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No way. Really? Huh.


No way. Really? Huh.
In the "go-figure" department, this one didn?t.

The Cubs somehow and some way pulled out an 8-7 victory Friday over the St. Louis Cardinals at sunny Wrigley Field, where even the sunniest of Cubs fans had to be waiting for the "L" flag to be unfurled.

But Alfonso Soriano changed all that with one swing. He reached down and golfed a 1-2 slider from Chris Perez just over the left-center field wall and into the bleachers to rally the Cubs from being down 7-6.

"I tell you what, the fans got their money?s worth today," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, whose team snapped a two-game skid and improved to 6-4. "They saw a bit of everything out there. Soriano saved the best for the last."

Well, almost the last.

Here?s how odd things got:

* Soriano struck out his first three times up, all against rookie right-hander P.J. Walters, making his major-league debut. In the sixth, he lofted a flyout to left.

* Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano gave Piniella the 7 innings he desperately sought, but Zambrano also gave up 9 hits, 7 runs and 3 homers.

* Cubs batters struck out 13 times.

* Reliever Carlos Marmol, coming in to close it out in the ninth, walked Colby Rasmus to start the inning before hitting Albert Pujols. Marmol, who was in the game ahead of Kevin Gregg because he warmed up in the eighth, recovered to blow away Ryan Ludwick (who hit 2 homers) before getting a double-play grounder from Khalil Greene to end the game.

"They almost started booing me," said Marmol, who earned his second save.

This one had a restless feel to it early, even as the Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first and added 1 more in the second on a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukudome.

The lead turned into a deficit in the third, as Zambrano gave up 4 hits, including a 3-run homer to Ludwick to put St. Louis up 4-3. A run-scoring double by Aramis Ramirez (3 RBI) and a single by Geovany Soto tied it for the Cubs in the fifth, but the Cardinals got solo homers from Brian Barden in the sixth and Ludwick in the seventh.

However, Zambrano threw only 5 pitches in the sixth and 15 in the seventh, leaving with 109.

"I pitched 7 innings today, and we won the game as a team," Zambrano said. "That?s all what counts: wins and innings pitched. Everything else is part of the game. It?s good to have a low ERA for yourself, but you still pay me to win."

Aaron Heilman (2-0) held the Cards at bay until Soriano hit his homer after pinch hitter Aaron Miles walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth.

"You cannot give up, there are 27 outs and nine innings," said Soriano, who has 5 homers, including a ninth-inning blast at Milwaukee on April 11 that gave the Cubs a 6-5 win. "My first 3 at-bats, I struck out, but I got (the home run) at the time it counted."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 21, 2009

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