Cubs
Pirates
7 - 1 Final
  for this game

Marquis wins fourth straight; Soriano homers again

May 2, 2007 - 10:45 PM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Jason Marquis is proving to be worth the $21 million the Chicago Cubs shelled out for him. Alfonso Soriano is finally starting to pay dividends.

Marquis allowed just one run in eighth innings and Soriano homered for the second time in as many days to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

The teams had to complete a suspended game from Tuesday night before the regularly-scheduled contest. The Cubs started the day with a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning of the suspended game and closed out an 8-6 victory as reliever Rocky Cherry earned his first major league win.

Marquis (4-1) then won his fourth straight start, allowing just four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

"Marquis pitched outstanding; eight really good innings," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He kept the ball down, he had a good breaking ball and he had a very effective changeup."

Many mocked the Cubs for signing Marquis to a three-year, $21 million contract in the offseason. But the righthander has now yielded just five runs in his last 27 2/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.09.

"I really feel comfortable with where I'm at with my delivery and my mechanics," Marquis said. "I'm a guy that's going to pitch to contact and my defense is playing great behind me."

Last season, Marquis led the National League with 16 losses for the world champion St. Louis Cardinals and finished with a robust 6.02 ERA. He also gave up a league-worst 35 homers in 194 1/3 innings.

Marquis did allow a home run on Wednesday - a solo shot to Ryan Doumit in the second inning. But it was only the second homer surrendered by Marquis in 38 2/3 innings this season.

"He's got a good, hard sinker," Pittsburgh's Jason Bay said of Marquis. "He got a lot of groundball outs, a lot of early swings, he wasn't getting deep in a lot of counts. He was only at 100 pitches through eight innings so he was pretty efficient."

Soriano was signed to an eight-year, $136 million contract - the highest ever paid by the Cubs - in the offseason and failed to hit a homer in April after hitting 46 for the Washington Nationals last season.

Soriano hit his first of the season here on Tuesday night in the suspended game. He then snapped a 1-1 tie with a solo shot off Ian Snell (2-2) in the third inning of the regular game and also doubled and singled.

"This is what we envisioned," Piniella said of Soriano's production the last two days. "He's driving the ball, he's getting better at-bats. When the leadoff hitter starts getting on base for you with consistency, that's a catalyst."

The Cubs scored on Snell in the first inning when Ryan Theriot doubled and came home on Derrek Lee's double off the right field wall. Lee later added an RBI single in the ninth inning off reliever Jonah Bayliss.

Lee, who went 4-for-5 in the suspended game, has hit safely in 11 straight games.

"I've been seeing the ball well and I feel pretty good at the plate," Lee said.

Chicago took advantage of Snell's wildness in the fifth inning, scoring two runs without a hit. Snell walked Marquis, Theriot and Lee to load the bases before a wild pitch allowed Marquis to score. Snell then walked Aramis Ramirez to load the bases again and hit Cliff Floyd with a pitch to force in another run.

"Ian had a tough time in the fifth inning," Snell said. "There were a couple of close pitches to Derrek Lee and then there were a couple where he lost the strike zone a little bit."

Snell had pitched at least seven innings in four of his previous five starts and did not allow more than two earned runs. He tossed seven shutout innings in a win over Cincinnati last Friday.

"I take the blame for today. It was my fault," Snell said. "I walked too many guys and didn't locate some pitches so it happens. You're allowed a bad outing here and there. I've had five good ones, I had one bad one, now I'm just going to bounce back."

It was a rough day for Bayliss, who gave up three runs in the ninth inning after taking a loss in the suspended game. Theriot highlighted the three-run ninth with a two-run single.

The National League Central rivals will meet again in a three-game series starting next Tuesday at Wrigley Field.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 7 9 1
    PITTSBURGH 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - JASON MARQUIS, MIKE WUERTZ (9TH), SCOTT EYRE (9TH) AND MICHAEL
    BARRETT
    PIT - IAN SNELL, SHAWN CHACON (6TH), JONAH BAYLISS
    (9TH), DAMASO MARTE (9TH) AND RONNY

    May 2 4:39 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DERREK LEE SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D LEE ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 7
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.287, 0-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 4:21 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED RONNY CEDENO AND ALFONSO
    SORIANO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R THERIOT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.410, 1-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 4:19 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    CLIFF FLOYD HIT BY IAN SNELL PITCH WITH BASES LOADED SCORED
    RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C FLOYD ON FIRST, A RAMIREZ ON SECOND, D LEE
    ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M BARRETT (.253, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 3:14 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (2) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF IAN SNELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, PITTSBURGH 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.319, 1-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 2:30 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN DOUMIT (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF JASON MARQUIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, PITTSBURGH 1
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.284, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 2:25 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 1 2 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - JASON MARQUIS
    PIT - IAN SNELL

    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: C DUFFY (.274, 1 HR, 6 RBI)
    J WILSON (.298, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
    F SANCHEZ (.250, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Cubs vs. PiratesMay 2 2:11 PM