Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Spoiler alert: Cubs stall Giants' playoff drive

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Cubs starter Matt Garza didn't like leaving the game in the seventh inning for a reliever, but he had no problem watching the Cubs bullpen finish off a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night that knocked the Giants another game behind the streaking Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West.

A year ago the Cubs helped put the Giants in the playoffs by beating second-place San Diego three out of four times in the final week of the season.

This time the Cubs have done serious damage to the Giants' playoff hopes with back-to-back wins to start the three-game series.

``Well, people damaged our playoff hopes for the first four months, so I'm fine with paying back,'' said Garza (7-10), who went 6 2/3 innings before Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol held the Giants hitless the rest of the way.

``If we're not in, we might as well play spoilers,'' Garza said. ``Playing spoilers isn't as fun, but why not do it and make some people mad at you.''

The Cubs did so much to help the Giants reach the playoffs on the way to an eventual World Series championship last year that the San Francisco that Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it played into his decision to select Quade to his All-Star coaching staff this year.

Quade can kiss any goodwill and gifts from the San Francisco staff goodbye this time around.

``That's all right. It's a good way to go,'' said Quade, who bristled at the idea of enjoying the spoiler role. ``It's a lot more fun to have somebody trying to play spoiler against you. It's always fun to play well, but I don't think anybody relishes that role.''

For the second straight game, Alfonso Soriano got the Cubs' scoring started with a home run - this time a first-inning shot that locals say was the longest home run to left field in the 11-year-old history of AT&T Park.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on August 31, 2011 1:12 AM.

Cubs' Wells gets ``kick in the butt,'' gets rolling was the previous entry in this blog.

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