Wade Miley’s season debut plagued by walks in Cubs’ loss to Padres

Lefty Wade Miley’s path to his 2022 debut has been winding, and it showed in the Cubs’ 5-4 loss to the Padres on Tuesday.

Miley, who began the season on the injured list with left elbow inflammation, allowed three runs in three innings against the Padres on Monday. He walked five batters in what was not only his first start of the season but also his first with the Cubs.

Miley entered spring training behind several of his rotation mates ramp-up-wise. The Major League Baseball lockout had left the spring training start date uncertain, and at 35 years old, Miley hadn’t wanted to risk overworking his arm.

His elbow inflammation arose, and lingered, in spring training. So, by the time he took the mound at Petco Park Tuesday, the veteran hadn’t had many opportunities to face batters. He’d thrown live batting practice in Arizona this spring and in Atlanta two weeks ago, plus one rehab start last week.

On Tuesday, he ran into trouble in the first inning. Miley recorded two quick outs before walking Manny Machado, the third hitter he faced. Then, Miley gave up back-to-back walks and back-to-back hits before he got out of the frame. By then, the Cubs already trailed by two runs.

Miley walked two more batters and gave up an RBI single in the third inning, his last in the game.

The Cubs offense tied up the game with Alfonso Rivas’ two-run homer in the third inning and Rafael Ortega’s aggressive base running in the fifth. But the Padres reclaimed the lead the next inning, stringing together four straight hits in the sixth, scoring two runs.

The Cubs rallied in the ninth. Seiya Suzuki’s pinch-hit single with two outs got things started. Then, Willson Contreras reached on a hit by pitch, and Ian Happ cut the Padres’ lead to one run with an RBI single. After Patrick Wisdom also was hit by a pitch, pinch-hitting Frank Schwindel came inches from a go-ahead grand slam, but his long fly was caught at the wall.

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