This was not how the Cubs or Kevin Gregg wanted to start their West Coast trip.
Kyle Blanks smacked a walk-off three-run shot with two outs in the ninth to lift the Padres to a 4-1 victory over the Cubs on Monday night.
With one out in the ninth, Gregg walked David Eckstein and then got Adrian Gonzalez, the National League Player of the Week, to fly out to left. Chase Headley hit a game-tying RBI double into the gap in left-center to drive in Eckstein. It's the sixth blown save by the Cubs closer in 29 tries. Kevin Kouzmanoff was intentionally walked, and Gregg then served up Blanks' homer.
The Cardinals were playing just up Interstate 5 against the Dodgers, and won, 3-2, to open a six-game lead over the Cubs in the National League Central.
The Cubs had taken a 1-0 lead in the eighth when Derrek Lee tripled to lead off and scored on Aramis Ramirez's single. For Lee, he's now hit safely in 19 of his past 24 games.
Ted Lilly did not get a decision in his first start since July 20. The left-hander, sidelined because of inflammation in his shoulder, gave up four hits and one walk over six innings, striking out four.