for this game

Ramirez, Lilly lead Cubs past Nationals

Jul 3, 2007 - 4:59 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Aramis Ramirez helped make Alfonso Soriano's return to the nation's capital a successful one as the Chicago Cubs posted a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

Ramirez had three hits and two RBI and Cubs lefthander Ted Lilly (7-4) also did his part by pitching 4 1/3 hitless innings to start the game and winning for the third time in his last four starts.

Soriano became the fourth member of the 40-40 club with 46 homers and 41 steals for the Nationals last season but signed an eight-year deal with the Cubs as a free agent during the offseason.

"He had a great year here - Soriano's a player," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Let me tell you, he's an enjoyable young man to manage. He plays with enthusiasm. He plays with confidence. He plays to win. He plays hard. And he's productive. We moved him over to left field, and he's thrown out about nine or ten baserunners. I like the kid, I really do. He brings a lot to the table."

Soriano was warmly greeted by Washington's crowd of 24,015 - which included more than a fair share of Cubs' fans - during his first three at-bats. After collecting two singles, an RBI and his 11th steal of the season, Soriano heard the boo birds during his fourth plate appearance.

"It's a little weird, but I try to do my job and do the best I can for my team," Soriano said of facing his former team. "I feel very good, so that's what matters. I feel comfortable now that we won this game. It's very important for the team to play good like we're playing now."

The Cubs played well enough to score in each of the first four innings against Nationals righthander Jason Simontacchi (5-6).

With one out in the fifth, Mark DeRosa kept Lilly's no-hit bid intact with a leaping grab of a line drive by Felipe Lopez. Brian Schneider followed with a double off the right-field wall that barely cleared the glove of Cliff Floyd.

Nook Logan's RBI double to left scored Schneider for the Nationals' only run.

"Those guys are pressing a little bit instead of letting the game come to them," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "It's human nature."

The Cubs, on the other hand, made everything look easy. Lilly pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out five and walked three, including the first two batters he faced.

"I didn't feel like I was totally in control of the game because I had some walks and I worked out of a jam in the first," Lilly said. "Then I came up to hit, and one of the fans was yelling at me to make sure I knew about it.

"Regardless of whether I have a no-hitter in the fourth or fifth or eighth, it's not something I think about. I can't let that affect the way I pitch."

Piniella liked what he saw.

"He started out very unassuming with two walks, and then he got it together," Piniella said. "He had a no-hitter through four or five and it was the quietest no-hitter I've seen, but that's been his pattern. If we can find out how to get him started out of the gate a little quicker - but no complaints. The guy pitched really, really well."

Ramirez's broken bat single to left - his third hit of the game - loaded the bases for Chicago with one out in the fourth against lefthander Billy Traber. After Floyd struck out, DeRosa drilled a two-run single off Traber's leg that trickled into right field, scoring Soriano and Derrek Lee for a 7-0 lead.

DeRosa's RBI single to left off the glove of Nationals leaping shortstop Felipe Lopez scored Ramirez and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead in the third. After Angel Pagan singled to right to load the bases with one out, Rob Bowen's sacrifice fly scored Floyd and gave Chicago a 5-0 lead.

"Oh, man, when I hit the first one I knew Felipe had a shot at it and I was glad it got by him to get that extra run," DeRosa said. "On the second one, I worked myself into a good count and with the bases loaded it forced him to throw a fastball. I was just happy it didn't bounce right to the first baseman or the second baseman.

"If that happened in April, it probably would've bounced right to Dmitri Young and he would've stepped on first base for the last out, but the baseball gods have been with us for a little bit now."

Chicago scored two runs in the first when Ryan Theriot walked, Lee was hit by a pitch, and Ramirez delivered a two-run double down the third-base line and into the left-field corner.

Ramirez was delighted to make the night easier for Soriano.

"He's a good player," Ramirez said. "It doesn't matter where he goes or how he plays. Everybody knows what he can do. He did a great job here last year, so I'm pretty sure the fans appreciate him."

Likewise, Piniella appreciates having Ramirez on Chicago's side.

"He's playing real well and I'm going to give him a rest tomorrow because we've got the day game on Thursday. So I'll have DeRosa at third base," Piniella said. "But Ramirez has really, really been playing. ... It's a shame, really, that he wasn't picked on the All-Star Team. Rami can play."

The Cubs added a run in the second when Bowen reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on Lilly's sacrifice, and scored on Soriano's RBI single to left.

"We came from nine under (.500) so it's an improvement," Piniella said. "These kids are playing hard, there's no question. And they're playing with confidence, that's the big reason."

Simontacchi was tagged for five runs on seven hits in three innings, matching his shortest start of the season.

"I need to execute pitches better," he said. "I just didn't get the ball down."

The Detroit Tigers roughed up Simontacchi for 10 runs on 10 hits in three innings on June 19. He is one of only two major league pitchers to make at least 10 starts this season and have a decision in every outing. Boston's Tim Wakefield (8-8) is the other.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 11 2
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 5 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - TED LILLY, BILLY PETRICK (8TH), BOBBY HOWRY (9TH) AND ROB
    BOWEN
    WAS - JASON SIMONTACCHI, BILLY TRABER (4TH), CHRIS
    SCHRODER (6TH), RAY KING (9TH) AND BRIAN S

    Jul 2 10:06 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 7
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R CHURCH (.254, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 10:01 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NOOK LOGAN SCORED BRIAN SCHNEIDER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N LOGAN ON SECOND, D JIMENEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 7
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.293, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 9:01 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 75 roots

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 9:01 PM
  • 85
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (No-hitter)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 8:48 PM
  • 53
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    RUWTbot Added 43 roots (No-hitter)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 8:43 PM
  • 10
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    Roadie Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 8:31 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK DEROSA SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO AND DERREK
    LEE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M DEROSA ON FIRST, A RAMIREZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 7
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A PAGAN (.287, 2-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 8:31 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ROB BOWEN SCORED CLIFF FLOYD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A PAGAN ON FIRST, M DEROSA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: T LILLY (.125, 0-FOR-0, SAC)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 8:02 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK DEROSA SCORED ARAMIS RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M DEROSA ON FIRST, C FLOYD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A PAGAN (.279, 1-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 7:59 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALFONSO SORIANO SCORED ROB BOWEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A SORIANO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.266, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 7:39 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - TED LILLY
    WAS - JASON SIMONTACCHI

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N LOGAN (.221, 0 HR, 5 RBI)
    R BELLIARD (.295, 3 HR, 18 RBI)
    R ZIMMERMAN (.245, 12 HR,

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 2 7:15 PM
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    Hogie Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. NationalsMay 24 6:53 PM