swanson hit a solo homer to left off Wacha to make it 2-0 in the fifth.
"I put a really good swing on it. It barely got out, but they all count," Swanson said. "I really didn’t know (if it was gone), and I honestly kept running and sooner or later I found out it was a homer,"
San Diego finally broke through against Taillon in the sixth after Rougned Odor (2 for 3) led off with a double and scored Fernando Tatis Jr.'s slow infield dribbler hugging the third-base line. Odor left the game after a single in the eighth with a left groin strain.
"It doesn't feel like it is severe with what I'm told afterwards," San Diego manager Bob Melvin said of Odor's injury. "These things typically do take a little bit of time, but it's not like he felt a pop so not sure what the timetable is going to be (for Odor's return)."
Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay quashed a Padres threat in the eighth. He came in with no outs and runners at first and second and got Xander Bogaerts to hit into a double play and then struck out Tatis.
"You know, we come in with a lot of momentum. We felt like offensively we're starting to hit our stride. It didn't happen today," Melvin said. "It continues to be a little bit frustrating."
Mark Leiter Jr. finished up with a scoreless ninth for his third save.
"A real nice job by the back-end (of the bullpen)," Ross said. "Adbert comes in to get the ground ball and then the big punch-out of Tatis and then Leiter goes through the heart of their order."
Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (left forearm strain) is day-to-day. Steele underwent an MRI exam on Thursday, and the results indicated it was a "mild" strain.
Padres: Reinstated 3B Manny Machado from the 10-day IL prior to Friday night’s game. The move comes 17 days after Machado sustained a fractured metacarpal in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch. ... Placed DH Nelson Cruz on the 10-day IL (right hamstring strain). ... Optioned OF José Azocar to Triple-A El Paso. ... Selected the contract of IB Alfonso Rivas from El Paso. ... C Luis Campusano (left thumb surgery) was moved from the 10-day to the 60-day IL.
Cubs LHP Drew Smyly (5-2, 3.45) will start on Saturday night against Padres LHP Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.61).