Matt Garza hopes ovation at Wrigley ‘not my last one’
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 14, 2013 12:16AM
Updated: August 15, 2013 7:03AM
Cubs right-hander Matt Garza appreciated the standing ovation he got as he exited with two outs in the seventh inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.
‘‘I hope it’s not my last one,’’ Garza said after the Cubs’ 6-4 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals.
At least a half-dozen scouts were among the largest crowd of the season (42,240). They again saw Garza turn in a strong performance, the same thing he had done in his previous six outings.
It might have been Garza’s last start at Wrigley, with his next start scheduled July 22 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix and the trade deadline July 31 closing in.
‘‘You do [think about it], but I’ve been through it so much, I’m oblivious until something happens,’’ said Garza, who improved to 6-1. ‘‘It’s stressful, but I have an outlet because I pitch every fifth day.’’
The atmosphere for the rare Saturday-night game between the longtime rivals was akin to a playoff showdown, manager Dale Sveum said.
Garza called it ‘‘awesome.’’
‘‘It’s a great place to play and pitch, and the fans really embrace you when you do your job,’’ he said. ‘‘They embrace you in a different way when you don’t.’’
His teammates provided him with stellar defense, helping to thwart potential big innings as the Cardinals stranded 13.
‘‘They played great,’’ Garza said. ‘‘For some reason, we’ve turned a corner and we’re playing great baseball. It’s so awesome.’’
The Cubs had 13 hits, including another home run from Alfonso Soriano — his 180th with the Cubs, putting him 11th on their all-time list — and a two-run homer from Luis Valbuena. Both came against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (11-4).
Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
The Cubs claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the San Francisco Giants and expect him to be in uniform Sunday. They will have to make a move to get him on the roster.
Gillespie, 29, played with second baseman Darwin Barney at Oregon State.
‘‘He’s a right-handed bat we need, a good player, and I’m excited to finally play with a [college] teammate,’’ Barney said.
The two played on the Beavers’ 2006 College World Series team. They still live near each other and work out together during the offseason.
Sveum knew Gillespie in the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor-league system.
‘‘Really sound, fundamental baseball guy,’’ Sveum said.
Gillespie has played in 53 major-league games, hitting .218 with three home runs and 16 RBI.
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz didn’t play Saturday and probably will miss the game Sunday, too, Sveum said.
‘‘That will give him six days [off, with the All-Star break],’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s banged up everywhere and struggling a little.’’
◆ Outfielder David DeJesus (shoulder) will go Monday to Mesa, Ariz., to begin working out before starting a rehab assignment next weekend.
◆ Right-hander Scott Baker will start Sunday for Class A Kane County and begin a schedule of pitching every fifth day.