Pirates
Cubs
5 - 9 Final
  for this game

Soriano homers twice as Cubs top Pirates

Sep 23, 2007 - 12:29 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The Chicago Cubs continue to power their way toward the National League Central Division title.

Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs and had five RBI as the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-5, on Saturday.

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez also homered for the Cubs, who have hit 36 homers in 22 games this month. The Cubs (82-73) moved 2 1/2 games ahead Milwaukee (79-75), which dropped a 4-3 decision in 11 innings at Atlanta on Saturday.

"Today was all about our big guys," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Soriano, Lee and Ramirez. This time of year, this is what you hope for from them. It's exactly what we are getting."

Soriano's first blast of the game, his 30th of the season, was a solo shot that tied the game at 3-3 in the second inning. After Ramirez belted his two-run shot in the third, Soriano made it 7-3 in the fifth with a two-run home run.

"This is the best month I have had this year," Soriano said. "We haven't made the playoffs yet and Milwaukee is playing good. It is a good time for our offense to be hitting."

Soriano, who added a two-run double in the seventh, has homered in his last three games and has 12 longballs this month.

Ramirez has been on fire at Wrigley Field, where he is batting .414 (12-for-29) with six home runs and 14 RBI in his last eight games.

"There is no good reason that we are suddenly hitting all these home runs," Ramirez said. "When home runs come, they come in bunches. That is what is happening right now."

Cubs starter Rich Hill (10-8) was the beneficiary of the power surge as he picked up the win after allowing three runs, five hits and two walks while striking out four in five innings.

"The positive thing was battling back and having a 1-2-3 (third) inning after giving up the three runs (in the second inning)," Hill said. "To only get through five innings today is disappointing. Right now though, a win is a win, you take it."

Pittsburgh's Zach Duke (3-8) was pinned with the loss after giving up five runs - four earned - and nine hits in four innings. The lefthander, who also allowed three walks and struck out four, had come in 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in seven career starts against the Cubs.

"I made some mistakes today and the Cubs didn't miss them," Duke said. "They are hungry and can taste the playoffs right now. The Cubs are a totally different team than we saw earlier in the year."

Duke also provided a two-run single and Nate McLouth added a late solo home run though it did little to help the Pirates avoid their season-high eighth straight loss.

Lee finished the game with four hits for Chicago, which has won three in a row and nine of 11.

"This is an exciting time," Piniella said. "If you can't excited about games like this, you aren't a very excitable person."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 8 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 1 2 0 2 0 2 0 x 9 15 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - ZACH DUKE, SALOMON TORRES (5TH), JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN (6TH) AND
    RONNY PAULINO
    CHN - RICH HILL, CARLOS MARMOL (6TH), SCOTT EYRE (7TH),
    BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), RYAN

    Sep 22 3:42 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NATE MCLOUTH (13) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF RYAN DEMPSTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5, CHICAGO CUBS 9
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MORGAN (.269, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 3:41 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F SANCHEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    CHICAGO CUBS 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J PHELPS (.342, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 3:20 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALFONSO SORIANO SCORED JACQUE JONES AND RYAN
    THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A SORIANO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.294, 0-FOR-4)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 3:15 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (31) TO LEFT CENTER
    WITH 2 OUT IN THE 5TH OFF SALOMON TORRES SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3, CHICAGO CUBS 7
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.295, 0-FOR-3)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 2:40 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ (26) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF ZACH DUKE SCORED DERREK LEE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3, CHICAGO CUBS 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M MURTON (.279, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:54 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (30) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF ZACH DUKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3, CHICAGO CUBS 3
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.296, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:42 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ZACH DUKE SCORED STEVEN PEARCE AND MATT KATA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, Z DUKE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MORGAN (.276, 1-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:35 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MATT KATA SCORED RONNY PAULINO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KATA ON SECOND, S PEARCE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: Z DUKE (.233, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:34 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY FREDDY SANCHEZ ALLOWED ARAMIS RAMIREZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G SOTO ON FIRST, M MURTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C MONROE (.243, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:24 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DERREK LEE (19) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF ZACH DUKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, CHICAGO CUBS 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.314, 25 HR, 98 RBI)

    Pirates vs. CubsSep 22 1:20 PM