Ernie Banks was famous for saying “let’s play two.” On a Sunday afternoon in San Diego, that’s just what Banks’ Cubs and the Padres did.
The first game featured Johnny Podres and Rich Nye. The Padres struck quickly against Nye, plating three in the first on two home runs. With one out, Ollie Brown knocked a two-run blast to center. Then, after a Nate Colbert strikeout, Al Ferrara added a solo shot to left.
Chicago scored a run in the fourth, but the hometown club answered with four in the bottom half. After two singles and a walk to lead off the inning, Colbert came up and drilled a grand slam to put the Padres up, 7-1.
Podres, meanwhile, held the Cubs in check all afternoon. They added a second run in the seventh, but the left-hander cruised to a complete game victory despite allowing nine hits and five walks. The Padres had broken their seven-game losing streak and improved to 17-28 on the season.
The second game pitted Joe Niekro against Bill Hands. The two teams combined for a mere nine hits, and took a scoreless tie into the top of the ninth. Ron Santo homered off Niekro to lead off that inning, and the Cubs held on to win, 1-0.
Trivia: Catcher Sonny Ruberto, acquired three days earlier in a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, made his big-league debut for the Padres and went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts. He would finish his career with three hits, all singles.
Elsewhere in the world: Midnight Cowboy was released.