Cubs
Reds
8 - 1 Final
  for this game

Harang leaves game; Soriano homers twice as Cubs win

Jul 29, 2007 - 3:50 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Alfonso Soriano and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of a break and got back to their winning ways.

Soriano blasted a pair of home runs and drove in five and Sean Marshall threw six-plus solid innings as the Cubs posted an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, who lost more than a game on Saturday.

The Cubs improved to a major league-best 32-17 since June 3 and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central Division.

"We had some very good swings tonight," said Soriano, who now leads the club with 18 home runs. "I think pitchers are very careful with us. We have a lot of power in our lineup."

In snapping a two-game skid, Chicago caught a huge break when Cincinnati starter Aaron Harang left with lower-back soreness after a first inning in which he allowed a two-run homer to Derrek Lee.

"It makes it tough when a team loses its starter after one inning," Lee said.

Harang's back tightened on him playing catch before he took his warmup pitches from the bullpen mound.

"It was one of those weird things," Harang said. "My lower back tightened up I couldn't finish my pitches.

"I thought it would get loose but they decided to take me out so I didn't hurt my arm. To show you how I couldn't finish, the pitch to Lee was supposed to be a sinker but it stayed flat."

Harang will be evaluated tomorrow.

The Cincinnati ace had been 3-0 in his last seven home starts and the Reds had won each of the last nine times he'd been on the mound.

The 6-8 righthander dominated the Milwaukee Brewers in his previous start, throwing 10 innings and allowing just one run and seven hits, but received a no-decision in a 2-1 win on Monday.

However, it was clear that the reigning National League strikeout king was not his normal self in this one.

After Harang (10-3) issued a one-out walk to Ryan Theriot, Lee hit a 2-1 offering into the left center field seats for a 2-0 lead as Chicago avoided losing three straight for the first time in two months.

However, manager Lou Piniella was guarded when assessing his team's hot play.

"We have got to keep grinding," Piniella said. "We can't afford to get googly-eyed over where we are. I said before, we have 20 games in 20 straight days. This is the month that separates the men from the boys."

Cincinnati's loss was Marshall's gain. The 24-year-old lefthander allowed just one run and six hits to pick up his first win since June 24 - a span of five starts.

"I'm pleased with the way I've pitched," Marshall said. "It's a blast pitching for this team right now. I hope we continue to play well into October."

Meanwhile, Mike Gosling relieved Harang in the second and Soriano abused a 1-1 curveball, smashing it into the left field upper deck for a 5-0 lead.

Gosling walked Jacque Jones to start the second and allowed a single to Jason Kendall. After a sacrifice, Soriano blasted his 17th homer of the season for Chicago.

Soriano hit his second homer of the night in the ninth - a two-run shot off Todd Coffey that landed in nearly the same place as his first one.

It was a great sight for the Cubs, considering Soriano had been hitting .138 (4-for-29) with seven strikeouts in the last seven games.

"I'm from the school that thinks over the course of the season you're going to hit what you're supposed to hit," Cincinnati interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "Soriano is going to hit his home runs and Lee will end up with a lot more than 10."

Brandon Phillips drove in a run in the fourth with a groundout and Jeff Conine had three hits for the Reds, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

"We didn't muster much offense," Mackanin said.








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL, CARLOS MARMOL (7TH), RYAN DEMPSTER (9TH) AND
    JASON KENDALL
    CIN - AARON HARANG, MIKE GOSLING (2ND), JON COUTLANGUS
    (5TH), VICTOR SANTOS (6TH),

    Jul 28 10:04 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (18) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF TODD COFFEY SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 8, CINCINNATI 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.278, 0-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 28 9:48 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CLIFF FLOYD SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C FLOYD ON SECOND, D LEE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6
    CINCINNATI 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.289, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 28 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED NORRIS HOPPER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CONINE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    CINCINNATI 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A DUNN (.265, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 28 8:19 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (17) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF MIKE GOSLING SCORED JACQUE JONES AND JASON
    KENDALL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5, CINCINNATI 0
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.280, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 28 7:41 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL
    CIN - AARON HARANG

    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: R FREEL (.246, 3 HR, 16 RBI)
    N HOPPER (.281, 0 HR, 4 RBI)
    J CONINE (.265, 5 HR, 26 RBI)

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 28 7:20 PM
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    roots
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    Cubs vs. RedsJul 26 9:21 PM
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    roots
    TulowitzkiFan Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. RedsJul 24 5:35 PM