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Soriano sends Cardinals to ninth straight loss

Sep 15, 2007 - 9:52 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

The loss was the ninth in a row for the fading Cardinals (69-77) and is one shy of their franchise record when they dropped 10 in a row in 1980.

"We just have to do better of doing the basic things," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "A pitch here, an at-bat there, and that's how you win those close games. The other side is doing it better than we are, so that's why we're losing."

With the win, the Cubs (77-71) moved seven games ahead of the defending world champion Cardinals and two games up on the second-place Milwaukee Brewers (74-72), who play the Cincinnati Reds later Saturday.

With the Cubs trailing 2-1, Soriano connected for his 26th homer of the season off Ryan Franklin (4-4) with pinch runner Sam Fuld aboard to put Chicago ahead. Fuld replaced Cliff Floyd, who walked to lead off the eighth inning.

"I made a mistake," Franklin said. "(Soriano) is a good enough hitter that he hit it. I was just trying to throw him sliders, that's what I got him out on last night, and I just made a mistake."

"I said to myself, if he throws a pitch in my zone, I have to hit it," said Soriano, who had only five hits in his previous eight games. "(Franklin) threw a hard pitch, middle, away and I made a very good swing, it was about the best swing I've made in about a week."

Soriano's blast made a winner of Kerry Wood (1-1), who pitched a scoreless seventh inning after taking over for starter Ted Lilly.

"Woody wins his first game, I'm so happy for him," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "If this were a football game, we'd give him the game ball."

Carlos Marmol pitched the eighth and Ryan Dempster closed out the game to earn his 27th save.

The Cardinals were able to put up two runs against Lilly in the first inning after he retired the first two batters. Albert Pujols singled and Ryan Ludwick walked to bring up Jim Edmonds, who promptly drove home both runners with a double off the right-field wall.

That would be all St. Louis would get against the nine-year veteran, as Lilly kept the Cardinals off the board for the next five innings, allowing only two more hits and a walk to go with his four strikeouts.

"Lilly has a really good way of hanging in there, even though he starts some games a little shaky," Piniella said. "It seems like he gets better as the game progresses and that's exactly what he did today."

The Cubs got a run back in the second off Cardinals starter Braden Looper. Mark DeRosa walked, Geovany Soto doubled and Mike Fontenot followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Looper entered the game leading the majors with a 1.74 ERA in day games while posting a 7-1 record. The converted reliever surrendered just that one run on three hits, with two walks and five strikeouts as he was able to bounce back nicely from a terrible start Saturday night, when he gave up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings at Arizona.

"I don't know what causes it," said Looper, who is 5-9 with a 6.05 ERA in night games. "Believe you me, if I knew, I would make whatever adjustment it would be so I could pitch better at night. I just think it's one of those fluke things this year that I'm just having my bad games at night."








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - TED LILLY, KERRY WOOD (7TH), CARLOS MARMOL (8TH), RYAN
    DEMPSTER (9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH), RANDY FLORES
    (9TH), RUSS SPR

    Sep 15 3:59 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 15 3:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE (1ST GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALFONSO SORIANO (26) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF RYAN FRANKLIN SCORED SAM FULD.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, ST LOUIS 2
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.268, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 15 3:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE (1ST GAME)
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE FONTENOT SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SOTO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: T LILLY (.147, 0 HR, 5 RBI)

    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 15 1:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE (1ST GAME)
    DOUBLE BY JIM EDMONDS SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS AND RYAN
    LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J EDMONDS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.277, 6 HR, 36 RBI)

    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 15 1:32 PM